You just found out that other professionals in your role make at least 10k more than you. But before you go demanding a raise, here are four things you need to consider to help ensure a productive discussion and positive outcome.
1. Know your company’s current compensation strategy.
At most companies, base salary is one piece of the Total Rewards/Compensation package which may include stock, health benefits, paid time off, maternity and paternity leave, retirement plans, insurance, continuing education, etc. It’s not uncommon for companies with excellent benefits to provide a slightly lower base salary. Step back and make sure you’re looking at the entire picture.
2. Know your value.
The Know Your Worth tool helps you understand your value based on your years of experience, the market for your role, and your current pay as compared to our data on pay in your area for similar roles. But reflect on the value you bring to the company. Consider your last review. Consider your wins. Be prepared with the information you need to support your discussion.
3. Know your company’s process for promotions and raises.
While not impossible, it’s rare to receive a promotion or raise off-cycle. What does this mean? Most companies have set times in the year when they conduct formal reviews and determine raises and promotions.
There are many factors that go into these decisions — everything from reviews by peers, your success in meeting formal goals, market data on compensation, and how much money your company actually has. Small, cash-strapped startups, for example, may be less likely to offer a pay increase outside of the promotion or raise cycle. That doesn't mean you’re not worth it or not incredibly valuable to the company, but the money might just not be there.
4. Know what’s important to you.
Recent research shows that compensation and benefits typically fall at the bottom of the list of things driving employee satisfaction. What’s number one? Culture and Values.
What’s most important to you? Is it flexibility? Great people? A fast-paced exciting environment? While salary is a good starting point, negotiating what's important to you can and should be about more than just salary.
You are more than just the work you produce, and companies are more than just the base salary they exchange for a job well done. Be sure to take a little time to reflect on all the things that are important to you out of your job. Understand how your company thinks about total rewards and compensation. Know what value you bring to your company. Be smart about your timing, and make sure you drive the discussion to ensure you’re negotiating for the things that matter most to you.