According to a report in the Harvard Business Review, nearly 42% of organizations recognize high performers by giving them a minimum pay hike of 10%, which can go all the way up to 20-30%. However, asking for a salary hike can be stressful. In fact, compensation is the second highest reason why employees leave organizations.

When requesting a pay raise, it’s best to prepare well to communicate your points clearly. Use these conversation starters to keep your discussion smooth and effective:

Step 1: Set the context for the conversation

No matter how hard you’ve been working, getting a raise is often an outcome of a lucid and positive request. A common mistake is to wait until one is overworked or severely underpaid, which can lead to a conversation driven by frustration rather than confidence. We suggest you start the conversation early when you are in the right frame of mind. Set the context in a relaxed yet professional environment – and before you are swamped with more responsibilities than you wanted.

Step 2: List out tangible outcomes and measurable goals

Once you’ve set the context for your meeting, it’s time to present your case. Being objective is important. So, have your performance data at your fingertips. It’s the evidence to support your request. List out your accomplishments, challenges overcome, and value delivered for the company like higher revenue, time-saving solutions, etc. If you are open to taking on additional responsibilities, prepare a set of measurable goals that you plan to achieve in your new role as well.

You can ease into this with statements such as – “I have been working here for 5 years, and I want to move to the next step both in terms of my professional responsibilities and compensation. I’d like to share some tangible data about my contributions during this period.”

Step 3: Be precise about your ask

Before the meeting, research the salary range of your job and have ready comparisons with your current salary package and your expected hike. This ensures that your request is fair and based on market data. To avoid being vague, we suggest you clearly state the number or percentage increase you’re hoping for. This will help you and your boss come out of the meeting with specific takeaways.

Try using statements like: “Could we have a conversation about the raise? I am hoping for a X% hike as I feel it is compatible with my performance and the current market offering. I have some data to support this, too. May I show it to you?”  

Step 4. Prepare for different outcomes

Your manager might not accept all your requests. So, work towards a win-win and prepare for different possible outcomes. These could include being unable to cater to your request, providing a lower raise than you asked for, or a request for more time. In all cases, plan your responses based on how you would like to proceed, what timelines you are comfortable with, or what additional responsibilities you can handle.

Provide an opening for further conversation by saying, “I understand the challenges you mentioned. I am open to resuming this conversation at a later time. Until then, could you share a ballpark figure of what would be a feasible amount?” 

Remember, getting a salary raise is not an individual decision. Your boss has to convince his senior managers as well. Remember to stay positive and state your case clearly. Good luck!

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