As Companies Free Up Cash, Could Raises Follow

U.S. workers may have reason to hope this year as companies may free up some of their stock piles of cash, according to an article in the online version of the Wall Street Journal. Challenger offered some tips on how to ask for a raise this year.

ADVICE FOR REQUESTING A RAISE

Do your homework. Finding out how your company is faring through the economic slump and recovery is a critical piece of information to know before you even broach the subject of a raise with your boss. If your company is doing well, you can use this information to determine how much of an increase in pay to ask for. However, if your company is still struggling to turn a profit, showing you understand the organization’s precarious financial situation can help eliminate your boss’ immediate resistance to you asking for a raise and open the door for compromise.

Prepare to make your case. Arm yourself with facts that support your request for increased compensation. Gather emails from superiors praising your performance and make note of your achievements since your last raise. Documenting your contributions to an organization is more important than ever in an unstable economy. Employers need to see exactly what you have accomplished to warrant a salary increase. Maybe you’ve taken on extra responsibilities after your company laid off workers or you found ways to cut wasteful spending. These kinds of achievements showcase your worth to the company, especially in today’s tight economy, and help support your claim that you should be compensated accordingly.

Research your salary. You should also research and find out what other professionals in your field and location are making. If your salary is below average, this data is a great bargaining chip in getting a bump in payment. If it is on target, it gives you a starting point from which to adjust according to your value as an employee.

If at first refused, try again. Listen to your boss’ explanation for refusing to grant you a raise. If it is budgetary, ask for non-monetary things like more vacation days or the opportunity for company-paid training. If it is based on performance, work with your boss to set goals and a date to review the topic again.

Don’t make ultimatums. You definitely want to keep the tone of the meeting positive and focused on your contributions to the company. The second you say or even imply that a salary increase is requisite for you to remain with the company, the conversation takes a negative turn and becomes an adversarial process. That is the last thing you want.

Tips To Help Make A Case For A Raise

Seek more responsibility. Volunteer for challenging tasks and exhibit a take-charge attitude. By assuming additional responsibilities, you demonstrate how you can increase value for the corporation.

Meet your boss’s boss. At the next company event, go out of your way to meet those at least two rungs higher on the corporate ladder. They are the ones who can advance your career.

Join a company committee. Whether it is a committee developing new workplace policies or simply planning the company holiday party, joining or volunteering can help you build relationships with other people in your company whom you might otherwise never meet.

Find and/or become a mentor. Mentoring and being mentored provide perspectives and new ideas about career goals and how to achieve them.

Align individual and company goals. Evaluate your company’s goals and identify the similarities and differences in comparison to your personal career objectives. Look to bridge the gap in differences by attending meetings and company-offered development courses. This illustrates your willingness to be on board with the company’s future plans.

Discover ways to save money. Find ways to increase efficiency and performance while decreasing costs. This is especially important in a time when employers are looking for ways to reduce spending. You will be making a significant contribution to the organization’s profitability.

Become an expert on one facet of your field. It is important to be a generalist, but knowing more than anyone else on a specific issue or topic will help make you the “go-to” person for anyone in the company who has a question on that area. This specialized knowledge makes you extremely valuable and should be covered in your resume.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.©

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