How to Ask for a Raise and Justify It

It can be very difficult to muster up courage to ask your boss for a pay raise. The key to asking for an increase has to do with timing, professionalism, and strategy.  PrideStaff Financial offers some tips on how to ask for a raise the right way.

Why now is the time:
With national unemployment down to six percent, many states have room to breathe and businesses have room to grow. As businesses expand and take on new employees, create new jobs and grow the industry, they are creating more responsibilities for those currently working for them.

With the recession behind us, many employers feel more comfortable offering pay raises to top employees. Each state is at a different tipping point in the marketplace; rarely do national trends accurately reflect local market conditions.  In order to justify asking for a raise, do your homework and research current rates for your position and title within your state. If you find that you are already being paid above the state average for your position, you may have more hurdles to jump over than others. You will need sound statistics and a proven track record to show why your boss should pay you more than what is already considered above state average.

Know the rules and conduct of your work environment:
You should be well versed in your company’s policies and procedures. If you have done your research and feel you are being paid below the state average, yet your workload reflects a higher salary, then make sure your timing is right. Thumb through the policies for your company—many companies state how they go about offering annual increases. If your company is one where raises are considered after annual performance reviews, then it is unlikely you will receive a pay increase any other time of year. Align your request with that of your performance review. Upon evaluation, write down the statistics for the state average and the results of your recent review. This would be the best way to tackle asking for a raise in a company that has strict guidelines for raises.

If, however, your company does not rely on performance evaluations, then the best time of year would be at the start of a new fiscal year, when a company’s performance and revenue objectives have been determined. When a company is doing well, it does not feel as absurd to offer pay increases to hard-working employees. Some companies stamp out procedures for discussing raises and may even have HR paperwork to fill out. This is why knowing your company’s policies is the best way to start this process.

Be prepared to present:
Take a look at your work contributions to determine how you will present the request for a pay raise. You need to be able to answer the question of why you deserve an increase.  List the goals you have accomplished for the company. Determine how those accomplishments have helped the company and your continued commitment to the company. Document costs savings, improved productivity, personal work development, projects achieved, and ways in which you have contributed beyond the scope of your “job duties.”

Make a list of all additional responsibilities you have added to your job. Have a percentage or number set in your mind before you walk into the meeting that will reflect your contributions. If you put a presentation together and feel your boss will not take kindly to the request, it may be smarter to ask what you need to do to qualify for the higher salary or raise in the future—if you can’t justify a salary increase now.

PrideStaff Financial, a top rated recruiting firm in the nation, has a finger on the pulse of current market trends. We can help you put a plan together to advance your career. Contact ustoday to learn more.