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Ways to Start a Pay Raise Discussion

Discussing money in the workplace can be tricky to navigate for both employees and their employers that are responsible for determining the appropriate wages they deserve. Employees need to understand the right ways to start an effective pay raise discussion and kickstart salary negotiations. In this article, we will look at some of the best approaches to take to ensure the best outcome and some tips to help ease you into this difficult process. 

Request an In-Person Meeting

While it may seem easier to send an email to your manager asking for a pay raise, it is extremely important to ensure you are asking in person. Before doing so, request a meeting that allows the manager to prepare and review the options that are available to them. In some cases, this may include a promotion to a new role or just a minor bump in pay. However, it is important to take the time to request an in-person meeting to discuss your request in detail. 

Do Not Act Entitled

Even though you may feel like you are owed a pay raise, it is important to not frame the discussion with phrases like “I deserve”, particularly if you are unable to prove that worth during the meeting with your employer. Instead of taking this approach, create a list of reasons why you think your manager may be interested in rewarding you with a pay raise and emphasize how your role and abilities help the company or your department. This list can also start a dialogue that further improves your chances of easing into a pay raise. 

Establish a Benchmark

Knowing what a realistic wage is in your industry or position before going into a pay raise discussion can help ensure you, and your employer, are getting a fair deal out of the process. By searching online, it is easy to find benchmark wages for nearly any job. Although, the responsibilities and experience levels may differ industry-wide and will affect the overall salary. Do not ask for more than you might deserve and leave room for negotiations for the best outcome. 

Wait for the Right Time

With so many businesses restructuring their budgets or cutting positions nationwide, it is important to take the time to start a pay raise discussion at the right moment. Some people think they can only ask for a pay raise during their annual review; however, it does not have to be that cut and dry. Just ensure that you are focusing on a suitable period to start the conversation in which the decision will not be influenced by outside pressures or financial uncertainty. 

Focus on More Than Money

Since the conversation is focused on a pay raise, many people neglect the opportunity to make it about more than just money. Take the time to seek career progression options, additional training that may assist you or other possible perks that show you are invested in the company and want to stay long term. This can help frame it as more than just wanting more money in the short term and can establish the desire to develop in your role and stay long-term. 

Stay Confident

Although many people will have a script or practice their pay raise discussion before the meeting begins, it is important to stay confident throughout the process. Practicing in advance and preparing yourself for responses that may be needed or things you can do to steer the conversation can help eliminate potential anxiety. To make even more of an impact, retain eye contact and clearly present your points to better improve your chances of a great outcome. 

Avoid Creating an Ultimatum

Some employees think that by threatening to leave, they will have leverage that forces their employer to give them a pay raise. Unfortunately, employers can still say no and create a scenario where the long-term involvement of an employee remains in doubt. Over time, this can ensure no pay raise is given since the manager may feel like the employee is not invested in the company and may be searching for an opportunity elsewhere. 

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