Workplace Wellness: How to Ask For a Raise

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

How does compensation relate to workplace wellness? Well, studies like this one show that feeling valued at work is linked with higher rates of wellbeing. And while the notion of "value" isn't simply monetary, it's hard to ignore the glaring fact that money matters. Indeed, given that women still make about 20% less than their male counterparts here in the United States, it’s never been more important to know how to ask for a raise. Here’s how.

Do your research.

Before you decide to ask for a raise, do some reconnaissance around your competitive set. That’s to say, are you currently being paid market value? If you’re not, that’s a strong talking point to begin negotiations, granted you are working to your full potential. If you are being paid competitively, but still think you deserve a raise, don’t worry about it – our next recommendation will help you out.

Take account of what you’re doing.

Have your responsibilities increased since you were hired and/or received your last pay bump? What have you accomplished recently? These are all critical points to consider and make note of as you prepare to make your case for a raise. Be as thorough and specific as possible about the role you play in your company and how that correlates to your overall value.

Understand your motivations.

If you’re asking for more money because you feel like you deserve it, or you’re tired and work so hard, or your bank account is low, then unfortunately you’re asking for the wrong reasons. Step outside of personal motivations and step into the place of your employer: Why should they compensate you more for the work you’re doing? Sell yourself in an active way, focusing on the value you actually bring versus the compensation you feel you need.

Select a good time.

Conversations like this are best had at the appropriate moments, such as yearly or quarterly reviews or work anniversaries. Translation: You shouldn’t be broaching this subject while at your company holiday party or over email when your boss is on vacation. Furthermore, ensure that the timing is realistic: If you’ve only been working with your company for three months, it’s probably not the right time to ask for a raise.

Be prepared to negotiate.

Conversations around compensation can often be a fluid, so it’s important to put on your negotiating pants. In fact, a wise former boss told us in confidence that asking for a number higher than you think you’ll be able to procure is a good strategy (within reason), as it places you in a better negotiating position from the onset. Chances are, this number will be countered with something lower, but you’ll still be happy with what you’re walking away with. At least, we hope so! 

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