March on Into Your Boss and Ask for a Raise

In the wake of the 2008 recession raises have almost become a quaint thing of the past, like ice delivery or 5-year-olds without cell phones.  However, the tightening labor market has made some employers realize the need to keep pay competitive in order to keep their best employees.


According to a Towers Watson survey of 1,100 employers, 98% planned to give 3% raises in 2016.  Want more than that?  Workers who received the highest performance ratings were rewarded with a 4.7% raise as compared to 2.6% for average workers and 1% for poor performers.


So, how do you ask for a raise?  According to “How to Ask for a Raise” in on November 5, 2015, there are some do’s and don’ts for having this sensitive conversation.



  • Come prepared with a specific salary in mind. Cite your research for what other companies are paying for similar skills and experience.
  • Have data about your contribution at the ready. Money you have saved your company, new business brought in, projects completed ahead of time are all concrete arguments.  If your job is more vague, e-mails or other testimonials from clients or co-workers about your great job will help.
  • Talk about your future plans to help the company grow.



  • Whine or be negative. Don’t complain that you work twice the hours of your cube-mate or how long it’s been since you had a raise.
  • Talk about how you need the raise because of your rising personal expenses.
  • Be surprised if the answer is “no.” If so, ask what you can do to create the opportunity for a raise or promotion.  Schedule a follow up appointment with your manager in a few months to discuss progress.


Obviously, there are some organizations that are too small for much upward mobility or too cash-strapped to keep up with market compensation.  If that is the case with your employer, you need to decide if this is the place for you long-term.  There might be intangibles with your current employer, such as schedule flexibility, a great working environment, or fabulous benefits that may keep you in place despite lower pay.  If not, consider that your value may be more appreciated by a fresh set of managers.


If these topics sound like they would be of interest to your employees, sales conference, or professional organization, contact me at 303-324-0014 or for more information.

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