How to negotiate a higher salary 101 | Tips from an employer
Written by Neo Sukude on 22nd Jan 2020
Negotiating your salary is a key skill needed to build a strong career.
Asking for a salary increase/raise may seem daunting, but would it hurt to try? Also, if you don’t ask for your own increase, who should?
Here are a few ways to tackle salary negotiations and bring in that extra coin!
Know your timing
Asking for a salary increase may be disruptive for your employer, so getting your timing right is crucial.
The last thing you’d want is to be labelled as is the employee that’s a “pain in the neck” by senior staff.
Most companies run a performance management process, annually, bi-yearly and sometimes quarterly. Raising the subject of your salary during your performance/KPI review is a good option. If your company does not run this process, raising the negotiation could be at your advantage if brought up just before your company’s next fiscal/financial year. This is when the company reviews its finances from the previous year and sets budget plans for the upcoming financial year.
Confidence is key
Your posture says a lot about you and your approach. Make sure to enter the room with the right body language. Stand straight, head high, and carry a smile. Author and entrepreneur James Clear states that “the way you enter a room can dictate how the rest of the interaction will be.”
Maintain positive energy throughout the salary discussions to attract a positive potential outcome.
Show what you’ve done, and can do.
Before you start talking numbers, talk about what you’ve done, what you can do and show the employer the value you bring to the company.
Founder of Clik Tech, Kevin Ssemwogerere, says to
“remember to build a business case for a raise and be factual in doing so, this can be achieved by quoting evidence of individual performance which reflects that your level of skill and experience is worth more than what you are currently paid.”
Aim to be the company’s asset; and if you are already, show them. Take your manager through your achievements with your manager or employer. This can be either any qualifications you have achieved that align with your line of work during the course of the year, or milestones you’ve helped your company reach.
If possible, print a copy for your manager to look at while you summarize what you’ve achieved this year. You’ll also want to highlight the times when you’ve gone above and beyond in your role for the company, this will help build your case.
Research your market value
Ssemwogerere, mentions the importance of knowing what the market pays for your skills and that the amount you negotiate is not exorbitant or thumb-sucked.
“Do your homework about market-related salaries for your perceived new level of skills and experience to be sure that you are negotiating fairly,” Ssemwogerere says.
Negotiating a raise is primarily linked to your value. To get a rough idea of what you should be asking for, speak to people doing similar roles as you are within your company, in the same sector or department, and in similar organisations.
Be sure to talk to people you know well so that you’re both comfortable, as asking someone about their salary may be a little awkward if you’ll don’t roll like that. In some cases, it is illegal to discuss your salary with a colleague. So please, tread lightly with this one.
The other option is to check the good ol’ internet.
Know what you’re asking for
Always keep your end-goal in mind. Ask yourself questions such as:
Why is this raise so important to you?
Why does this have to be done now?
Does your salary fit into overall career trajectory?
It’s important to be clear about your motive for the raise as well as being reasonable and rational.
Another thing to note during negotiations is to not make it entirely personal about any burdens and financial strains you’re facing. This may be perceived as unprofessional by your employer.
On this, Ssemwogerere adds:
“forget about using sympathy for your personal financial needs to emotionally manipulate your manager into a salary raise.
This may work in some instances, but it is likely to be damaging to your long term reputation as you become known for using your personal matters to manipulate your way into better pay.
This may ruin your ambition to work hard and obtain recognition on merit and this may ultimately result into falling out of favour in a workplace that may change when your boss is replaced by another person who has no emotional familiarity with you.”