Asking for a salary raise is one of the well-known hazards of office or company politics. There are lots of concerns about the politeness and appropriateness of petitioning your superiors for a boost to your income, even though it should be one of the most natural and logical actions for any good employee to take.
After all, skilled employees should know how much they are worth in the market for their profession. Making sure that your employer pays you what you are due for your skills and the education required to obtain them is just good sense. In any other situation, you wouldn’t be expected to be compensated for less than what you’re actually worth.
Yet asking for a raise or writing a salary increment letter is scary for a lot of people. They’re afraid of making their bosses uncomfortable or outshining their fellow employees. But the truth is, you’ll feel dissatisfied if you’re not paid right, and this can affect your mindset and overall performance at work.
To that end, let’s go over some tips to help you ask for a raise or write a letter asking for an increase in your salary to your superiors.
What is Salary Increment?
A salary increment is synonymous with a salary increase. Usually expressed as a percentage of the employee’s current salary, it is added to the employee’s base salary. A salary decrease on the other hand is often referred to as a salary reduction or pay cut.
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.
Customarily in Asia, companies discuss and examine salary increments or raise 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 prior to the actual performance review. More on the best times to ask for a salary increase below.
How to Ask for a Salary Raise
Whenever you ask for a salary raise, you must maintain the proper tone and politeness throughout the entire conversation. Remember that, even if you are owed a higher salary relative to other professionals in your field, your boss still has the final word as to whether you’ll get that raise. Keeping your voice calm and collected goes a long way toward making you seem professional.
You should also, however, not appear timid or afraid of the response. Many bosses respect self-confidence and the right amount of ego, but they’ll be less likely to give a raise to someone who they can’t see rising in the company ranks because of hesitation.
Make your request clearly and plainly, without seeming unconfident.
The Best Time to Ask for a Salary Increase
In general, you should ask for a salary increase from your boss when it is the appropriate time. This can vary from company to company, but it’s usually a good idea to petition your superior when they’re not in the middle of a meeting or otherwise busy with official company business. Of course, you shouldn’t bother them when they are off the clock, either.
The best time to ask for a salary increase is during company hours but during a slow or manageable part of the day. As an example, an accountant might ask his or her boss for a raise right after lunch, as meetings and other business haven’t yet started up again and no one is hungry. You can also ask shortly before clocking out for the day.
It’s normally a bad idea to ask for a raise during the morning since many managers or executives are busiest during the first half of the workday.
Tips on Writing a Salary Increment Letter or Email to Your Boss
You want to be careful and prepare when asking for a pay raise. Make sure you do your research first so you’re not going into the discussion blindsided. Here’s what you can do to prepare yourself:
1. Have a Number In Mind From the Start
Whatever your profession is, you should always have a clear salary in mind when you petition your boss. Don’t just ask for a raise; ask your boss for a specific salary increase that is appropriate and comparable with other professionals in your field. It won’t do to ask for a super-high raise that isn’t what you deserve, but you also don’t want to undersell your skills.
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.
2. Keep the Company’s Financial Situation in Mind
Not every company is always in a position to hand out raises to its worthy employees every year. Keep this in mind as you ask your boss for a salary raise and consider doing a little research about your company’s financial situation beforehand. If your office is struggling with funds not just for salary raises but for other operations, it’ll be unlikely (and unwise) for them to grant you the raise.
Besides, asking for a raise during a time when the company is struggling can make you seem greedy and uncaring.
3. Have Evidence for Your Effectiveness as an Employee
As you write a salary increment letter or email, it always helps to give your boss reasons to appreciate your work. This involves listing all of the major projects you were a part of or all of the improvements you made for your company.
This isn’t the same as bragging. Instead, think of it as confidently describing your strengths and your successes over the previous year or quarter. After all, your boss won’t just give you a raise because you ask for one. You need to sell yourself and convince them, at least formally, of your worthiness for a salary boost.
Tell them exactly why you deserve a salary increase, but don’t go overboard. Speak to your victories, list your benefits to the company, then stop. Don’t go on and on about how great you are as a person, and leave subjective positives, like your social skills, out of the picture.
4. Keep Calm and Don’t Panic if They Say No
Whatever happens, remember to maintain a calm and professional demeanour. If your boss says “no” to the raise, don’t send them a reply email that is terse or otherwise rude. In fact, don’t react negatively at all. The odds are your boss simply couldn’t give you a raise because of the company budget or for another reason out of their control.
As a plus side, if you react calmly to the news that you did not get a raise, your boss may reconsider in the near future when funds become more available. They’ll remember how you handled a setback and be impressed with your professionalism.
Follow the above tips, and you’ll have a much better chance of successfully getting a salary increase when you ask for one. 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.