How to Get a Raise from a Tight-Fisted Boss?

Even in the best of time canny bosses aren’t generally known to throw money away just to be nice. And, of course, these aren’t the best of times, so it is even more difficult to get a raise out of a tight-fisted manager. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You’ll just have to work a little harder for your salary bump.

So how can you get your boss to cough up more cash even though economic conditions are tough? Excellent personal finance blog Wise Bread offers four tips.

  • Wrangle References– This is an area where having an effective networking style can really pay off. Asking your current customers, co-workers, and colleagues for a few kind words about your performance isn’t just useful during a hunt for new work. It can be a powerful tool in moving up your current career ladder, as well. You don’t have to be transparent in your reason for asking; a simple “Would you mind sending an email with your thoughts on our working relationship?” will do. Save the best in a file to arm yourself with at your next performance review or compensation discussion. 
  • Research Rates – Some companies are large enough to set their own industry rates — and get them. Others are completely oblivious to what someone in your position should be making. If you’ve caught wind that your job tasks are on par for the course of a higher-ranking (and higher-paying) position, bring this up to your boss. Explain that you realize that they may not have the cash to pay the going rate for someone with your expertise, but would they meet you halfway? 
  • Value Added – Often, it’s not about what they hire you to do that matters. If you are especially well-connected, possess a task or skill that puts you at a unique advantage, or have a willingness to perform beyond your peers (24/7 availability, maybe?), it’s something that you should be paid well for. Demand that you get compensated for this value by letting management know how much they are getting! 
  • Show Them the Money — For many companies, it’s really just about dollars and cents. Did you save the company $X over last year? Would a process you helped to develop bring in extra money over time? What’s the bottom line of your individual worth to the company? If it’s well over what they are paying you, now’s the time to document and sell your potential return on investment (ROI) with examples of how you can continue to grow in value.

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    A change agent who successfully led and supported HR transformations across a variety of industries, making significant progress in reducing costs and improving operating effectiveness through HR system and process improvements, organizational excellence programs (EFQM Model), shared services, centers of excellence, outsourcing and employee self-service. Commercially oriented and capable of driving the best practices in the areas of HR business partnering, talent management, total rewards, performance management, talent acquisition, HR information systems and localization.