NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Do you want a raise at work? Who doesn't, really? But when it comes to getting more money, there's a right way and a wrong way to ask. The right way is going to put more money in your pocket. But the wrong way might not just not get you a raise -- it might have you packing up your desk sooner than you think. We spoke to two experts in the world of business communication to find out the most effective way to get a raise from your boss.
The Basics: Is It Time to Ask For a Raise?
Don Kelly, the vice president of human resources at Post University, says that "[t]iming is a really important component of this."
"A lot of us have grown up expecting an annual increase, but that's the exception rather than the rule these days," he added. He says that about 3% of all employees can expect an annual raise, up from a low 1.9% a couple of years ago.
So how do you know if it's the right time? Kelly says that there are three main factors to determining whether or not it's the right time to ask for a raise. First, you want to see how things are going in the company immediately around you. Look at the company's finances. Have there just been a lot of layoffs? Are sales down? Not a good time. Finally, you have to look at the market as a whole. For example, the week after the markets drop because of Chinese interest rates getting lowered is not the best time.What's more, you have to look at your own performance. As Kelly points out above, it's the exception rather than the rule for people to get pay increases just because they spent another year with the company. He advises people to ask the following questions:
- Have you saved the company money?
- Have you improved processes?
- Have you eliminated time in terms of how long it takes to do things?
- Did you bring projects in faster?
"Getting a raise is showing that your net worth to the company makes you more valuable than you used to be," says Kelly. That's not always easy, but you're going to have to make the case when you go in to talk to your boss about a pay increase. If you can answer those questions, you'll want to make an appointment with your boss specifically to talk about your pay increase.