Asking for a raise can be a challenging moment in one’s career. Asking for more money at your job is something that can create friction with your supervisor and in some cases, it can lead to confrontation.
Unless you are approaching the conversation with a clear game plan it’s likely that things may not take the direction you hope.
This is why, even before we begin discussing the four different approaches to asking for a raise, it may be helpful to run through some basic recommendations.
Conduct Your Research on Industry Salaries
Before formulating your “raise request” it’s important to acquire all relevant salary information before you enter the meeting. Look on Glassdoor whether your salary is within the range that matches your job description and experience. If you are already within the industry standard, doing “more of the same” won’t get you far. We’ll address how to overcome this challenge with approaches 1, 2, and 3.
See if Your Company Already Foresees a Salary Plan.
Some companies may have a pre-determined path to salary increases. This may be something you can find in writing in HR documents or could be an established practice that is applied consistently to other employees. It’s important to find out if there is already a pre-determined salary pathway, as this would greatly simplify the process, and help you understand the requirements for your compensation leveling-up. If that’s the case, there is actually no need to have a negotiation, you can focus on the requirements foreseen by the level-up plan.
Don’t Ask for a Raise Out of the Blue
As per any important conversation, it’s important to look for the right setting, the right time of day and week, and most of all to introduce the topic in advance before it is being discussed. This is important as your boss will want to be prepared before talking about it with you, and maybe do some work ahead of time to identify possible offers that he\she is able to make.
Great, if you were able to follow all of our preparatory advice, now it’s time to pick a strategy. We’ve listed the four most common ones, discussing the benefits and limitations of each.
Our #0 is the Seniority Approach, based on the years of experience you have developed in the firm. Even if this approach can work, your experience is not always enough to get you to the next salary level. That’s why you may need to integrate your negotiations with ideas connected to strategies #1, #2, and, #3,
#0 The “Seniority” Approach
One of the most common approaches to asking for a raise is connected to seniority. In this context what employees claim is that the experience they’ve matured in the company, due to their years of service has made them valuable assets to the firm and should be compensated accordingly.
The benefit of this approach is that an employee who has been loyal and reliable can most definitely forward this request successfully, but on the other hand this argument is quite weak.
The problem with increasing compensation on the grounds of seniority is that the time you’ve spent at the company is not a metric that can be always simply tied to your contribution to the company’s performance.
Moreover, academic literature on compensation, suggests that even if a salary increase was granted, this would only work as a temporary fix before the employee advances the same request again. Or worse, all of the employee’s team members follow up with similar requests.
For this reason, the “seniority card” should not be considered the most effective strategy, as what you’d be basically asking for is “to be paid more to do the same”. This is basically a win-loose scenario, which in negotiation is always best to avoid.
On the other hand, having matured years of experience with the company may have exposed you to a series of issues and challenges that you may be able to help with and help the company address successfully.
This is what you should build your argument against by looking into one of our three remaining strategies.
#1 The ROI approach
A different approach to asking for a salary is represented by the ROI approach. In this context what you are doing is pitching yourself not on the grounds of the years of experience you have matured for the company, but on the grounds of the results you were able to bring home for your firm. You could say that the company’s bottom line is your strongest ally as it becomes the foundation of your request.
In order to develop this approach, the first thing to do is connect your job and performance to a clear profitability metric.
By doing this your case for a compensation raise changes completely.
What you are now doing is showing the financial impact you are having on the company and essentially charging a part of that profitability impact as an investment in your services.
This approach is more persuasive as it is more “apples to apples” as it is a “money for money” request and what you are suggesting is that your salary is not a cost, but an investment that the business can profitably make back time and time again.
But how does this approach tie with the previous? Well, by having spent years at your company you are able to identify all of the ways in which your job contributes to the company’s success, and you are therefore able to hold a salary negotiation where you are well aware of what you are bringing to the table.
This approach to salary negotiation is actually connected to managerial positions which entail managing a team and committing to their results. As such it cannot be feasible for anyone.
What if you are not able to show this impact just yet. Is there anything you can do? We’ll discuss this in the next section of our post.
#2 The Learning Approach
Another viable approach, for those employees who may not be in the position to advance salary raise requests just yet, is connected to famous wordplay, “the more you learn the more you earn”.
In this approach, your strategy is connected to the idea that getting a raise is a step-by-step process. The next step for you is not getting paid more but it involves training to become eligible for a better-paid position.
HR managers know that sometimes raising a salary is a limited-time fix. In a couple of years or less, the employee may be asking for more money again. In this perspective, if the employee displays the right attitude and readiness to grow, providing training opportunities can be a very good solution that benefits both parties.
As a result, the business will still be making an investment in your professional development and you will be able to broaden your horizons or get a more detailed picture of the industry. As a result, in time, you can aspire to more managerial positions.
Providing this option is also a way to show consideration to a resource and test whether his or her ambitions are solely monetary or if instead, one is willing to invest in training as a means of staying invested in the business in the long term.
#3 The “Intrapreneurial Approach”
In this last approach, the foundation of your request is connected to the display of such great initiative that the business trusts you to develop a new project or organizational division.
Sometimes one of the challenges of getting a raise is that you are aspiring for a position that is already filled. As a result, the only thing you may need to do is wait for a vacancy or opportunity to open up.
This can be frustrating, as so much of your own motivation can depend on a “make it or break it scenario”.
By approaching this challenge as an intrapreneurial employee, you are making yourself available to the opportunity of developing the business from within the company in the pursuit of projects connected to organizational change that can make a night and day difference in the company’s outlook for the future.
This is a “high stakes” approach but it can work if you want to prove yourself and show a high level of initiative which in some cases can connect your salary to the success of your in-company venture.
This is obviously a more risky strategy, so it may be suitable for those individuals who need a fast pace of change to stay excited and productive.
There you have it. In this post, we’ve covered all 4 approaches. It is now time to draw our conclusive remarks.
There you have it! In this post, we’ve looked at 4 different approaches to asking for a raise. Having expectations on salary increases throughout your career is normal and expected, but as we’ve discussed in this post, the approach you pursue to asking for more compensation can make all the difference.
If you’d like to read more about financial incentives and money as a factor of motivation in your business, we’ve got another article which is right on topic: “How To Get the Most From Your Sales Team”.
If you’re interested in reading up more information on fashion career advice, don’t hesitate to look into our blog, where you can find a wealth of information on the topic. Enjoy!