Critical Negotiations Skills: How to Get a Big Raise at Work

Critical Negotiations Skills How to Get a Big Raise at Work

Many things influence our income potential. For those of us who commit our career to a particular company, sometimes the question of earning more income becomes tough because we don't exert much effort to leave a job that is reliable, and one that is already paying you a respectable income. However, that doesn't mean that a person's income range is shortened because they stick with one good company - even though it is a fact that many companies penalize employee income ranges when they assume that committed employees won't leave if their annual raises or bonuses don't match up to an industry related or nationwide employee inflation chart. Yet, strategies exist that will cause a good employer to increase an employee's income to maximum and beyond, depending upon the negotiations skills used.

Not everyone is eligible for a big raise. Some of us are members of organized labor unions, so big changes in income are not a part of that well organized and negotiations skills driven earnings environment. Same influences apply to many government workers, whose incomes are fixed by laws and government regulations.

But for those of us whose incomes are not regulated, it is left for us to prepare our bosses for our request for a raise, and do it in a manner that gives us the advantage. And while the average annual raise in the USA is in the range of 3% to 4%, as reported by multiple organizations that track such statistics, it's very possible to increase your own raise potential to well above those estimates by following a few simple negotiations skills that lend you support in your efforts to realize more income. The key here - planning. Advantage goes to those who best prepare their bosses' minds for a request of additional income. It's just that simple. Sometimes, it takes months of planning.

Planning means leaving very little to chance. It means organizing your activities so you know each step of the "how to get a big raise" process. And the first line on that activities plan is to verify the average income range for the sort of work you perform, relative to your region of the country. No sense in asking for an income increase that is not compatible with the work you do or the region of the country you live in. The reverse of that logic suggests that if you prove you are paid below the income range for your type of vocation in your region, then you have a viable reason to ask for a raise. There are many salary reporting web sites that can lead you to the negotiations skills you seek.

Once you have verified your realistic negotiations skills potential, then you have a realistic income goal in mind, in fact, you should decide on an actual money figure. Once that is done, you can set about to organize your plan to request a raise from your employer. Since you know how much increase you hope to generate from your employer, you can begin to equate that increase to the work that you do. Once you know how much work and what tasks are involved in your strategy - write it all down. Put it in writing so you can review progress daily. Then implement your plan.

Understand, all that effort is simply to justify to your employer the wisdom of paying you more, and to keep you happy as an employee. So your job is to prove to your boss that you see things from their perspective, that you understand their daily needs, that you are a big part of their solution. It's sometimes easy to ask for a raise. But not so easy to do it in a way that verifies your value to the firm, and clearly expresses how you contribute to a team effort, whereby your efforts deserve recognition. Once you can illustrate, in practical terms, how your efforts not only influence your personal negotiations skills, but also the results of others you work with, including your boss - and that you go beyond your minimum expected results, without being asked to do so -- then you are seen as an integral part of their system.

If you don't have that sort of immediate, open relationship with your boss - start planning now to engage him, so you have his attention later, to get your raise. Plan an informal chat with your boss. Tell him or her openly you want to help him to reach his company goals, and want to see yourself advance in title and income too, by partnering with them. Ask them how you can improve negotiations skills. The point is, vocalize your intention to get a raise. Then ask some pertinent questions that will help you gather information to solidify your raise strategy.

For instance, ask your supervisor specifically what you could do to add more value to your negotiations skills. Or, inquire about specific areas of improvement, while listening for clues about key areas where your boss can use a helping hand. Or just ask your boss outright what it would take for you to get a sizable raise in the next 4-6 months. The point here, identify the specific actions required to achieve your raise in income, then set those actions in motion. Know, in exact detail, how much money you might earn if you get a raise. Once you have proven your willingness to perform at a point that justifies a raise in income, ask for your raise.

Beyond obvious company production related duties, your efforts to justify a big raise for yourself is often measured by how well you get along with and work with others. Ask yourself some revealing questions, and you'll have to be honest in your answers, because fibbing to yourself about these core observations will only serve to waste your time. For instance, ask yourself how well you fit in with the negotiations skills you work with now. What would they say about you? Have you shown initiative in your job, doing more than is expected without being asked? Do you respect the company you work for? Do you respect your boss? Are you seen as a stand-out or as a seldom-seen employee? Do you have a vision for yourself and the company you work that stretches over the next three years? If yes, can you put that in writing? In other words, if your work behavior and performance seem weak or tepid to other employees, you have to fix those perceptions.

By building a thorough plan that leads you to a big raise, you can influence results. Once you've verified that your title and negotiations skills generate a higher income in your region than the income you receive now, and that your past efforts have shown results beyond those required to justify the higher income, and also benefited those around you too - that's when your boss will begin to get serious about your raise. But don't leave the results to chance. Work hard to make things happen. That's why you want to have a conversation with your boss in advance of asking for a raise. You want their list of what you can do to improve your situation. Add those actions to your plan. That way, when you go in to ask for your raise, you are full of confidence because you can point to specific goals and strategies that your boss requested, and which you fulfilled.

Salesmen have a saying: "Ask for the order." Many times, salesmen lose the sale because they do not ask the prospective buyer to make the purchase; same holds true for getting a raise from your boss. Too often, we are afraid to ask for more money. Employers like it that way. They want you to be fearful of asking for money. So you have to break that rule. Organize and plan how you will ask for your raise. The simple way is to set up a follow up visit with your boss, after you have worked your plan to get the raise, and after you've managed to orchestrate your labors and attitude to meet the results expected by your employer. At that point, it's easy. Simply review with your boss how you achieved the goals you were given to achieve a raise. Be thorough. Offer reports and other visual aids to support your argument. Be encouraging and don't be demanding. Focus on your results and the expected raise figures that were previously discussed.

Asking for a raise is not easy. But suffice it to say, by following the guidelines offered here, a happily employed individual has a realistic potential of getting a big raise in pay. And logic and common sense bear out the facts that employees asking for raises have a much better chance of achieving that goal when their attitudes, actions and performances help an employer to say "YES," to a request for a big raise.