How many times you have thought about asking your boss for a raise but didn’t follow through on it at the last minute.
It might have gone something like this when you planned to ask for a raise which you thought you rightly deserved. You told yourself “Okay today is the day I am finally going to ask my boss after the meeting.”
After the meeting, you gather the courage but suddenly your heart starts beating very fast, your knees get weak and when you open your mouth to ask, nothing comes out. Feeling nervous, you convince yourself, it’s okay, I will ask next time.
It was a terrifying experience and trust me I have gone through the same. But looking back, the reason I was nervous was that I did not have A PLAN on how to strategise to ask for a raise.
Remember the time you were supposed to do a presentation and you were not prepared? You would have quickly run through the slides and hoped that no one asks you any questions at the end. Now contrast that with a presentation that you have prepared for weeks or months, when it was time to present, you owned the room and was actually expecting lots of questions. The difference? The level of your Preparedness. Confidence is built when we are better prepared.
So asking for a raise is the same thing! Start preparing months before you actually sit down with your boss to ask for a raise.
Today, I want to share with you a simple strategy that you can use to ask for a salary raise even if you have ZERO negotiation skills.
The strategy is to Document and Keep Track of Everything.
Document your Career Achievements
Recall the last review that you had with the manager. How long before the review did you prepare for it? As we are busy managing our day to day work schedule, most of the time we wait till the last minute, sometimes hours before the review process to remember what are our achievements for the past quarter and which projects we have successfully completed, right?
And when it comes to the review process, we expect our managers to know and remember our contributions and give us the compensation that we deserve. Well, your managers are equally busy and they can’t remember everything.
Therefore, from now onwards, create a new spreadsheet and key in the following columns:
Project Title (a brief description)
Key Metric at Start
Date ended (if applicable)
Key Metric at End
Results and achievable (Quantify it)
Next, for every future project that you do in your work, document and track it with this spreadsheet. It could even be a very small task or project, but still, track it.
For example, if you had a strategy to shorten the time spent filling up an internal request form, here is how you would write it:
Project Title (a brief description) : Shorten laptop request process
Date started : 04/01/2022
Key Metric at Start: 3 working days to complete a request
Date ended (if applicable) : 04/02/2022
Key Metric at End: 24 hrs to complete a request
Results and achievable (Quantify it): Reduced request process time by 67%
Notes: Put in automated processes which reduced human effort to approve the request process
Now you have tangible evidence for your initiative that helped to reduce the document processing time. And if this automated process is adopted to other processes in the company, the time saved could potentially be exponential.
Next, schedule a time with your boss:
Boss: Hey Wesley, how can I help?
You: Hey boss! I wanted to share some results with you that I’ve been keeping track of over the last quarter. Here is a quick summary, but it’s essentially showing that I helped save 70% in time to process our internal document.
Boss: Wow, that’s great Wesely! Good Job!
You: Thank you. I’m going to continue coming up with these kinds of suggestions which will help to increase our productivity. If I can continue to produce these results over the next quarter, could we discuss an adjustment in my salary?
Boss: Well, maybe we could consider it.
You: Great, I shall get back to work now. Thanks!
3 Months Later (And Several More Initiatives Tracked)
You: Hey boss, – not only did I reduce the document processing time by 70%, but I also duplicated the automation process to 3 of our other internal processes, making it more efficient and freeing up more time for our staff! Going back to our discussion a few months ago, I was hoping that we could discuss a salary adjustment.
Boss: You’ve been putting in some awesome work Wesley, and you’re making me look great. Let’s see if we can get you that raise.
So that’s it. This is just a template that you could use and adjust to your own work needs. The key point here is to document and track all your project deliverables and achievement and key your boss informed. This way, your boss knows that you have been performing and when the time comes to ask for a raise, it should be effortless.
Try it out and test it in your next review.
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