How to Request a Raise or a Promotion
While the pandemic may not be the ideal time to request raises, knowing how to prepare for such conversations with your boss is useful when the timing is right. It is very likely that unless you ask for a raise, you will not get one. To prepare for this conversation, you need to do the following:
- Research salaries at your level using PayScale, Glassdoor, or salary.com.
- Compare the salaries based on the size of the company, market in a specific geographic location, job duties, and industry.
- Identify the salary increase range you will be targeting.
- Review your values – besides the monetary increase, what is your desired work direction?
- Justify the salary increase with an updated list of your recent accomplishments and your potential in the role.
To help you draft your achievements, ask yourself:
1. What new responsibilities have you added and when?
2. What quality or quantity improvements have you delivered since then?
3. What major projects have you completed ahead of schedule, on time, or under budget?
4. How did you make processes faster or more efficient for the company?
Once you have these notes, update your resume and make sure you’re in good standing at your department, having exceeded expectations for some time. Request a meeting with your leadership to talk about your development in the organization. Include your main achievements in the message and mention that you would like to discuss the subsequent strategy on how you can keep delivering value. Emphasize that you enjoy the work and you would like to continue doing more, given adequate compensation.
Here is an example of a message to send:
“Mr. Jones, I would like to schedule a time to meet with you and discuss some of our recent projects and successes. In the past quarter, under my leadership, we expanded our operations to three new states and grew our client base by 34%. While working on these business development initiatives, I was also honored to mentor and train two of our newest sales professionals, helping them start delivering value in the second week on the job. As we continue these efforts, I would like to keep contributing to our common goals and successes. I’d like us to speak about our next projects as well as a possible increase in my compensation based on market indicators. When is a good time for us to meet?”
Shelley Piedmont, an HR professional with 20+ years of experience, recommends the following:
It is crucial to have a clear rationale for a raise or promotion that is business-related. The reasoning would be taking on new responsibilities or performing duties at a higher level of expertise (such as analyzing information and making conclusions in addition to gathering data). Persuasive justifications that you can bring to a discussion would be the value that your additional work or expertise is bringing to the bottom line. It is essential that you always lead with this.
If you are looking for additional compensation, you need to understand the market and how your background and experience compares.
- Do not go just by the job title.
- Look at the full job description to understand the scope of the job for comparison purposes.
- Understand that if you are new to a role, you should not expect to be at the top of the salary range.
- Request an amount that is appropriate for the duties and consistent with your experience and where you work.
When asking for a promotion or a raise, you want it to be a conversation. Focus on helping the employer understand your performance better, as well as your intention to keep delivering more value, with the right incentive. You can start the conversation with your manager like this:
“I have taken on some of the additional responsibilities of X employee, who left the company four months ago. I was happy to do so, and from what you have said, I am doing an outstanding job. When you replaced X’s position, you could hire at a more junior level, saving the company money. Based on market data, someone doing similar work is making on average $Y with my experience. I would like my base salary increased by Z% to be more consistent with the market. I would also like to use this as an opportunity to discuss our next project and expectations, since I am motivated to continue delivering value in line with the company’s goals.”
If you are planning to have this conversation with your leadership soon, consider the impact the pandemic had on your organization. Do you have a legitimate business justification? If the company cannot approve a raise right now, they may be able to accommodate other requests, such as permanent remote work, additional vacation, or a title change.
About the authors:
Tanya Mykhaylychenko is a professional resume writer with a background in content writing, university teaching, and IT staffing. She is a member of Editors Canada and Career Professionals of Canada. For more information, please visit https://tm-editorial.com/about/.
Shelley Piedmont, SPHR, SHRM – SCP, is an HR professional with 20+ years of experience. She has hired for various roles on behalf of Fortune 500s, small and private businesses, and everything in between. Shelley has been a Corporate Recruiter and HR Director; she is the owner of www.shelleypiedmont.com.