How to ask for a salary increase? 5 key tips to earn more

Employee motivation is key to organization success. But it’s important to remember how to ask for a salary increase and how that affects the content you give at work. These are also skills necessary to be an effective negotiator.

1. You must know when to ask for a salary increase

Before considering how to ask your boss for a raise, you need to assess your employment situation. This means that you must analyze the work you do within the company in which you are working and if these tasks merit requesting a salary increase .

A good time to apply the advice on how to ask for a raise is in circumstances such as the following:

  • You have been promoted to a new job position within the company.
  • Although you remain in the same position, your responsibilities have increased .
  • You have had significant success in some recent project.
  • You have made some extraordinary contribution to the company that has been recognized by your boss.

If you feel identified with any of the circumstances that we have mentioned, you have the perfect argument when you are asked for something as essential as justifying a salary increase.

Faced with these situations of success in your work, you have three options before you:

  • Sit back and continue working with the salary you have so far.
  • Find a new job that pays you more.
  • Learn how to ask for a pay raise.

If you are reading this article, it is because you have chosen the third option: you are determined to have that important conversation with your boss. However, what if you decided to ask your boss in the midst of a health crisis? Is it the right time to ask for a salary increase?

First, you must analyze the situation. These are strange and complicated times for everyone, so, at a work level, it is most likely that your responsibilities have increased or that you work more hours than normal. It is time for recognition, but how to ask for a salary increase in the midst of a health crisis caused by COVID-19? 

Fortunately, it is possible to ask for a salary increase in times of crisis. However, you must be very careful and empathetic enough with your employer. Follow these recommendations to ask for a salary increase in a pandemic or in any other difficult context. 

We have been living in this context for more than a year, so you have had enough time to analyze the situation, before knowing how to ask for a salary increase in a pandemic. 

Has the company been forced to reduce staff? Did the collaborators have to face a reduction in salary? Hiring suspended? Evaluate absolutely all scenarios before taking the next step .

After analyzing the present of your employer, ask yourself this question: is it the right time to ask for a salary increase? This little analysis will help you find the right time to request the much-desired increase. 

Knowing how to ask for a salary increase in times of crisis will be subject to your presence in the company. You should collect as much data as possible that will allow your employer to consider your raise. 

This has to do with an increase in responsibilities, more hours of work, the value that you have been adding to the company, among others. But let it not only remain in letters. Try to present data, such as emails or graphs that demonstrate your good performance. 

You should keep in mind that you cannot ask for more than 60% of your salary because, in general, companies grant a raise of 10% to 20%, depending on the financial state in which you are. 

We recommend that you do some research on what is the percentage that the company usually increases so that you are more prepared. Similarly, be clear about your expectations and, if an amount is discussed, you could leave a range with which you feel comfortable.

2. Decide how much money you want to earn.

Without a doubt, this is the first step to take to know how to ask for a salary increase that includes the payment you want to receive.

Perhaps your first impulse is to think of any amount you expect to receive. But when your boss asks you what your salary expectation is, you should offer a realistic figure appropriate to the current job market .

Find out how much other colleagues who hold jobs similar to yours earn in your company or consult with former colleagues who work in other companies in the same sector. This is a very important factor to know how to ask your boss for a raise.

Then, establish an amount of money according to the position you hold and what someone who does your job usually earns. In addition, knowing the average salary of your job position in the current market will help you strengthen your arguments to request a salary increase.

Remember that, for a labor negotiation to be effective, it is recommended that you establish an amount slightly higher than what you want to receive. In this way, you can accept that there is a reduction in said amount and that your new salary is what you really expect to receive.

3. Take into account other job benefits

Apart from requesting a salary increase, you can include other labor benefits that you would also like to receive from the company where you work.

Some examples of employment benefits are as follows:

  • Improvement in the current medical insurance: greater coverage and a more accessible price.
  • Discounts in sports or entertainment establishments such as gyms or cinemas.
  • Respect for days off and/or vacations.
  • Opportunities for growth within the company.
  • Bonuses.

Beyond how much money you want to earn, you should keep in mind that there are other factors that make your employment situation improve significantly.

4. Think about how to justify a raise

Often the first question your boss will ask you is, “Why should we give you a raise?” We do not recommend you to justify saying that you need to pay the rent or that you have additional expenses to cover.

On the contrary, you should keep in mind that your remuneration is due to a business contract and not to a favor that you do for the company . So, something like asking your boss for a raise requires preparation to have good arguments to discuss.

5. Choose a good time for the meeting with your boss

Do not ask your boss to talk about it right after a meeting because he will be tired or thinking about something else and you will probably not get favorable results.  

Part of the strategies to request a salary increase are based on choosing an optimal time for the meeting, either in person or remotely . The ideal is to schedule it for a moment in which both feel comfortable and without another pending activity.

Make sure that the conversation with your boss happens at a quiet moment during working hours without rushing or external pressure.

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