Negotiating a pay rise can be a tricky business. Few of us know how to approach the topic without feeling awkward or under-confident. There are ways and means, however, that can result in a successful discussion. One of those is considering how your boss thinks before diving straight in. Here are some useful tips from the boss’s perspective for negotiating that pay rise.
Consider the business’s position
Before you decide to talk to your boss, do some background research into how the business is doing. The financial state of affairs will have far more of an impact on the outcome of your negotiations than you might think.
When things are going well, your boss will be far more likely to look favourably on your request than when profits are taking a hit. Approaching your stressed-out superiors when they’ve just lost a contract, however, is automatically going to put you on the back foot.
Set up a face-to-face meeting
When it comes to the conversation itself, it is vital that you ask for a pay rise personally and not by email. Your boss will want to discuss a pay rise in the context of a progress review, as well as evaluate your negotiation skills in a tricky situation. Don’t do yourself a disservice by firing off a quick email and hoping for the best. It won’t send the best impression of your dedication to your boss.
Give your boss some idea as to what the meeting will be about so they don’t jump to conclusions. And prepare your request in advance so that both of you are clear whether it’s a promotion or pay rise – or both – that you’re after. In the meeting itself you should be confident, assertive and prepared to discuss your achievements and value to the business.
Keep it professional
For this negotiation to be successful, it’s important that you don’t make it personal. Your boss doesn’t need to know what you plan to use your pay rise for, so keep that information to yourself during discussions.
Bear in mind that this is a two-way conversation – one that will impact both you and the business. Your boss will want to know what they will be getting in return for this further investment in you.
Be clear that you are asking for a reward for the work you’re already doing. Your boss may be unimpressed by any offer to take on more work for more money, as this approach lacks direction and might not be achievable. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t accept more responsibilities, but both parties need to be aware of the mutual benefits of your pay rise.
Refrain from getting emotional one way or the other. Just like anything else in the office, this is a business transaction and should be treated as such. If your request is turned down, make sure you can walk away with some practical criticisms to implement so that you might have better luck next time.
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