ask for a raise

How to ask for a raise successfully: 8 key tips

Does the thought of having to ask for a raise worry you? We know it is not easy, but in this post, we give you some key tips to help you. So, when the time comes, you can carry out this request in the best possible way. 

The conflict of asking

Although it sometimes seems to us that it is not the most elegant topic to discuss, the truth is that money is the measure of many things, particularly in the workplace. So much so that the salary we receive for our work is implicitly the most critical aspect of employees’ working conditions

Unfortunately, many roles have a reasonably tight salary range with little or no room for negotiation when it comes to asking for a salary increase, even when the employee has been with the company for a long time and has shown ample proof of their solvency. 

In other sectors, salary issues are more open, and therefore employees have the possibility, when the time comes, to ask for a raise. How can we approach this issue, which is often so thorny and conflictive for so many people? 

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Of course, there is the factor of, if we really deserve it, believing it and being assertive enough to defend it. However, sometimes assertiveness is not enough. In addition to that, here are 8 tips to help you be as successful as possible when wanting to ask for a raise. 

ask for a raise

How to ask for a raise: key tips 

1. Do your research

Before wondering how to ask for a raise, find out the salary range for a position like yours. Sometimes we are left with isolated references, or the time has passed since we joined this company, and we still have standards of that time in our minds. Times change, and it is vital that, with them, we readjust our salary expectations

Sometimes, we change roles, even departments, within the same company, and we acquire new responsibilities. Still, we keep the salary conditions of the position we started with. That is why it is important to bear in mind that not all professional profiles and not all departments handle the same numbers, so your salary should be adjusted to what you are currently doing.  

2. Understand your job’s characteristics

Keep track of all the tasks assigned to you and those you take on in your day-to-day work. Assign them a realistic degree of relevance, difficulty, and responsibility. Having a panoramic view of everything you do and don’t do will help you make a better case for why you deserve to ask for a raise right now. 

3. Prepare a good statement

Wanting to ask for a raise is not just asking for it and being lucky enough to get it. As we mentioned in the previous point, it is important to properly debate what we want to achieve to convince the other person that our proposal is a good idea. 

Think about the content of your proposal:

  • What figure do you consider appropriate?
  • Why are you requesting it now?
  • Why do you deserve it?
  • How will you raise the issue (if other topics are discussed at the meeting that may divert you from the subject you want to deal with)?

4. Manners matter

In addition to the main underlying message (“I want to ask for a raise”), you should think about the focus and tone of your request. Demands (“There is no reason why my salary should not be increased”) or threats (“If I don’t get a raise, I’m leaving”) may work to increase the likelihood of getting a raise. 

The problem is that demands do not usually generate a good atmosphere in the conversation, and threats must be made to be effective. Therefore, keep these tricks for when they are really needed and start by adopting a constructive, firm style that shows you are not improvising. 

If you state things clearly and without hesitation, without being aggressive or apologetic, you are more likely to be understood and granted what you are asking for. 

5. Think about a possible counteroffer

Sometimes we are not given the first thing we ask for, so it is essential to have a plan B that is also suitable for us: if the requested amount is not feasible at this time, think about the appropriate amount that you feel is right for you. If you are not granted a financial increase, think about how else they could improve your conditions in exchange for not improving the financial aspect. This way, you will give a more confident impression, and the negotiation will be easier and friendlier.

6. Choose the right moment

Don’t think that just because your request is more than justified, any time is the right time to address it. You must choose the right time to send your message: for example, in a month’s time to coincide with my performance review, or at the end of summer, or before the vacations, or next week just when we have finished a specific project, and we are all calmer and more receptive. 

Once you’ve more or less decided that, think about the best time of day (and the best “official reason”) to bring up the meeting where you’re going to ask for a raise, how you’ll take the initiative to talk to that person, or what is the most appropriate channel to do so. 

7. Prepare for the worst-case scenario 

Sometimes we launch a request for a pay rise as an appeal, an indirect message about our possible job dissatisfaction, or some other issue. And sometimes we get that raise, which we thought was unlikely. Other times we request a raise and are unsuccessful. If that happens, we must act accordingly and assume a readjustment in our responsibilities since that is what we wanted in theory. 

Whether it is yes or no, be prepared to react, verbally and nonverbally. Reserve the most intense reactions and think about the medium and long term. Maybe a ”yes” now is an opportunity to really structure your job content well. Perhaps a ”no” now is a ”yes” later, and that is why we must take care of our relationship with the company and not let our anger or frustration blur everything. 

ask for a raise

8. Practice first

Once again: things like how to successfully ask for a raise are not improvised. Don’t rely on the fact that everything you have in your head makes sense, is well structured, and you will be able to express it smoothly when the time comes. 

Prepare the main phrases you will say and pronounce them out loud to see how they sound. If you can, prepare the meeting beforehand with a friend or a trusted colleague who knows your job and the person you are going to interview, they will be able to help you polish some details

Rehearsing in safe conditions will help you think through possible counter-replies and help you become aware of your reactions when asked about the reasons for a raise. 

Emotional well-being for companies

At ifeel, we are committed to improving employee and company well-being. That is why we strive to help them in the challenge of generating stimulating and healthy work environments for their employees.  

For this purpose, our psychologists have created an emotional well-being program for companies. Through this collaboration, your company’s HR managers will be able to receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to improve their teams’ psychological well-being. In addition, this program provides employees with a complete mental health care service structured at different levels according to their needs. Try our program now to see how it can help you.

Visit our Resources section, where you will find podcasts, guides for Human Resources, or interviews with leading HR professionals. In addition, you will have access to a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template, which will help you comply with the Labor Inspection requirements.  

We hope this post about how to ask for a raise has given you some good ideas to make it easier for you when approaching your boss about this topic. Would you like to learn more about our emotional well-being program for organizations? Simply get in touch and we will contact your team as soon as possible.

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