Be prepared, aware and sure before you enter your senior's cabin to discuss a pay hike.
Here are some easy and stress-free steps to ask for a raise or promotion at your workplace.
Asking for a pay hike at work is worse than asking your parents for a raise in pocket money.
However, the steps to doing so are the same. You have to have a plan, be patient and yes, be ready to face rejection.
We all think we are worth much more than what gets credited in our account every month. But, not all of us are comfortable demanding what we are worth.
Also, approaching your senior for a raise doesn't assure that you will get one.
It is a lot like a game of chance.
You have to take the step and wait for a response.
The interaction will be complicated, awkward and above all, uncomfortable. However, if you are ready for it, then things get easy.
1. Are you worth it?
The foremost aspect that comes into consideration during an appraisal is the employee's performance.
Before you walk into the cabin, ensure you are 100 per cent confident of your performance.
Make notes, collect data and have a concrete plan to argue the point out. You simply can't keep saying you are productive.
You need to have enough proof and reference to go with your claim. There was a time when a yearly raise was mandatory.
However, today with the economy not doing well, we have seen this norm diminish. Today, you have to ask for more money.
2. Be prepared
By now you know how your company functions. You are also aware of your senior's mood swings. So be well-prepared with your proposal before making the move.
One wrong step and you can ruin your chances of getting a bonus too. Ask yourself questions. Do a mock session with a friend.
Be alert and ready with all possible answers to 'Why do you need a hike?', 'What has been your latest achievement?', 'Do you really deserve it?', etc.
3. Is the business doing well?
It is logical.
For instance, you never dared to ask your parents for anything more if they had a rough month. So, why should you expect the same from the company? You have to be realistic.
If preparation, confidence and perseverance isn't helping, then it's time to play the leverage card.
An offer from a competitor with a fat package will do the trick.
Your senior will fear losing you to competitors and will work around a promotion or salary hike.
Remember to be polite and humble while discussing the same. Don't be rude or act pricey.
Company policies may not allow you to look through their previous pay scales or appraisals.
However, you need to do your research well. You need to figure out information by speaking to colleagues or the human resource department.
You can also get them to share details on your role and responsibility and appraisal charts. This will help strengthen your proposal with your senior.
6. Check your new responsibilities
If you get the raise, your work doesn't stop there. You will be required to put in more hours and efforts for the company.
This means you will be given a new set of goals and targets.
Make sure you are ready for the same.
A pay hike is not just about an increase in salary figures, it also means an increase in responsibility.
Find out about your new role and prepare to step in.
7. Don't just sit and watch
The appraisal systems and timings vary from organization to organisation.
In some companies, salary hikes are discussed with employees, while in some they are announced directly.
So, irrespective of the type of functioning at your workplace, you have to make the first move.
You can't just sit and expect your company to take notice.
You will have to approach your senior with a request much before the procedures start.
A head start will be good for you as well as your company.
8. Plan your timing
Remember how you would slyly do your homework on time and pester mom for extra television time?
Well, the same rules apply here. You have to approach your senior when s/he is aware of your existence.
The right time for the same is after the completion of an important task or project.
9. Sell, don't beg
You are an employee and not a pet of the company.
No matter how desperate you are, you are not supposed to beg for a pay hike.
You cannot use drama, guilt or emotions to convince your senior for a salary raise.
It has to be completely based on your potential and worth.
Look at yourself as a product and sell yourself to your senior. You have to convince him to invest in you.
10. Ask what more can be done
After all of this, if you are still not able to convince them for a fat salary hike, then maybe it's time to stop.
There is no sense in pushing it too much. That being said, your senior has to give you a solid explanation for not accepting your proposal.
It has to be valid with enough reasons. Also, do take a checklist of things you should do to ensure a salary hike in the coming months.
11. Raise vs Title
Here's one last try! In case your company sticks to the fact that the sales have been dipping and they can't afford raising your salary, then you can suggest a change in title.
Ask them to give you a higher designation that will justify your role better and encourage you to keep the good work going.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com