For many people, one of the most tedious and confusing conversations they can have with their manager is about money. Let’s say this is you. You’ve worked hard and done your research, believing that you deserve an increase. So how much do you ask and when? Here is your guide.
How much to ask for
There is evidence that you may get a further increase if you request a percentage instead of the dollar. This is because the percentage will feel less real. Think about it: if you make $ 50,000, then what’s the most important thing for you – getting a 10 percent or $ 5,000 increase per year? It’s probably $ 5,000, because you (and your boss) can immediately imagine what would buy an additional $ 5,000. It has tangible value, while 10 percent is abstraction or representation. What can you buy with 10 percent?
Just to keep you in your company, your boss may give you a 5 percent increase if you ask for one, but if you want 10 percent or more, you’ll need to present a compelling case using the data. (You can also take more risks if you have another restricted position.)
Personally, I think 10 to 15 percent is the ideal amount that you should ask for unless you are receiving significantly lower salaries based on the market and company value. If you find that you are already getting low salaries (up to 20 percent or more), you can enter into your search and request a hike that pays you at least the market price of your position. Request the upper limits of the salary.
If you earn your salary significantly under your market value, you can actually get a 20 percent increase to the market level by proving the case, again using data, which you can collect online and from recruitment companies. If you get the increase, this is an incredibly high return on investment just to do a little research. If your company wants to keep you (and has money), it will give you an increase to get you to the market price. Not all companies will be in a position to give you an increase, some will, but not. Even if you ask, there are many excuses employers use to say they cannot give you an increase – such as “We didn’t get to our numbers,” “Sales went down,” or “We don’t have the budget.” It is up to you to decide if you believe them and whether you are willing to stay under these conditions.
When in the year to ask
If you have completed all the research and are determined to request an increase, then the next step is to think about timing.
Many employees don’t know when to ask for an increase, or ask at the wrong time. First, see your career location and responsibilities. It is important to regularly monitor the market value and the value it brings to your company. This means at least twice a year, and more if your job responsibilities change.
The annual performance review is a natural time to roll out because your boss is already thinking about the value of your company. If you go to market value research, you are more likely to get a higher increase. There is another normal time at the end of the company’s fiscal year, when your boss is already thinking about next year. As long as your company works well, you will likely get a yes. (If your company doesn’t perform well, it is unlikely that you will get an increase, unless your company determines that it really needs you to keep increasing the numbers.)
Another good time is whether your responsibilities have changed dramatically or your workload has increased due to employee turnover or integration. Under these circumstances, the last thing your company wants is to leave another employee, so they may pay you more to keep you. Likewise, if you launch an initiative or project that has been hugely successful, then this will be another good time to introduce it. Ride on your achievements.
When in a week to ask
The next step is to choose the day and time. Tuesday is random at 4 PM when your boss is confirmed not a good time. In the Friday afternoon just before the holiday or just before your boss leaves work, this is not a good time either. Monday morning is also not good because who really loves Monday morning?
Research shows that the best time to request a lift is Friday morning. The reason is that your boss, like you, is relatively relaxed and excited at the weekend. Psychology research also shows that people tend to be more generous in the morning before noon.
No matter what day or time you are, you definitely want to feel the mood of your boss. Your boss may be stressed, angry, or focus too heavily on something else. If the bosses are distracted or pressured, they won’t listen to you the same way they would if they were more focused. Find a time when you and your boss are in a good mood.
Although these tips can be helpful, the best opportunity may come at any time. Be ready.