Negotiating a salary increase: 5 ways of getting what you want

Negotiating a salary increase: 5 ways of getting what you want

You’ve been working in the same company for quite a few years. You’re as enthusiastic about it as on Day 1, you’re a hard worker and you’re always ready to give your best, and yet you can’t help feeling a sense of dismay every time you look at your pay slip. So, you start running a series of complicated calculations and equations, and you conclude that your commitment to the firm merits a salary well above its current level. You become convinced that you deserve a pay rise. To maximize your chances when facing your boss or administration and to persuade them to accommodate your request, you need to follow a few imperative rules.

1. Analyze your salary realistically

The first thing to do when you want an increase is to analyze your current situation so that you can analyze your salary in the current context. To do this, consider a few things:

  • The context in which your business is evolving (business sector, size, geographical area…)
  • Your situation in the company: nature of your position, the level of responsibilities you exercise and your professional experience and seniority in the organization.

By situating yourself in the company, you will ask yourself the right questions and get a better grip on reality. Indeed, there is often a gap between the perception of one’s own salary and the reality of the labor market. To situate yourself in relation to the market, you can begin to estimate your “Right Salary” by looking at job offers and researching compensation offered for similar positions in other companies worldwide. You can also consult the sectoral studies provided by recruitment agencies.

2. Make a convincing argument with a personal assessment

Having analyzed your salary and the market, are you still sure you deserve a pay rise? If you still think so, you should start by drawing up a convincing pitch with an objective self-assessment. More precisely, list all your recent successes and your various challenges ahead to support your arguments. As the saying goes: “Men may lie, but numbers do not.” Draw on figures and other examples to support all your achievements that have created quantitative or qualitative added value for the company. You can also mention psychological aspects and talk about the stress or high pressure of the position, which are other ways to get an increase or other benefits.

3. Be open to benefits other than a pay rise

We tend to focus blindly and exclusively on getting a pay rise as the only way of improving our material conditions. It may occur that the company is simply unable to afford the budgetary impact of a salary increase but may instead offer you other benefits that will improve your income or your everyday life. Therefore, if you are prepared to consider other benefits such as a smartphone, the use of a company car, the offer of bonuses or higher bonuses, a training course paid for by the firm or the possibility of spending fewer days at work, you will have more options to explore in your negotiations.

4. Ask for a pay rise at the right time

Asking your employer for a raise is not easy because there will always be a chance it is unsuccessful, even if you expect a positive response. Nevertheless, you must time your request right.
The best solution is to write to your employer formally once you have decided to push for a raise. Do not tell them in advance that you want to negotiate a pay rise. This means you must avoid periods of peak activity when everyone is under pressure or stretched. Use the opportunity offered by a successful project completion, a time when you are offered new responsibilities or the “anniversary of your arrival in the company” to start up the conversation. You don’t get the chance to negotiate a salary increase with your employer every day, so don’t blow it by choosing the wrong timing.

5. Adopt the right attitude during the meeting

During the meeting, don’t allow the importance of the negotiation or your frustration to dominate your feelings, and avoid adopting a conflictual or aggressive attitude. Use your energy to seek common ground with your employer. No matter what transpires, keep smiling and stay calm. You must stay positive and demonstrate diplomacy and flexibility, which will be the best way to achieve a favorable result. In a calm and well-organized way, set out your arguments, illustrating your achievements with figures and concrete examples. Regardless of the outcome of your discussions with your employer, stay calm and do not make any spur-of-the-moment decisions. Analyze the reasons they gave you objectively. Are they justified? Are they irreversible?

Negotiating a pay increase is far from being an easy undertaking. It is a very meticulous job for which you need to carefully prepare the ground and take stock of your achievements and merits.