Asking for a raise can be the single most awkward conversation you have at work. But it shouldn’t be. With proper preparation and a foolproof strategy, asking for a raise is a simple conversation. We’ve put together this guide on how to ask for a raise to help you prepare for a successful raise negotiation
It’s worth it to be brave and learn how to ask for a raise. Negotiating a raise has big pay consequences throughout your career. If you raise the idea of a raise, there’s certain steps to follow to ensure you’re successful.In order to get what you deserve, follow these 5 steps to know how to ask for a raise next time:
Keep track of success
Surprise! You don’t get a raise for doing your job. You get “more” for doing “more”. However, when we think back over the last 6 months of work, it’s difficult to remember what you’ve accomplished. It’s much easier if you’re keeping track of your success as you go.
Do your research
Salary research used to be squarely left to recruitment firms and hiring consultants. But in the last few years, there’s been many new services to help the average employee find what their worth.
If you find your compensation is below market value for your city and experience level, your conversation will be much easier. Take snapshots of your research and use them to back up your negotiations. If you did leave to find another role, you’d end up with a better salary.
Resources for customer support salary research:
HelpScout’s customer service salary tool
SupportDriven’s salary survey
Roleplay before the big day
Getting the words out can be more difficult than you think. You don’t want to stumble, waffle or get tongue tied when it matters.
Roleplaying a raise negotiation can help you format what you want to say, and recall it even when you’re super nervous. A mentor, friend or family member can help you practice the conversation.
Start with simply stating what you want to talk about. This might be at the end of a regularly scheduled one on one, a review, or a meeting you set specifically to talk about your compensation.
Manager: “Is there anything else you’d like to talk about”
You: “Yes, actually. I’d like to discuss updating my compensation to reflect my new skills and the value I bring to the team.”
Here are a few more phrases to help you navigate the conversation:
Don’t Waffle – “I was just maybe thinking that we could possibly perhaps talk about a raise. If you want.”
Do Be direct – “I’d like to discuss updating my compensation to reflect my new skills and the value I bring to the team.”
Don’t Complain, whine or be negative – “No one appreciates me and everyone makes more money than me.”
Do Share objective research – “I found that the average market rate for customer support agents in our area is 15% higher than what I’m making. I’ve also completed four classes in management at our local college, which has helped me provide leadership to the team in these areas.”
Don’t Use Personal Circumstances – “My dog is really sick and my husband just lost his job, so I really need a helping hand.”
Do Point to Personal Success – “I’m consistently performing above expectations, and my last 3 reviews have all shown that. I close more tickets than anyone else on the team, and my CSAT score is consistently above 95%.”
Don’t Make Ultimatums – “I need a 10% raise tomorrow, or else I quit.”
Do Take time to consider your options, but do not make threats during your negotiation, even if you do intend to find another job.
Ask for a raise
Even if it’s awkward, you need to actually ask to get a raise. You’re more likely to be successful if you ask in person. It’s easier for managers to say “no” to an email, or ignore the request altogether.
If you have clear review cycles in your team, try to stick to these for raise negotiations. It’s likely your manager has budget allocated for raises at this time. You’re more likely to be successful if you ask at the right time.
It’s likely your manager will ask for some time to process your request, look into the budget and decide on whether a raise is appropriate. That’s fine. That’s normal. But don’t let them keep putting you off. Ask for updates during your scheduled one on ones. Most companies should be able to make a decision one way or another within a month of the request. If the discussion draws on longer than that, you’re unlikely to be successful.