How to Ask for a Salary Increase

How to ask for a salary increase?

An employee who has served well for a company usually gets a salary increment or rise (e.g., every after a year of service). The amount of increment depends on a number of factors. These include the company policy (or government policy for civil servants), work performance (based on KPIs or performance appraisal) and terms may already be stipulated in employment contract.

There may be a situation where you discover that you are being paid below the market salary. Your earning may not reflect the number of total experience you have accumulated. Also, the meteoric rise in cost of living may deem the 4% increment unjustified. We all know you have been working hard and all, and hence being confined into a lower salary territory can really be frustrating.

So, how do you ask for a salary increment?

Before you make any move, please take note that salary is a delicate issue. It is a sensitive work element that can affect a lot of people in the organization. Approach this constructively yet with particular care. Don’t be too emotional about it. Here is what you can do:

1. Talk to your superior

The first, most appropriate thing to do is to approach your supervisor, indicating your intention. Don’t come too strongly; be courteous in your talk. No guns blazing here. What you want to do is gauge if the intention of asking for a salary increment can be further explored. Now, your immediate boss may not be bestowed with the absolute power to grant you a pay raise, but he or she is all for it, he can come out with a few ideas to go about this.

2. Justify your request for increase

Don’t just simply explain that you need a salary increase because you need it. Justify why you’re worth an increment. And this goes back to a key element in your job: your performance. How do you fare yourself in terms of capability and delivery compared to your peers? Are you a cut above the rest? What does your last performance appraisal tells about your work quality? Is there any really significant achievement that you have spearheaded in the past one year? If you had introduced a new account processing workflow that reduces speed by 30% and minimizes manpower resources, then by all means emphasize this during your discussion.

3. Prepare to be upset

This sound like a really pessimistic advice, but the truth is you can only get either of the two answers: yes or no. If yes, then that’s great (it may not a straightforward process but it is definitely better than being shot down). If no, you will be left with your own options on the next course of actions. Spend some time reflecting your value to the company. If you feel that your contributions outweigh your pay, perhaps it’s time to polish up the resume and gear up to jump to the job market.

4. Make it official   

When talks are done, find ways to make it official. For instance, a company may ask you to write a formal letter indicating your wish for a salary increment. Don’t take this as burden or a bureaucratic process. Rather, view it in a positive way that your request is being heard, and that things are moving in the right direction. You are almost there. Where appropriate, get your management to know that your immediate boss support your quest.

When all these are done, pray hard that your wish of getting a salary increment will end with a happy ending. Always remember, when you want something, the first thing to do is ask for it. Otherwise, you will never get it.