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Handling Difficult Conversations On Salary

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Salary negotiations are one of the most uncomfortable and / or avoided conversations that any employee can have. However, here are a few tips to ensure higher chances of success.

  1. Prepare your case:
  • Have a good reason why you are asking for a salary raise before the conversation. A reason like “I just feel like it is time,” will not work. Consider tying your reasons for compensation to important personal development in your life.
  • Understand what your market value. This means have data what other people in your industry, in similar companies, working in your particular role, and possessing the same skills and certifications are getting paid. This approach to giving a number holds more merit than just focusing on your specific contributions to the company. Market value is an undeniable benchmark.
  • Highlight individual wins that are relevant to your manager. Take a step back to the last few months and recall what you worked on and the specific value you added. Also, if you have acquired any new skills or certifications be sure to bring those up if they will allow you to be more indispensible to your team.
  1. Timing is everything:
  • Understand your, and your employers, emotions before you have this discussion. It is important to come into a discussion with facts not frustration. The employer will appreciate a positive attitude during the negotiation. It is also as important to understand if your manager is currently under any stress. If your manager is stressed there is a high chance that your need for a raise will not be a high priority.
  • See if you can time your conversation right before the budget and / or compensation allocations are decided. It is usually hard for any salary adjustments to happen once a budget has been set.
  1. If all else fails, have your Plan B demands:
  • Understand what else would make you comfortable or appease you for the time being. This could be vacations days, tuition reimbursements, or other benefits. Again, have an important reason for why you are asking for an adjustment to any of these benefits.