Bonnie Scherry, G&A Partners’ director of Corporate HR, recently shared her best salary negotiation tips in an article for CUES, an international membership organization of credit union CEOs, their direct reports and future leader credit union employees.
If one of your goals this year is to pluck up the courage to ask your boss for a raise this year, you’re not alone. In fact, a Robert Half survey found that getting a raise or promotion was among the most popular career-related resolutions respondents had, second only to seeking professional development opportunities.
But deciding you want to ask for a raise is one thing—how do you go about doing the actual asking? For many people (managers included), talking about money is incredibly uncomfortable. It’s even considered a bit of a social taboo among older generations of employees (although millennials tend to be less prone to subscribe to this idea). Employees who want to check off this particular resolution will have to get over that fear, however, because very few employers are in the habit of handing out spontaneous raises.
Employees looking to negotiate a higher salary should keep in mind:
While many workers might think the best time of year to ask for a raise is in early in the year, the truth is that decisions about pay levels are most often as part of a company’s annual budget process, which is usually completed in the fall. (This timeline will vary, of course, for businesses that operate on a fiscal year that does not coincide with the calendar year.) If you don’t know when your company’s annual budget review process occurs, you might want to consider asking your manager.
Another important date to keep in mind is the company’s review cycle. Even though many companies are moving away from the traditional annual performance appraisal process, merit raises are still typically tied to how an employee performed over the course of the year, however and whenever the organization measures performance.
The last key to timing is giving your manager enough notice that you would like to talk about your salary. If you have regular one-on-one meetings with your boss, ask that your salary be added as an agenda item for the next meeting. If you don’t have a regular schedule set up, stop by or send your manager an email to let them know you’d like to schedule a meeting sometime soon to talk about salary.
Most employees have a general idea of whether they would be considered a high-performing or an under-performing employee by their boss. If you haven’t thought about where you rank, grab a scratch sheet of paper and take a few minutes to honestly evaluate your performance compared to that of your coworkers. Do you consistently meet all your goals or key performance indicators? Do you get along with your team members? Do you take initiative to lead projects or assist other coworkers? Do you actively participate in brainstorming sessions or offer new ideas? Do you get to work on time every day?
Knowing your own value is just one part of the equation when it comes to salary negotiations—demonstrating that value to your immediate supervisor and other members of the leadership team is just as, if not even more so, important. As much as all employees want to feel like their boss notices every time they go above and beyond their job duties, the truth is that it’s not only your manager’s responsibility to be aware of all the great things you do—it’s also your responsibility to help them make sure you’re keeping them in the loop. Apps like DayOne, Producteev and Trello are great for keeping track of all the work you do over the course of the year, and provide you with at-your-fingertips data to be able to justify why you think you deserve a raise.
Looking for more salary negotiation tips? Check out the full version of this article on the myCUES app. Find it under “Spotlight.”
This article was originally published on CUES’ “Daily Deposits” blog on February 23, 2018. Click here to view the article on the CUES website. CUES members can also read the full version of the article on the myCUES app.