It’s that time of year again! As you are preparing documentation to share what you’ve accomplished in the past year, your manager is setting one-on-one meetings to discuss the finer points of your goals and achievements. While this can be a chore for both you and your employer, it can also be a time of new hope that maybe, just maybe, it’s not time yet to seek nirvana in the Himalayas.
The appraisal process can be looked at as just another hoop to jump through in the day-to-day business of working in the corporate world. On the other hand, if you are seeking career growth, you can use this time to your advantage—if you can use the time to revisit the past year and help your manager understand how your past achievements have made a difference through both large and incremental wins. But that is probably just one side of the coin. Beyond the discussion of performance, most of us dread the prospect of negotiating on a salary hike.
In addition to the awkwardness of having a discussion around salary, there are very few people who say they are completely satisfied at the end of the negotiation. If you fall into this category, it’s time to sharpen your negotiating skills. Here are some essential points to help you hone your skills in the art of appraisal negotiation.
Highlight and provide evidence of your achievements:
Talking about your own work and pointing out each of your achievements has never been as important as it is during performance appraisals. It is imperative that you apprise your manager about all the efforts you have put in during the last year and everything you have been able to achieve. Just as no challenge is impossible to overcome, also keep in mind that no achievement is too small to highlight. Hence it is recommended that you document all your work through the year, which helps you build you your case at the time of appraisals.
Talk about your career independently, know your value:
Often your performance will be associated with your team’s performance, however this must be situational. Thus, when discussing your appraisal be sure to talk about your contribution and performance as an individual as well as your contribution as a collaborator on projects that involved others on the team. During your review, apprise your manager on how your work has added value—to your role, your immediate team, and the organization as a whole. The best way to evaluate your value is to ask yourself; how has the business been positively impacted through my contributions?
Know the market sentiments:
Most companies will try to bank on bad market conditions for a poor increase in salary. While the economy may be stagnant or not booming right now, it is definitely not recession time. It is better to do your research and study current market conditions and focus on salary norms in your area of expertise. Try to draw comparisons in terms of an appropriate percentage increase that matches the compensation levels in your field. Remember, as you’re fulfilling your duties on your job, your company is benefitting from your expertise and quality of work.
There is more to financial achievements:
Financial growth is one aspect and professional growth is another facet of advancement. However, both of these elements must go hand in hand. Hence it is important to think about the types of experiences that will help you reach your professional growth goals. Accepting new goals and challenges is essential, as long as you pair your new responsibilities with an appropriate salary and benefits package. In this way, your performance is thus directly linked to your compensation. Additionally, challenges help you grow and give you the opportunity to demonstrate to your manager your ability to perform under pressure and how well you are able to handle new situations. Ultimately, these types of growth opportunities provide a broader profile that will allow you to negotiate not only for a salary increase but also for a designation hike.
Don’t forget to talk about your vision:
After you’ve been with the organization for a few months, you will recognize the business needs. These insights will help you to understand how you can add to the company’s overall vision. If you want a successful future at your present company, it is important for you to own your vision for the business unit you work within. Share your plans with your manager, discuss and absorb any inputs, and together, you can formulate a sharper vision. The way forward is by asking yourself what more you can do – and when you get your answer share it with your manager. This will ensure your career growth, and of course, a heftier pay rise.
Moreover, it is important to be realistic. Despite your past salary history, your value to a company is based on the market rate for someone with your skills, experience, and background. Enter into any negotiation armed with the statistics and your business case for why you deserve the package you’re requesting.