| Everyone would like
a raise, but few know how to make it happen. The process takes some
research - in terms of what you've contributed to the organization,
as well as what compensation levels exist elsewhere - but it can be
yours quickly, if you follow these steps.
First, realize that asking for a raise is an emotional experience.
Both dollars and ego are at stake. So, steeling yourself to the task
and its outcome are necessary at the outset.
Next, when you approach the boss for a raise, you must have several
things with you, as proof that you deserve more money.
- You must bring along past performance reviews. Your boss may
not remember what he/she said about you last year, nevermind the
year before. Memories can be short. Of course, your boss may have
changed in the past year and the new one may not have had enough
time to form opinions about you. In this case, past reviews can
- An absolute must is a list of accomplishments you've performed
for the organization. Have you increased revenues; decreased costs;
developed a better, faster, less costly system or method of doing
things? Quantify these, in terms of dollars increased and/or costs
or hours saved. You'll justify your raise on the basis of receiving
your share of the increased productivity you've produced.
- Although perhaps a part of your accomplishments, you must have
with you statistics involving a recent success with which you've
been involved. Keep in mind, however, you don't have to have been
the only person involved in the success - you can have been a
member of a team, and a "key" contributor. Again, you're
only asking for a share of the results of the success.
- Have with you salary ranges elsewhere for the same or similar
jobs - both inside and outside the organization. To do this, you
must do some research. Internally, ask Human Resources about the
salary range for your job. Depending on where you are in that
range, you'll know how much "room" there is for more
money. For external ranges, ask friends in other organizations,
or perhaps those in industry or functional associations about
ranges elsewhere. Also, check the internet: www.salary.com is
a good place to start. Other sites can be found by typing in "salaries"
on the search line of most portals.
- Obviously, bring with you positive body language. When talking
with the boss, sit-up straight and look him/her in the eye. Slouching
and looking away indicate you're unsure of yourself, or that your
information can't be trusted.
Perhaps your organization has a current salary freeze, or you've
found through research that you're at the upper end of the internal
and external range for your job. Don't despair. There are several
alternate reward systems that your organization may be using - 30%
of the Fortune 500 use some form of variable compensation for non-executives
(professionals, administrators, technicians, production personnel).
This percentage is even higher for management. Here are just a few
you might investigate.
resolutions for the new year require drastic mental or physical
changes. Not so with getting a raise. If you have a history of
accomplishments - even minor ones, or those as part of a team
- and if you do some homework to become articulate in describing
them, as well as to discover the alternate reward systems available,
this resolution could come true quickly!
- Individual incentives, based on company performance and/or individual
achievement. Have you been included? Ask your boss or Human Resources
- Instant incentives, based on performance for specific projects.
These generally amount to between 2% and 10% of annual salary.
If you haven't been included in such a plan, find out if it's
being offered in your organization and get in on it.
- Company-wide incentives, which are paid to all employees. These
usually are based on bonus points for performance of a particular
job category and/or financial performance of a particular business
unit. If your job category isn't rewarded as well as others, it
may be time to consider a change. If your unit is a financial
or productivity laggard, get out and into another with better
- Gainsharing, which is based on increased productivity and/or
cost reductions. Typically, this system is used in manufacturing
and operations functions. Have you been a part of these calculations?
If you're not included in gainsharing, consider if your job is
peripheral to a group that's within that system. Are you essential
to their efficient operation? If you can make your case effectively,
you may be included.
- Company stock, which often is granted to star performers. About
30% of U.S. companies use this reward system as an incentive.
Have you been overlooked for past performance? Have you performed
at your peak? Regardless of the ups and downs of the stock market,
this can be an attractive reward, presuming the stock is free.