One of the most important discussions of the year – salary review – is just around the corner, and like every year, some of us will be happy and some unhappy.
However, a well-planned and considered meeting can increase your chance of a successful outcome!
To make the most of this important negotiation discussion, here’s a list of dos and don’ts that may come in handy.
- Be prepared and explain the rationale well: Do some research and self-introspection. Is your demand justified as per industry standards and your job role? If you believe it is, be honest and upfront about why you need the raise. Explain how this raise will help you in your personal life goals, but avoid getting into too many details as that can lead to an awkward conversation. I once had an employee come to a meeting with an expense list including rent and groceries!
- Support your demand with evidence: Adding the specifics, such as examples of client appreciation or praise for a project well done, always lends more credibility to your argument. This requires you to come well prepared for your salary negotiations. Create a list of achievements before your meeting, clearly stating how much value you have brought and will bring to the team. This can increase your chances of getting a good raise.
- Connect it with the larger picture: Explain the progress you’ve made in your current role, and how you have been able to contribute to the business – connecting your personal objectives to the corporate objectives can be a good way of doing this. You can also link career progression, by demonstrating how you are getting ready to fit into a larger/more senior role.
- Never compare your salary with that of your peers: Salary disparity can be due to various factors such as qualification and experience. Hence you may be earning less or more than your peers. Whatever be the case, never use this as a justification to negotiate ‘your’ salary raise. The salary hike discussion is solely yours. Do not dilute it by comparing it with your co-workers.
- Think about how you will handle a negative outcome, should it arise: While on the one hand, it is important to help your manager understand how a raise would benefit you, one must also prepare to have an open discussion to understand how you can earn the raise you were expecting. Once you have had this conversation, make a progress sheet for yourself, so you can demonstrate how you have addressed the feedback, so next time you can get that raise you deserve.
- In conclusion, although salary negotiation discussions can be either positive or negative, one must also look at other factors (besides money) that lead to job satisfaction, such as personal growth, inter- and intra-team relationships, getting recognized for achievements and other organizational benefits. In other words, let your work speak for itself.
Having said that, if you still feel that you are underpaid as per industry standards, and this is a major demotivating factor, you must request for a more extensive conversation with your manager and HRBP in a couple of months. More often than not, if your case is genuine and the organization values you, the outcome will be positive.