Should You Ask for That Raise?

Been thinking about asking for a raise but not quite sure how to broach the subject with your boss? Here are a few things you should consider before making that possibly fateful journey down the hall:

Forget the old criteria for granting raises.

Long gone are the days when raises were given for seniority, years of service, education, or experience. Instead, employers are basing their decisions on whether an employee adds economic value to the organization. In essence, you and all other employees in the company are profit centres. That is, you must generate benefits to your employer that exceed what you cost.

Develop a clear sense of what you’re really worth to your employer.

One of the big problems we see is the inability of people to honestly and accurately assess their worth to the overall organization. Before asking for a raise, answer the following questions truthfully:

While you might be valuable in your own department, is your department valuable to the company? How much does your department contribute to the strategic goals of the company? If you left the company, how difficult would it be for the company to replace you? What knowledge and skills do you have that others – both inside and outside the company – do not have?

Don’t confuse effort with contribution.

While often there is a correlation between hard work and positive results, this isn’t always the case. Simply putting in the hours, in itself, does not always mean you’re adding value.

Ask for a raise only if you’re worth more than you’re making.

While this may sound obvious,some people do incredibly foolish things that hurt their careers.

If you’re not worth more than you make, develop a plan to make yourself more valuable.

The best approach is to make yourself accountable for results. If you’re in charge of a project, make sure there are concrete, measurable targets that you and your boss agree on. If you have accomplishments over the past year of which you are particularly proud, be certain to measure their value.

Only when you’ve demonstrated a positive contribution to the company will your worth will go up.