Conversations about money can be awkward and unpleasant… particularly when you’re asking for more! But, when it comes to negotiating your salary increase, is it a discomfort you can afford to avoid?
Your annual performance review is the perfect time to broach the conversation, so take a look at “The Road Map” below and ensure you’re headed in the right direction when you’ve got the floor!
Negotiating your next Salary Increase – The Road Map
1. Research your Market Value
Before we get going, it is always important to recognise the difference between the value of the role that you perform (to the organization), and your value as an individual. The two are not the same. There will be instances when your employer simply and legitimately has reached the limit of the value that they can place on your position, which is a separate equation to your value as an individual. Simply put; a qualified doctor employed to do basic admin work doesn’t deserve a doctors salary.
Where you haven’t yet reached that ceiling within your organization, your best jumping-off point is to know your market rate. While your current employer will never really pay you what someone else will, having solid market data in your back pocket will be good ammo to substantiate your request for consideration. While in Cayman we do not have an official salary survey, the job advertisements in the press will often post related salaries – so keep a keen eye on these.
2. If you are going to ask, you better know what you’re asking for!
To help you prepare, you’re going to need to ask yourself some hard questions;
- What are you goals and driving factors? Start with your desired end result in mind and work backwards.
- You will need to be clear about why is this is so important to you and your rationale behind it. Why does this have to be done now? (NB – Never incorporate personal reasons why you need money. Not only will it reek of desperation – it’s inappropriate and unprofessional. Stick to building these points around your professional prowess and let your work performance do the talking.)
- Is there a precedent in place for how your employer awards pay increases?
These are all questions you need to ask and be able to answer for yourself before broaching this conversation with your employer.
You need to pre-empt the objections you may be met with and, as with all uncomfortable conversations and presentations, the more comfortable you are with the subject matter and content, the more confident and successful you are likely to be.
3. Build your Business Case
When preparing for your salary review, work on the assumption that you are going to need a water-tight business case and evidence of your skills.
Have you kept a performance tracker file i.e. notes on projects completed, additional work, achievements, positive feedback etc.? If not, it’s a good idea to spend some time jotting down some notes on this.
Highlight your successes and progression and professional development in your negotiation discussions. Draw attention to quantifiable data, such as; figures, stats and timeframes. Recap on your track record in producing results and other stages over the preceding 12 months that demonstrate your value.
Company performance and your contribution to same should also be considered – highlight business development wins, ROI successes etc. that you had a direct involvement in.
4. The Conversation
You will need to be clear with yourself on what your boundaries are. How much scope for flexibility are you prepared to allow? What are you willing to accept? What aren’t you willing to accept?
It’s not a bad idea to have a backup plan or alternate scenario that would work for you too.
Remuneration packages don’t necessarily have to come in one set format, they can come in many shapes and forms,be open to alternatives such as; profit sharing, increased benefits, stock options, company car, fuel or meal expense allowances, etc. Some of these perks can really add up quickly and shouldn’t be disregarded without strong consideration.
5. Silence is Golden
Good negotiators aren’t afraid of a little awkward silence. Don’t feel pressured into speaking too soon. You are entitled to mull over the offer and take your time in reviewing what’s on the table. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying something like – “Thanks for that, I’m going get to back to you on it”.
Even where you think the offer is perfect, I would still recommend giving yourself a night to sleep on it.
Whether or not you get what you want, your request can’t be left to hang in thin air – you need to close the discussion. Thank your employer for their time in facilitating the conversation and their consideration of the matter. Whatever happens, if you’re happy to stay, then stay. If you’re not, then you might need to give some serious consideration to leaving. If you want to try again next year, that’s also up to you.