Asking for a raise, especially out of annual salary increase cycles, is always a daunting task.
That being said, if it creates uncertainty and stress in your everyday work life, it is something you need to do sooner,
rather than later.
There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before also approaching this subject
with a Manager or HR Department, and you need to be prepared to argue these questions, as a Manager will
argue a raise in salary on exactly these points and business principles.
1. Why am I being paid less? (Why you feel this way)
This might be because of qualifications or seniority or even experience.
Experience is key. The biggest question here that needs answering is the Why?
2. Is what I am asking or expecting market related? (What you could do before tackling the How)
There are many resources out there to assist you with this answer, like online salary surveys.
A company will rarely pay you more than market related, but this is a good thing. As paying you more than market
related will make you to expensive in the market, and therefore more difficult to employ later on in life.
(It's called, pricing someone out of the market)
3. Talking to the right person, the right way (How you can attempt to resolve this)
As a Manager in a large multinational, this is how I would prefer one of my reports address this matter with me.
a) Schedule a time that suits both parties to sit and talk, uninterrupted for at least 30 minutes, behind closed doors.
Salary increase discussions does not happen around the water cooler.
b) Mark the appointment as a General Discussion. Do not make it urgent. This needs to be seen as a general catch-up. But pay attention that the meeting times are adhered to and attended on set time and date. Most importantly, at the end of this meeting there must be a resolve. Either a Yes, or a No.
c) Salary increase motivations is stressful both ways, it is just as stressful to say no, as it is asking for an increase. Consider this while in the meeting. Most Managers will always help if within their power to do so, and granted the request is warranted.
d) Salaries are confidential in most cases. Treat this as such. Do not make a big issue of the meeting, or discuss it with anyone you work with as this might make the manager feel like he/she is being backed into a corner from the start, and they will therefore go into the meeting on the defense.
e) Be ready to motivate your case. Co-workers salaries are confidential in 100% of the cases, you can not use their pay grades as an argument. It immediately indicates you gained access to privileged information. When making an argument you need to motivate based on market-related for your position, plus maybe a little extra for proven experience. Rule of thumb here is go in with Black and White data. If it's not on paper, is not part of the discussion.
f) Remain calm. Ask the question. Motivate your request. Discuss the matter. Listen to the answer. Although you need to argue your case. This is not an argument, and neither is it the place for one. Never, never, never get mad in salary discussions. You will terminate all hope of future discussions right there is you do get mad. The most successful salary negotiations is one where emotions was removed from the equation.
g) Accept that the answer might be "No". Prepare yourself for this mentally before the meeting. It is not always
within our control as managers to say Yes. As that has a very realistic budget implication. Listen to the reasons, if "No' and work on them if within your power to do so. Schedule a follow up meeting later on, once you addressed the matters raised by your Manager and re-address the subject then.
To summarize. When you want to ask for a raise here are some points to remember.
1. Set a Date.
2. Do your market related research and prepare your case.
3. Respect the person on the other side for the position he/she is being placed in.
4. Remain calm and collected. Keep emotions at bay.
5. Ask, Motivate. Listen. Accept.
6. If required, schedule a follow up with a realistic time line connected to it.