Learning how to ask for a pay raise is a vital skill to have as you progress in your professional career. Although it is becoming more common to ask for an increase in salary in an email, writing a formal salary increment letter has various benefits and is still the most professional way to ask for a salary increment politely.
However, asking for a pay raise or writing a salary increment letter is scary for a lot of people: you may be afraid to make your managers uncomfortable or appear to be too confident and outshining your colleagues. But the truth is, it’s discouraging if you’re underpaid , and this can affect your mindset and overall performance at work.
In this article, we will show you how to ask for a pay raise by writing a salary increment letter, what to include and what not to include. We will also share salary letter and email samples that help you get your pay raise politely and professionally.
What is a Salary Increment Letter?
A salary increment is synonymous with a salary increase. Usually expressed as a percentage of the employee’s current salary, the increment is added to the employee’s base salary. A salary increment letter differs from an email asking for a pay raise; instead, it is a formal written request asking an employer for a higher salary. A salary increment letter, regardless of the results, will leave a paper trail on your HR file.
In the case of a temporary pay increase, a portion of pay is provided as part of a temporary assignment and does not count towards the employee’s base salary.
Why Ask For a Salary Increment in Writing?
You may have mentioned your wish for a salary increment to your manager during a coffee break or even exchanged a few emails about it. But nothing is official unless it’s on paper.
Writing a salary increment letter puts your pay raise request in writing, and it establishes formal documentation, of which your company will keep a file. It means that if your request for a pay raise is denied or you receive a smaller salary increment than you have asked for, you and your managers can have a record of it for the subsequent pay raise discussion. This record will be kept despite any management changes and is a great reference when you think about how to conduct salary negotiations with HR in the future.
If you are struggling and do not know how to ask for a salary increment politely, having the request in writing means you can actually craft out your ideas first and edit them for perfection later. It makes the request less awkward, and it gives you more time to gather results and lay out your arguments. H2: When Should I Ask For a Pay Raise?
Customarily in Asia, companies discuss and examine salary increments or raises as part of the end-of-year performance review process or around the close of the fiscal year. If you’re looking to ask for a raise, you should take close note of these times and aim to start the conversation early, preferably before the actual performance review. Here are some other occasions when you can ask for a pay raise:
When Business is Doing Well
As they say, it’s important to “read the room”. If your company is experiencing downsizing or you know of a hiring freeze, it is not the right time to ask for a pay raise, as the answer will probably be a no.
On the contrary, if you have observed that the business is flourishing or has expanding plans, management is more likely to say yes to salary increases for top performers.
After Finishing a Large Project
If you or your team have just accomplished something significant for the company, like finishing a large project, or have achieved some measurable success, such as reaching a sales milestone, then it may be a good time to put in a salary increase request.
However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t ask for a pay raise after every big project. And it only plays to your advantage if you have actually contributed to the project’s success with some quantifiable results. Step in your management’s shoes and guide them through how you have helped the company grow and your plans to do more of that.
End of Contract or After 12 Months of Starting One
As the end of your contract approaches, it may be a good time to think about asking for a pay raise. After coming to a complete cycle, you now have a clearer idea of the impact you have made and can make on the business. Hopefully, you will have progressed further in your industry knowledge by acquiring additional certificates or training, and the market has shown an observable salary increment level in your field.
For new joiners: there should be a performance review 12 months after joining, which will be a good time for you to make your case.
When You Accept More Responsibilities
If you have been asked to take on more responsibilities, congratulations! You have definitely earned the approval and trust of your company. Even though your title may not have changed, now that you are entrusted with more responsibilities, your compensation should reflect the scope of your work.
When Your Salary Is Below Market Rate
If you have been in a highly-demanded position for the same company for a long time, you may need an update on your salary. Do a thorough research on the market rate for someone in your position and with your experience. Take advantage of resources like our Asia Salary Guide & Market Insights or the official index of wages and earnings published by the government, and be prepared to demonstrate your market worth.
The best time to ask for a salary increase is during company hours but during a more relaxed and manageable part of the day. Avoid asking for a pay raise during the morning since many managers or executives are busiest during the first half of the workday with meetings.
How to Ask for a Pay Raise?
Whenever you ask for a salary raise, you must maintain the proper tone and politeness throughout the entire conversation. Wondering how to ask for a salary increment politely? First, keep your tone of voice calm and collected goes a long way towards making you seem professional. Here are some additional tips on how to ask for a pay raise politely but with impact:
1. Research Well & Have a Number in Mind
Management are busy – respect their time by doing your research with up-to-date salary benchmarks. Avoid being vague or leave it up to the management’s decision: having a number in mind from the beginning will allow your manager to offer something workable. Be reasonable and prepared to negotiate.
2. Justifications for a Raise
While an increase in the salary benchmark or personal circumstances can be valid reasons for a salary increment, what you have achieved and the value you bring to your company are much more impactful as justifications for a pay raise. List your most recent achievements after that last pay raise with tangible numbers. Mention any awards you have received internally or industry-wide. Include any newly acquired certifications or industry accreditations and what value they bring to your job. Be convincing and confident with your achievements, but be mindful not to come across as too arrogant.
3. Appreciation for Consideration
Regardless of the results, it is still professional to thank your management for taking the time to consider your salary increase request. Express your readiness to discuss further if a pay raise is not possible at the moment; there are other ways to compensate, such as financial support for childcare, university training sponsorship, better medical care, etc.
However, you should not appear timid or afraid of the response.Make your request clearly and plainly, without seeming unconfident.
How to Write a Salary Increment Letter or Email
1. Include the Date, Address, and Recipient’s Name
Having a number in mind from the beginning will also prevent your boss from offering you a raise that’s too low for your industry in an attempt to placate you. Remember, bosses can be your friends, but they’re supposed to be ultimately loyal to the company and save them as much money as possible. Take control of the conversation by asking for a specific number that is reasonable.
When writing a formal letter, include relevant contact information at the top of the page: your name, address, email and phone numbers for reference. If you are sending your salary increment request in an email, these can be spared.
You should direct your salary increment letter to whoever manages your pay raises, bonuses and other salary decisions. It could be your direct manager, department head, supervisor, etc. If you are unsure about their full title or name or to whom to send the letter (or who to CC in an email), don’t hesitate to ask HR. Don’t go over someone’s head even if you are close with management personally, as it comes across as rude and unprofessional.
2. Write a Short Introduction to Show Purpose
Be mindful of your manager’s time, and don’t beat around the bush. Compose a short introduction of 3-4 sentences, explaining your desire to ask for a pay raise, and how grateful you are to be working here.
3. List Achievements
As mentioned above, you should come prepared with a list of significant achievements for your managers to review and consider when asking for a pay raise. Only mention your achievements after the last pay raise, and don’t overdo it – keep the list concise and impactful, and list no more than 3-4 points. Remember to support each statement with evidence, preferably sales figures or percentages, to strengthen your case.
4. State Your Preferred Pay Raise or Range
Now is the time to ask for a specific salary increase that is appropriate and comparable with other professionals in your field. Consider stating an acceptable range that is backed by research, for example, “After doing some research, the current salary for my position is around 30-35k per month, which is 5% above my current salary. So, I think a 5%-7% increase is a reasonable request.” Keep this paragraph short and your tone neutral.
5. Conclusion with Appreciation and Follow-Up
Irrespective of the outcome, maintaining professionalism entails expressing gratitude to your management for dedicating time to review your request for a salary increase. Offer to have a follow-up discussion for any negotiation or to revisit the topic in a few weeks.
What Not to Include in a Salary Increment Letter
When composing a salary increment letter, it’s essential to maintain a professional and focused tone. Here are some elements you should avoid:
- Comparisons to Colleagues: Avoid saying, “I know XXX has a higher salary…” Comparing your salary to your colleagues in an official letter creates tension and does not benefit your case.
- Personal issues: Keep the letter business-focused. Although it may seem relevant, your financial difficulties are not good enough reasons for a pay raise and mentioning them can be deemed unprofessional.
- Threats or ultimatums: Stay positive in your tone and avoid using threatening or resentful language. Instead of saying, “If you don’t give me a salary increase, I have better offers with XXX…” try “With the increasing responsibilities I’ve taken on and the consistently positive feedback I’ve received from colleagues and clients alike, I believe that a salary adjustment would reflect the value I bring to the organisation.”
Salary Increment Letter & Email Samples
Salary Increment Letter Sample
[Your Job Title]
Dear [Manager’s Name],
I hope this letter finds you well. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of [Company Name] and for the support and guidance I’ve received during my time here.
I am writing to discuss the possibility of a salary increase. Over the past [time period], I have led successful marketing campaigns that have significantly enhanced our brand visibility and customer engagement. Some of my key achievements include:
– Launching the [Campaign Name], which resulted in a [X]% increase in website traffic and [X]% growth in social media following.
– Optimizing our email marketing strategy, leading to a [X]% rise in click-through rates and a [X]% increase in lead generation.
– Collaborating cross-functionally to create the [Event Name], which generated [X] new business partnerships and [X]% increase in sales during the event.
I am committed to consistently delivering impactful results and driving the marketing team to new heights. With that being said, I feel as though a 5% salary increase is a reasonable request. After doing some research, I found that other marketing managers in Hong Kong are earning $450,000 annually, which is 5% above what I’m currently earning. I thought this figure would be an appropriate amount.
I am available to discuss this matter further and explore potential compensation adjustments.
Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to our discussion.
Salary Increment Email Sample
Subject: Request for Salary Review – Acknowledging Achievements
Dear [Manager’s Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to discuss the possibility of a salary review and a [X]% increase in my current salary, considering my accomplishments and contributions to the [Team/Department] over the past [time period].
I am proud to have been a part of [Company Name]’s technical team, and I wanted to highlight a few achievements that I believe showcase my commitment to driving value:
– Spearheaded the successful completion of [Project Name], resulting in a [X]% improvement in [specific metric].
– Introduced a streamlined coding process that reduced project delivery times by [X]%.
– Received consistent positive feedback from clients for my problem-solving skills and attention to detail.
I understand that salary adjustments are based on performance, and I am confident that my contributions align with [Company Name]’s goals. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss a salary increase that reflects my dedication and the value I bring to the company.
Creating a compelling salary increment letter and asking for a pay raise involves showcasing achievements, aligning with industry norms, and suggesting alternatives if an immediate increment isn’t feasible. Balancing professionalism and confidence showcases dedication to personal growth and the company’s success.
Ultimately, your salary increment letter becomes a powerful advocate for your compensation goals. By integrating these suggestions, you’re not only advocating for equitable recognition but also fostering a culture of open dialogue. Embrace these insights as you navigate this crucial aspect of career progression.
Navigating the modern workplace can be tricky, but we have a whole host of career tips and other advice for professionals of all fields at Links International. Stop by Links Recruitment’s Job Board or contact one of our representatives today to see how else we can help you achieve your career ambitions.