Salary increase negotiation using communication skills
All employees want to talk to their boss and negotiate a salary increase. Generally, they can’t get what they want because they don’t know how to use communication and negotiation skills to do so and it results in impasses and resentment.
In this article, I want to talk about these skills and teach you how to negotiate a salary increase.
I divide this article into four parts:
1- Before you ask for a salary increase
2- While you negotiate a salary increase
3- After you ask for a salary increase
4- Complementary discussions
1- Before you ask for a salary increase
The first step is to think of the salary increase. At this moment we have to ask ourselves some questions.
A- The million-dollar question
Before we take actions, we have to see if we deserve this salary increase.
Almost everyone thinks he deserves a salary increase, but it’s not our call. Ask yourselves these questions to see if you deserve it or not:
• What particular thing I do to deserve it?
• What is the difference between other employees and me?
• What is the usual salary in the industry I am working?
• What value did I make for the company to deserve the salary increase?
If you answer these questions and still think you deserve to earn more, you can continue reading this article, but if you understand that you are not qualified enough, you need to create value to be able to answer the questions.
B- Am I valuable?
In the next step, you have to see if your boss or manager consider you as a valuable employee.
Many employees don’t show their effort and think they are industrious, but it’s boss’s opinion that matters.
I had a friend who worked 16 hours a day (it means he worked at home too), but his boss saw him as a lazy person because he came late in the mornings. Why do you think the boss should agree with a salary increase of such a lazy person?
So we have to show our value, effort and the way we work with no exaggeration and depreciation.
To do so, we have to work on a monthly process so that others and the boss values us.
C- Is it even possible?
Next question we have to ask ourselves is if it’s possible to negotiate a salary increase.
For example, if the CEO earns 20.000 $, how can an ordinary manager ask for 22.000 $?
So we have to know a common law and the whole situation to negotiate a salary increase.
D- Proper time to negotiate a salary increase
We have to notice that when is the right time to start. In the next paragraphs, I will talk about some examples.
• Short time
Sometimes there is no time to talk about this stuff. I remember I was working in an institute and my boss was leaving to catch his plane. He was even nervous he might not get there in time.
Meanwhile, my colleague said:
Sir, can you give me one minute? I want to talk to you about a really really important thing.
He agreed and my friend asked about his salary increase right in front of me.
He didn’t pay attention to the time and the situation. So not only the boss didn’t raise his salary but also every time he remembered that moment, he talked behind his back and said how inconsiderate he is!
• Under pressure
Another wrong time to negotiate a salary increase is when the boss, company or the manager is under pressure. In this case, it’s like the employee is blackmailing.
Last year, after I argued with a moderator who had made a mistake and I was upset about office problems, one of my colleagues asked for a salary increase!
If you must talk about your request, you can at least mention that it has nothing to do with the fact that he and the company are under pressure. For example, you can say:
Of course, if you agree or disagree, it won’t change anything and I actively serve this company in this critical condition.
• When they speak highly of you
You don’t have to bring it up when the boss is speaking highly of you. This way you show him/her that you are impulsive and you can’t act normal when you hear someone admiring you.
• Don’t let them think you are poking your nose into the revenue.
Sometimes there’s been a good income for the institute or company, or they have some good contracts. Be careful! In this case, most of your colleagues are talking about this situation, and you don’t have to let the boss think you have plans for that money.
E- Do I need to prepare an exact number?
Imagine your salary is 5000$ and you want to negotiate a salary increase negotiation. Do you have to have an exact number?
Of course, you have! It’s good to know how much you want, but you have to take percussions. You don’t have to say it until they ask you. Even when they ask you about the price, you have to answer the question like this:
I earn 5000$ a month and I always run out of money before I pay my debts which is 1000$. Can you raise my salary to 6000$?
F- Do I have to talk about my request or write it down?
It depends on how things go in your company. For example, if you have an intimate and small institute or company, it’s funny to write your salary increase request. But if you are working at a huge company and you tell your application to one of the managers, nothing will happen and they don’t take you seriously.
So you have to pay attention to:
– How does it work in your company?
– How does your boss like it?
– Which way are you good at? Talking or writing?
– Other colleagues chose to do what and what was the result?
In this article, we mostly talk about the ways to negotiate a salary increase in person but if you want to know about how to write a salary increase letter, you can read this article: “sample letter for salary increase recommendation”
Now let’s talk about some essential points you should know:
• Speak briefly
Long talks are boring and by long talks, I don’t mean an hour. No. I mean it’ll get boring after 5 minutes.
Make sure you avoid loquacity and long introductions because not only they don’t help you but also the boredom makes your boss reject your request.
• Don’t do something that makes them pick on you
You have to have good conditions. You don’t have to make them pick on you. For example:
– Dress up well
– Use a clone and have a pleasant smell
– Don’t talk about your request if you recently have made a mistake.
– Don’t go to your boss when you have many works to do, and you have left behind.
– Don’t negotiate a salary increase if you were late this morning
• How to be self-confident
As we talked about self-confidence, you should know that it means to have enough skills and have a positive perspective about it.
Many employees are nervous when they want to go to their boss so they will talk the way they didn’t expect. To be better, you should use the best technique which is using your imagination.
2- What should I have to say while asking for a salary increase?
After you consider all the points I have mentioned, it’s time to talk!
Now how can we talk and what should we say to be persuasive and effective?
A- What makes my boss agree on my request?
Not a while ago one of my employees – who is fired now- came to me and asked for salary increase while I was thinking of firing him! I was extremely shocked that how is this possible? I want to fire him and he comes to me and asks for more salary. I asked him about the reason. And he said:
Because I constantly report everything to you.
Whatever happens, I call you.
And I tell you about every small detail.
I don’t even tell you when someone’s unfaithful.
I was interesting because the reasons he had for his salary increase was the reasons I wanted to fire him. I want my employees to work their jobs and don’t distract me in every detail. I don’t want them to involve me.
As you can see, it doesn’t matter how valuable your job is for you, what matters is if it’s valuable for your boss.
So you have to focus on what your manager/boss wants and work on that most of the time so that you can be valuable for him/her.
B- Don’t be against them.
One other mistake employees do is that they see themselves as someone who is against the boss. Instead of saying our company, our work, and our income, they say: “you need to raise my salary.”
C- Offer a safe and sound request.
It is the best way to involve in a salary increase negotiation. It can be done in an intimate place which have a few workers. You can say:
“if I increase the profit to 50.000$, you increase my salary for 40% and if I couldn’t, well… my loss!”
This way the boss will see himself as a winner no matter how he looks at the offer.
D- No threats
When the manager finds out or even thinks that you are threatening or blackmailing him, he goes right straight to find a replacement for you because he knows if you get what you want, you may ask for it again!
So be careful to avoid asking about your salary increase when the company or organization depends on you and needs you.
Even if you are sure that you want more salary, wait for the right moment or show him that you are not blackmailing him.
Eight years ago I wanted to leave the place I was working for and the organization was having a terrible time. I was determined and I went to my boss. I told him that with my conditions I couldn’t work there with them, but I will serve the company until everything gets back to the way it was and then I would leave.
E- your manager has a massive part in your success.
If you have started from the bottom and your manager is the one who helped you get where you are now, it’s hard to negotiate a salary increase because your manager might say:
“Look, he’s like a viper in my bosom; he’s ungrateful.”
In this case, remember to thank him first and tell him you appreciate what he has done for you.
If you want to dig your own grave, do these things:
• Negotiate a salary increase in front of others
you have to start talking about a salary increase in from of everyone else to receive a knock-down answer from your boss.
Never ask him when others are around.
• Other companies pay me X$.
If you tell your boss that other company pays 20% more, your boss thinks you are always comparing other companies to yours. He probably will search for a replacement for you.
• Use the wrong communication ways.
Three years ago one of my employees texted me on an application like this:
“Hello. Good evening. May you increase my salary?”
Now imagine that! How would you feel? It might be interesting for you to know that I was at the hospital that night because my brother was sick.
• Compare yourself with others.
It is so wrong. Some employees say that why John earns more. What don’t I have that he has which makes him earn twice my salary?
• Say it’s nothing.
Some employees ask for an amount of money to be added to their salary and say: oh, it’s nothing. It’s not much.
It’s not your business to say if your salary is something or not compare to the income your company has. It’s your boss’s. What is your business, is to put much effort into your department.
• Selling others to answer this question: what is the difference between you and the others?
Probably your boss will ask this question when you want to negotiate a salary increase:
What is the difference between you and the others?
It’s interesting that employees start selling each other out when the boss asks this question.
Never do that because you will ruin your reputation in front of your boss.
Some essential techniques
• Use effective communication techniques
You should show how grateful you are. Expressing your gratitude is Important. Another technique is that you need to accept the agreement or disagreement on your request. It is not necessarily logical and emotional decisions are involved. With the help of effective communication techniques, you can overcome some of your problems and feel better.
• With which sentence should I start?
The most severe anxiety for employees is how to start and what to say? The sentence you should begin with depends on many factors but you have to consider these options:
– how to take their time?
You should say the right sentence for taking his time. For example, you can say:
Sir, I wanted to say something which will only take a few minutes of your time. Is it a right time?
You have to know that this sentence is just a sample and what you have to say depends on you and your boss and your situations.
– Express your gratitude
Before you start, you have to show you are grateful for what he’s done for you. For example, you can say:
Mr. Harris, I thank you for your kindness and extreme notices towards us and I am grateful that you are giving your time to me although you are very busy.
3- After the salary increase negotiation
Now you asked for salary increase using the techniques we mentioned and you are waiting for the answer.
The answer is going to be “Yes” or “No,” nothing in between.
• If the boss says “No.”
If you use the techniques well, the answer will be “Yes,” but we can’t say that for sure. You have to prepare yourselves to hear “No.”
– Don’t get aggressive: you don’t have to get upset after the boss says No. this way your boss feels terrible and he thinks you probably are in more trouble than a useful employee!
– Ask for his advice: this technique is beneficial. After he said No, you have to thank him and ask for his opinion. For example: can you tell me what should I have to do to get your attention? Do I need to work harder or is there anything I shouldn’t have to do?
– If the second way didn’t work, you have to say: I’ll do my best to gain your attention. I put more effort into my work so that you feel I deserve this salary increase. Thank you very much.
• If the boss says “Yes”
Good news! Your salary increase request was confirmed. So you need to thank your boss and convey the good feeling you have. It’s good to say that you’ll try harder and do your best so that he won’t regret his decision.
4- Complementary discussions
Now set aside all these salary increases and “Yes” and “No” as an answer. The most important thing to do which helped me to grow remarkably is:
If you work as much as you earn, you will never improve.
So always try harder, work more and be better than what they expect of you.
Avoid the excuses
In the end, I have to tell you something. I believe most employees are not allowed to negotiate a salary increase considering how they work because they mostly don’t work as the boss expects.
But anyway they think they have a cruel boss. They believe they are a hard-working employee who the company’s survival depends on them.
I have a suggestion for these kinds of employees.
Change your job instead of nagging all the time.
If you are so important that a company’s survival depends on you, any company dream about having you. Then when you see no one hires you again, you probably think this salary you have is more than you can imagine and you hallucinated how amazing you are!