Hey Boss, I don’t want to hear visions when asking for a pay raise

November 24, 2016 5 mins read
Hey Boss, I don’t want to hear visions when asking for a pay raise

With the end of November fast approaching, the end of 2016 is almost upon us. The end of another year brings with it the usual questions for hard working professionals… How big will my bonus be? Will my boss recognise my hard work and award me a pay raise? If so, will they recognise my hard work with a big enough pay raise?!

Sometimes, it is easy to become downhearted about the reward structures in companies. I hear countless stories from self perceived hard working professionals, complaining about their ‘glib tongued colleagues’ receiving the largest bonuses - and not those that actually work the hardest.

These people tend to be the same people that believe it is up to the company to decide how much their salary will increase, just accepting company’s general annual salary adjustment. They are the same people that believe it is crass to ask for more money.

This is where they are going wrong. Salary negotiation and the ability to approach this constructively is an essential skill for the modern professional. Today, Morgan McKinley will discuss the five steps of how to succeed at asking for a pay raise.

01 Ask yourself: Do I deserve a pay raise?

We all want more money, but please ask yourself the following question before negotiating with your boss, “do you deserve it?”

If your performance and accomplishments in the last year have exceeded the requirements and outperformed your peers, then you can of course argue a strong case for a decent raise. But if on the other hand you have completed an average year, and are unable to list key accomplishments, do not start a salary negotiation! It sounds obvious, but people really do approach their bosses without substantiating their ask. You will be laughed out of the building - and worse, it might shine a light on your shortcomings in the role. Instead, focus your efforts on improving over the next 12 months and insure that you have a number of key achievements that you can list this time next year.

02 Fight no battle unprepared

A pay raise negotiation is a sales meeting after all. They dynamic is the same. The service provider believes that they are providing an excellent service and are seeking to adjust agreed price accordingly, to match the quality that they are offering - setting up a meeting with the purchaser to that end. However, there is no obligation for the purchaser to accept the price increase and they may value the service differently - it really depends on how the service provider sells it.

So justify your salary increase with enough reasons. It is not a good idea to tell your boss that you need the money... Instead, demonstrate your merit, be professional and talk about your accomplishments in detail and don’t forget to talk about your ideas for the future - outlining your continued dedication to the role.

Make a comparison between your accomplishments and the targets established at the year beginning if you have access to those. The drawn conclusion that you have outperformed will back up your argument. If there is no target, list your accomplishments in to a convincing PPT.

Look at recruiters’ annual salary survey reports and benchmark your salary against others doing similar jobs - this can be another powerful way in which you can approach the negotiation. Certain Recruiters will release industry salary reports annually based on jobs and experience. Morgan McKinley releases new reports at the end of each year, which is available by its public account subscription.

If a salary report can give you a rough idea about the market, then an industry recruiter will provide you with more details. Try to develop a good relationship with an experienced recruiter and you may be surprised by the information that they can provide.

Rehearse like a salesman would before visiting a major client. Imagine the questions that you are likely to be asked and prepare good responses.

03 Be nice and friendly

Since a pay raise is not the boss’ responsibility, be nice in the negotiation. Even if you have been through alot in the past year or have taken additional responsibilities, don’t get emotional when negotiating. Remember it is professional, so take a professional approach.

Don’t put yourself in the position of the company’s or the boss’ enemy, but partner instead. Discuss with your boss what contributions you will make to the company in the next year. Make it difficult for them to turn you down; reasonable arguments expressed with a friendly attitude are tough to ignore.

04 Oops, here it comes, the boss begins to talk about visions

Very common is the case that your boss will play Tai Chi, talking about visions and illusions. In most cases, you are not working for visions, neither is your boss. We work for a living. So change the subject if the boss wants to talk about visions, for example future planning,

You can tell them your plan for next year’s work, contributions you are willing to make to the company, or a new project that you would like to lead - ask about their expectations and requirements for you. Then in order to meet higher requirements and perform more responsibilities, your salary increment should be taken into account accordingly.

05 What if you get a NO from your boss?

Requesting a raise, even when you have planned and prepared, can still be rejected - often due to the classic, “no money in the budget” response.

Let’s put aside the authenticity of this response for a moment. If you think that your boss is adamantly against the idea of giving you a raise, then try negotiating concessions.

A pay raise has diversified forms, so does the budget utility. If you can’t get an additional increase for monthly pay, try:

  • Extra paid time off
  • Increasing reimbursement
  • Funding for study
  • Insurance for your spouse or children

So be prepared and have this list to hand - if your boss can’t grant you a pay raise, try them.

If your boss grants nothing, don’t be sad, find a company that will. Morgan McKinley public account provides new positions in various industries every day, subscribeus for more choices.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China