3 mistakes to avoid while negotiating a salary hike
If you are currently working in the Gulf, there’s good news: Despite an economic crisis in the region, salaries are set to increase by an average of 4.7% in 2017. This was the projection of a recent survey by human resource solutions provider Aon Hewitt which anticipated that new policies relating to inflation, taxation, diversification, and commodity pricing which are expected to kick in in the near future will lead to a hike in employee salaries despite a tough existing economic environment in the region.
While the quantum of salary hike is expected to differ by country and sector, the survey points to unmistakeable signs of economic optimism in the near term. In such a situation, what’s important for you is to get the best deal for yourself when you are called in to the manager’s office for your salary discussion and annual review. Sadly, a majority of employees make the mistake of not negotiating hard enough for their salaries since they find such negotiations discomfiting. However, this is a serious mistake for two reasons: it leads to lesser earnings for the employee, and in the long term, often results in dissatisfaction with the job when the employee starts resenting the fact his/her pay does not match his/her input to the company.
Admittedly, many employees fear negotiations because they are afraid of their demands being rejected. They also believe that hard negotiation may imperil their relationship with the management by exposing differences and leading to the crystallization of opinions on both sides. However, these are minor anxieties which can be addressed through simple hacks.
Read these tips on what not to do while negotiating a pay rise and make salary discussions easier for yourself.
Prepare for your salary negotiation
Turning up at a salary negotiation unprepared means you’ll only end up wasting your manager’s time by coming up with specious arguments about why you deserve a raise. Instead, do an exhaustive research on what the market is paying people in your position by using a salary tool to get an accurate estimate about existing market salaries. Once you have a benchmark, negotiation is going to become much simpler. That apart, find out about the salary environment in your company. How is the company balance sheet looking this year? Is the company in the middle of retrenchments or restructuring? This will give you an idea of how much salary increment you can realistically expect.
Don’t let emotions get in the way
Among the biggest mistakes an employee can make is to make an emotional appeal to the manager for a salary hike by appearing excessively needy. This will only put the boss on guard for manipulation and s/he may not be as receptive of your proposal as under ordinary circumstances. The correct approach is to pitch your proposal as a business case, listing out the reasons why a salary hike for you could prove to be a win-win situation for both you and the manager/company. Make a list of all your accomplishments in the past year and use them as reference notes for the meeting to prove your work ethic. If you have latent skills, mention how a monetary incentive could motivate you to use them to address various pain points of the company.
Don’t always expect to hear a 'Yes'
As mentioned above, the fear of rejection is among the major reasons why employees tend to shun salary negotiation. The best way to get over this, according to negotiation coach and trainer Jim Camp, author of the book NO: The Only Negotiating Strategy You Need for Work and Home, is to enter the negotiation room expecting a ‘no’ from the start, and letting the manager know about your willingness to hear a no. This, Camp contends, will put the manager at ease while also allowing you to negotiate from a position of strength since you have nothing to lose even with a rejection. What should you do if a rejection does indeed come your way? The author believes that the rejection should not be seen as a finality and that it has the potential to open up more communication channels leading to a salary increment and greater career development in the future.
Remember that you are only allowed to ask for a hike if you have been a consistently high achiever in your company. Lower than expected or even average performance isn’t usually enough for your boss to seriously consider you for additional increment. Don’t be rude, threaten, give ultimatums, or adopt intractable positions during the meeting.
Finally, don’t lose heart if you hear a no and, since negotiation is all about give and take, adopt with a mindset where you are willing to compromise.
For more tips on how to negotiate the best deal for yourself, click here