Get that salary increase
We could all do with a boost to our salaries. But are there things you can do to guarantee an increase? How can you jeopardise your chances of getting that raise. Nicolette Dirk chatted to office coach, Deirdre Elphick-Moore, co-founder of the Office Coach, to find out how you can get that raise.
Make yourself worthy of a raise
Moore says you should check first that you are actually performing well i.e. above what is expected of you and in relation to your peers.
“This judgement call needs to be evidenced-based; look at your performance reviews, productivity levels, positive contributions to the bottom line of the business. Salary increases are not a right based on how long you have been at a particular organisation. You need to look at what you are doing for the business.”
Keep in mind that a salary increase does not happen in isolation. If five other people produce more exceptional work than you they are more likely to get a raise ahead of you.
“Employers look at their employees holistically to assess how much value they add to the company. Employees who have not received bonuses or a raise for a long period of time will have their salaries reassessed ahead of their colleagues,” says Moore.
Compare yourself to see how you weigh up
Moore suggests you benchmark your grade and salary with your colleagues and the industry. You may not get a straight answer from human resources, your manager or your colleagues but you can get an insight from recruitment firms used by your organisation and by market data. You can look at salaryexplorer.com or at papers published by management consulting firms like PwC or McKinsey.
Set realistic expectations
When you approach your employees for a raise, you should also keep in mind as to whether they can afford your salary expectations.
“Many people expect their salary to go up due to the rising cost of living, but you have to consider if your company can actually afford it,” says Moore.
Negotiate at the right time for a salary increase. Moore says that a perfect time to ask for a raise could be just after your company announces those record third quarter earnings..
Whether you practise with a friend or family member, or write down what you want in point form-it pays to be prepared.
Moore says you should have a script of what you want and different scenarios of what you can expect from your employer. They could react with anger or cynicism but you will be able to negotiate effectively despite their reactions if you are prepared for the multiple scenarios you could face.
It’s not always about the money
If you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, develop options beyond a simple “rands and cents” increase to your base salary.
Moore says the more options you table during the negotiation, the better your chances of success. “Think about why you want more money. What will you do with the extra disposable income (assuming you are not taxed at a higher level that leaves you with less in the bank than before),” she points out.
For example, you may want to further your studies. Employers are massively incentivised by our government to invest in skills development. They may be able to place you in higher education in a cost effective way. You employers will have a better skilled worker and you will look better on paper for future career options.
Consider your other options
Be prepared to walk away if continued negotiations leave you feeling frustrated and under-valued. Keep your CV up-to-date and make sure your skills are current and marketable. Employers are more likely to look after you if they know that you are not tied to them and that you can move to their competitors or start your own business.