salary raise

Raise: How to Negotiate at the Right Time?

Assume that if you don’t ask, you won’t get a raise. So prepare your arguments, because the situation can be more complicated than you think, especially during a period of epidemic. How to ask for a raise? How to negotiate it well and at the right time?

Do you want to increase your salary? For many, asking for a raise is a stressful time. To be as calm as possible on the day, it is important to be well prepared and not to go in with your hands in your pockets.

The key is to have the right arguments, to know your company’s salary policy, to choose the right time to negotiate your raise, to address the right person, and above all not to be afraid of rejection…

In short, even for those who feel comfortable, here is a little review of the rules of the game to choose the right time and the right arguments to obtain a raise.

What managers say are good reasons to give a raise

Generally, you don’t get a raise without a reason. Several factors appeal to managers and are considered good reasons for you to negotiate a raise. What are they? We take a look below.

After achieving objectives or several successes

You have exceeded your objectives, taken on a major challenge, and achieved a series of successes over the long term, then it is time to ask for a raise because you deserve it.

Be careful not to confuse a raise with an exceptional bonus. The total success of a project does not necessarily justify asking for a raise. In this case, it is better to ask for a bonus, it is more logical, executive coach. A raise generally recognizes continuous work or evolution of responsibilities.

If your salary is below market

For various reasons, your salary is below the average for your position and experience. A salary catch-up of about 4 to 5% should be anticipated in the annual budgets. The employee should not put his or her manager in a corner, but raise the issue with him or her well before the budgets are closed. Put them in a position to agree to open negotiations.

Once again, it is important to find out about the company’s salary policy, so as not to be too greedy in your request. If the company usually increases by 4%, don’t ask for 10.

Can we ask for a raise during the Covid-19 epidemic?

Very often dreaded by employees, asking for a raise is a source of stress. And the health and economic crisis we are experiencing can accentuate this feeling. Is this the right time to ask for a salary increase?

It is true that at first sight, short-time working, PSE, and possible economic lay-offs can dissuade from asking for any salary increase. But think again! Unless your company is in a complicated economic situation, you should dare to ask for a salary increase.

If you have worked particularly hard throughout 2020, including during lockdowns, it is natural to want to be rewarded.

The Coronavirus epidemic has forced many employees, of which you may be one, to adapt their working methods, to work overtime, or to go beyond the scope of their job description. All these efforts, in the interest of the company, certainly deserve a salary increase.

Find out about the company’s financial health before asking for a raise

We recommend that you first ask your manager about the economic realities of the company: is it close to bankruptcy? Or has it managed to keep its head above water? Or has it even been able to take advantage of Covid to make a profit? Depending on the answer to this first question, you will evaluate the opportunity to ask for a raise.

Justifying your request for a raise, especially in the midst of a Coronavirus crisis

If you have decided to go for it, the mere mention of the Covid-19 epidemic will not be enough to justify your salary increase. You have to back up what you say with arguments, and in particular, prove that your work has brought something beneficial to the company during the crisis:

  • List your actions, your successes, but also your failures.
  • Take concrete and verifiable figures.
  • Make an assessment of your year. And show how it was productive for the company.
  • Identify what was beneficial to the company.

The combination of multiple factors will allow a favorable outcome to your request: your sector of activity, your job, your role within the company, your concrete achievements, but also your behavior during the confinements.

Be realistic about the percentage increase you want

You have distinguished yourself during Covid-19, and you think you deserve a raise. After demonstrating your value to the company, you’ll need to be specific about how much you want.

So, what percentage increase do you want? For this last point, one word of advice: realism. You must be realistic and not too greedy.

To conclude, asking for a salary increase in Covid-19 times may seem insurmountable. In reality, with the right information about the company’s financial situation and the leeway your manager may have, but also by listing your accomplishments throughout the year, there is nothing to stop you from getting the raise you think you deserve.

The right attitude to adopt when asking for a raise

The right attitude to adopt when asking for a raise

Start the interview with easy topics. You can eliminate stress by approaching the meeting with trivialities such as a positive factor in the team’s atmosphere. Courtesy and confidence are a must.

And during your sales pitch, ask your manager’s opinion. “What is your position on my request? And you start the debate with other arguments,” the coach imagines. Also ask questions that can only lead to affirmative answers from your manager, such as “Do you agree with me that my results have brought real added value to the company?”, adds the consultant.

The right arguments to negotiate your raise

You have to understand the question from the employer’s point of view: Why increase this employee rather than another? It is at this stage that the notion of scarcity and profitability of the employee comes into play.

Clearly, there is very little chance of getting a raise if you are an ‘interchangeable’ employee. The company will be more open to increasing the elements that are absolutely necessary and indispensable to its development.

It is essential to accumulate factual, quantitative, and qualitative elements, therefore tangible, allowing us to measure performance: savings made, revenues generated, errors avoided, increase in productivity… The accumulation of this indisputable evidence will demonstrate the value-added to the company.

You have contributed to the improvement of quality, customer satisfaction or have developed an emotional intelligence at the service of the company, it is up to you to remind your manager the elements on which you base your request.

When is the best time to ask for a raise?

There are several key moments in the life of a company to ask for a salary increase. But some are more important than others…

During your annual performance review

This meeting with your manager is an opportunity to review the past year but also to talk about your projects, your expectations, your desires, and what he/she plans for you.

In the second part of the annual interview, which focuses on future projects, the employee has the opportunity to give factual reasons for his/her request for a raise to his/her manager.

Our advice: if you get a gesture from your manager or your employer, there is one golden rule that you must follow to encourage him or her to repeat the operation: thank them after getting a raise.


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