Getting a Raise at Work Might Not Be as Hard as You Think
Diane L. Katz, Ph.D., a Tucson, Arizona based organization consultant and author of the new book, Win at Work! The Everyone Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution, offers a strategy for resolving workplace conflicts such as debating the merits of a raise. You need a game plan that allows you to be professional, assertive but not confrontational, and clear about what you want. Diane Katz’s time-tested approach speeds up decision-making, blends intuition and logic, and leaves everyone comfortable with the solution.
To get a raise, she recommends thinking carefully about what you want and how your performance compares to the other employees around you. Next, research the wage rates and ranges of other workers in your profession and with your level of experience and responsibility.
Determine what is negotiable. Identify all the possible forms of compensation that can be given to you. In addition to your hourly rate or salary, consider vacation time, paid health leave, travel and per diem, and the ability to work at home. Can you get paid for key product or service deliverables by the unit or by the job? Bonuses and commissions may also be something you can negotiate.
After doing your homework, ask your boss for a meeting. At the start, present the key data that support your case. Describe what you have accomplished and any promises made to you, then state what you want. Assure the boss that you like the work and the challenge, but expect to be fairly and appropriately compensated.
Be prepared to receive a tough or even a negative response. Accept criticism, but say what you have you learned from mistakes and misunderstandings and remain firm.
If you get yes, show appreciation but don’t leave without asking for confirmation or at least a timeframe for when you will have the details on your new compensation and the effective date.
If the answer is no, assess what you learned. Focus on how your work performance is viewed, and what you need to do to protect your future there or elsewhere.
No matter what the outcome, you win by standing up for yourself, making your feelings known, demonstrating your commitment and ability, and maintaining your self-respect.
Dr. Katz has been a human resources executive at various corporations (American Express, Chase, KPMG, Alexander & Alexander). At the latter, she was vice-president and responsible for 7,000 employees nationwide. She started her consulting company (The Working Circle Teambuilding, Inc., in Tucson) in 1995. She has a master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia and a Ph.D. in conflict resolution from Union Institute.
Win at Work! The Everyone Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution (ISBN 978-0-59917-4) is available at Borders bookstores, at Borders.com, at Amazon.com, at Barnes & Noble and BarnsandNoble.com, as well as other retailers across the country.
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