When What You Want is a Raise
My, how the world has changed! Employees don’t make money like they used to. In the early years of my career, a basic raise was 6% – a basic every nine months!

Roll the clock forward to today. A decent raise is 3% if you’re lucky. Many employees only see 1-3% raises, while some see no raise at all. In many instances, the raises are across the board no matter what the employee performances were. You work twice as hard and make greater contributions, yet the slacker in the cube/office next to you gets the same increase you get. How motivating!

Unfortunately, times have been tough for many organizations which have forced them to cut back on pay increases. Nevertheless, if you’re a top contributor and aren’t satisfied with what you received for last year’s efforts, it may be time to ask for more money. But before you march into your boss’ office to do this, you should consider a few things:

1.Do your research. Make sure you understand your employer’s pay practices and what the going salaries are in your market.

2.Examine your own performance. Have you added real value, have you received a really good performance review, or are you viewed as a positive force in your office?

3.Know what you want. If your boss asks you, “How much of an increase were you thinking?,” be sure to have a specific dollar amount or percentage in mind.

4.Prepare your case. Avoid using emotion, but go in your boss’ office armed with facts, data, and statistics. And, whatever you do, do not mention what your coworkers make….even if you know it!

5.Ask! Often people have very strong cases for an increase, but are too afraid to ask. If you don’t ask, remember this saying – “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed!”