How to Negotiate a Raise

When we start out a new job, there is always a stated starting salary which you are paid, however, over time, you may end up taking on new duties and roles or you end up meeting and surpassing your initial targets and goals. With time, you increase in value and the services you offer, increase in value thus requiring you to get a pay rise and earn more. There are companies and organizations that have structured pay rise procedures whereby after a certain period of time you automatically get an increase in salary, however, for some companies and organizations, as a staff member, you have to ask for a pay rise for you to get one. If you feel that you deserve an increase, then you should approach your manager or your boss, or the human resource department and ask for a pay rise.


Asking for a pay rise is not as simple as walking into your boss’s office and saying you want a pay rise, your boss says an emphatic yes and that’s it. To get that pay rise that you really want, you will have to go through a negotiation process with your employer to show that you really deserve a pay rise. Negotiating for a pay rise requires a strategy, a strategy that will work to your advantage and show your employer that you not only deserve a pay raise but that it is long overdue.


Know all your Achievements and Accomplishments

One of the key factors when negotiating for a pay raise is that you should know all your achievements that you have accomplished over the years while working for your employer. These achievements should include everything you have achieved as an individual as well as a team with your colleagues. Achievements work to show that you are growing as well as show the immense input you offer and the amount of organizational success can be attributed to the fact that you are part of the organization’s workforce.  Showing your value right from the start is a great way of negotiating because it not only shows what you have done thus far, but it also shows how much more you have to offer and that the organization needs, and can rely on you so as to achieve its mandate through the various duties and tasks assigned to you.

As you negotiate for a pay raise, do not hesitate to show all your achievements including those that you think are small achievements as they all add up to show your immense value as an employee and that you truly deserve to be paid more as compensation for your input.


Know your Job Description and Duties

When you are given a job, you will be given a job description based on what you are supposed to do and the duties you are to undertake.


However, with time you may find yourself engaging in more duties and roles, taking up new duties gradually. You may find yourself doing your job as well as undertaking supervisory roles amongst other roles that may eventually lead to your job description changing as you adapt to a changing working environment. Take note of these and all the extra roles that you have ended up taking since you were employed and use this as a bargaining tool to show that you actually do more than expected and as such you deserve to be paid more. Further, show how you undertook these extra roles effectively to enable the organization or company to achieve its mandate.


Compare Your Salary to Others

Companies will operate within a given industry, for example, the banking industry, the agriculture industry or the manufacturing industry. Compare your salary with your peers in your industry and get to know how much they are paid. If you are an administrator in an educational institution, compare your salary to administrators in other educational institutions since they most probably undertake the same duties as you do. If their salary is higher, then you may have a bargaining point when you are negotiating for a salary raise, if you can convince your employer that you should be paid as per the job market standards for an employee in your position.


This information is further useful because it enables you to come up with an exact figure of how much you should earn as your new salary after the pay raise. Having an exact figure in mind when negotiating for a pay raise is ideal because it helps you to determine how much you can compromise.


Have a Figure in mind

When you go to negotiate for a pay raise, do not go without having a figure in mind. This ensures that you have a figure to work with when negotiating and even if you have to compromise, you will know in reference to how much, should you be willing to accept, as a reasonable offer.  It is always important that when you are going to negotiate, you should have a minimum figure which you are willing to accept as a reasonable pay raise. Without a figure, it is always easy to find yourself accepting the first offer given to you.


Approach negotiations in a professional manner

If you wish to have a successful pay raise negotiation, then you should approach it as a professional. Gather all the information you need and then book an appointment so as to set up a meeting with your boss or manager. Once the meeting has started, always go straight to the point and make it clear that your intention is to negotiate for a pay raise. Make your case and state your facts that support the need for increasing your pay but in no way do not give ultimatums or issue threats.


Threatening to quit your job if the pay raise is not awarded, or issuing any other form of threat that seeks to arm-twist your organization into agreeing to give you a pay raise will lead to failure and not only may you end up without a pay raise, you may even end up without a job.

Furthermore, do not approach the negotiations with a feeling of entanglement but rather at the back of your mind, always know that you may be told a firm No! to your pay raise request so always approach the negotiation table with an open mind. Always be ready to compromise during the negotiations. You may not get what you were expecting but it is better to get something rather than end up with no pay raise at all because you could not compromise. A negotiation process always involves some give and take from the parties involved.


Time your negotiations right

Asking for a pay raise is not wrong, however, the timing may be totally wrong. Before you ask for a pay raise, understand how your organization work and this will enable you to know when the best time to ask for a pay raise. For most organizations, job evaluations are undertaken every year to analyze the performance of the employees and whether they achieve their set targets in terms of performance and service delivery.


After such an evaluation, if you have a great score that shows you achieved your targets as set by the organization, then it may be a great time to start negotiating for a pay raise rather than waiting for 8 months after the evaluation is done.

For some organizations, the best time to ask for a pay raise may be after the announcement of the annual performance of the organization and it is clear that the organization is growing and making profits. This can be a great moment to show that the company is growing and you deserve a pay raise due to the vast input you offer to lead to success.

Understanding how your organization operates will be of great help in ensuring that you are able to determine the best possible time to negotiate for a pay raise.


Consider negotiating for other benefits and allowances

Sometimes, despite putting a great negotiation and clearly showing your value and why you deserve a pay raise, your organization still says no and they refuse to increase your salary.  However, if this happens, do not give up but rather; consider negotiating to have your allowances increased as well as getting other benefits such as medical cover, life insurance or even getting tuition grants if you wish to further your education. You may not get the pay raise but such benefits and allowances can go a long way and can be a source of extra money or help you to reduce your spending such as on tuition fees. At the start of your pay raise negotiations, always have the option to negotiate for additional benefits and allowances as a contingency plan in case you do not get the pay raise.




In any negotiation, there are three possible outcomes. You may get your way, the other party may get their way, or a compromise may be reached. Therefore, when you are negotiating for a pay raise, always know that you may get a pay raise, get nothing or you may end up settling on a compromise which you and your employer may agree up. If you are denied the pay raise, then you must be able to accept it gracefully without issuing threats but rather you can plot a way forward on how you can get the pay raise in future. Always ask the reasons behind your organization’s refusal to give you a pay raise and you and your manager or boss can plot the way forward. You can come up with new targets as well as a timeline and after you have achieved the target set, you may then be given a pay raise or at least re-start negotiating for a pay raise.


The key thing when negotiating is to always go with an open mind and remember it is better to get something even if it is not what you expected rather than leaving the negotiation table with nothing at all. Time your pay raise negotiations well and have all the necessary information needed and you can be sure to get something at the end of the negotiations.

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