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Demanding Salary Increase: Here’s how to do it Part One

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Have you ever felt you’re underpaid and tried to demand a salary increase from your employer before? Yes, I’ve done it before; in fact twice. It is one of the most terrifying things to attempt as an employee; and it requires tact.

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Casey Brown in her Ted Talk said, “no one will ever pay you what you’re worth.They’ll only pay you what they think you’re worth and you control that thinking”. Brown’s statement backs up the fact that when it comes to your price as an employee, nothing should be left to chance. re-evaluating your price as an employee.z

Here’s the catch, the mistake most employees make when demanding a salary increase is to negotiating on the wrong terms by making statements highlighted below; e.g,
1. Sir, I’m working so hard!
2. I’ve been with the company for so long!
3. My current pay can no longer sustain my family and I.

Using any of these examples would most certainly backfire as I’ve seen it happen to employees time and time again. In simple terms, it doesn’t work. What then?

Firstly, you must understand that salary renegotiation is focused on one thing – value. Not sentiments, not hard work, inflation, bills or personal issues. Most employees wouldn’t listen to your personal woes. Complaining might be seen as insubordination and could lead to you being devalued as an employee.

More so, it’s about “value communication. Communication is a two-way street that involves the understanding of not just the evaluation of your own worth. It’s the perceived evaluation of what your employer; targeting and communicating your value to address that.

Some employees are valuable staff team players within the organisation. employers take advantage of them. The problem with such employees is their inability to “communicate their worth” nor have the courage to do so – it takes courage to approach your employer to demand a pay raise.

Re-evaluating your price as an employee is a highly valuable skill in the job market. A negotiation skill that is more in your psychology rather than what you do; and it can be learnt. It’s more about “how it’s done” rather than “what is done”.

Incorporating the right strategy, learning skills and courage, you can communicate your value well and get what you are truly worth from your job role..

In her presentation, Casey Brown suggest that employees ask the following questions to clarify their own worth before approaching their employer:
1. What’s the need of my employer?
2. How valuable are my skill sets in meeting that need?
3. What can I do that others cannot do – how easily replaceable am I?

Asking yourself these questions will not only help clarify your value, but also clears doubts. At this point, you know whether you are in a winning position to negotiate your price or not.

The quality of your answers to those questions will determine whether you should request for a salary increase or quietly stay put or begin planning your exit to a more rewarding organization.

Watch out for my next article for a full breakdown on “the winning strategy to demanding a salary increase”.

By Julius Okasor M. (ACIPM)
HR Business Partner & Recruitment Specialist

Image courtesy of Seunmanuel Faleye - ApplesBite International Magazine
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