Help Employees Ask for Raises Properly

22 May

HR professionals can help workers ask for raises the right way.

Payroll management is a critical aspect of human resources departments, and it's important that HR professionals understand the salary needs of the workforce. Now that the recession has officially been over for some time, many workers may come forward asking for raises if they haven't already received pay increases.

However, asking for salary boosts can be intimidating to many, and it can be hard for even the best performers to request pay raises effectively. Employees can inadvertently harm their own career or end up throwing co-workers under the bus if staff members don't go into salary negotiations prepared, according to Salary.com.

HR professionals don't have to sit back when workers want to approach their managers and the HR department to negotiate a raise. HR professionals can give employees tips about when it is appropriate to come forward to ask for a bump in pay and the best ways to do so. This can help retain the company's top performers because it ensures the best talent knows how to ask for raises, and also ensures workers understand their true value at the business.

Give Workers' Feedback on Their Performance
First, employees should understand their worth at the company and compile evidence of their accomplishments before they ask for a pay increase, according to Phil Blair, a career expert and former co-owner of Manpower San Diego. Workers need to have the evidence in front of them about how well they have done their jobs, including positive emails from clients or managers.

Anita Attridge, an executive coach, told Forbes workers need to show why they deserve a raise – especially if the company isn't handing them out.

"Make the case of why you should be an exception to this policy," Attridge suggested. "This will need to focus on the results you have achieved for the company."

HR professionals are often in a great position to help employees truly assess what they have done at the company and their strengths and weaknesses. The more facts workers have when they enter salary negotiation meetings, the better off the meeting will go for both employees and their employers.

Provide Employees with an Accurate Picture of Reasonable Pay Increases
Some workers may think they deserve a 5 percent raise, but many times the company's payroll management doesn't allow for such an increase. There are websites that compares the salaries of various positions, and workers often use these sites to understand their market worth and determine how much of a raise they should ask for. It can be easy for an employee to go on such a site and see that a person in his or her position at a large company makes more than they do currently. However, the employer may not be able to offer such a high salary to the worker. HR professionals need to make sure workers are being realistic with how much they are asking for. HR departments enter into salary negotiations with new hires all the time and are perfectly outfitted to speak with employees about the salary ranges that are available. 

Practice Workers' Plans and Speeches with Them
It's important for employees to practice what they are going to say during salary negotiations before then enter into the meetings. There are certain phrases that can work against them, however, and HR professionals need to ensure their best talent don't ask for pay boosts in the wrong way. According to Blair, phrases like "I need a raise because my rent is going up" often doesn't encourage managers to give workers a pay boost. HR professionals need to coach the workplace's top performers about these elements of salary negotiations and work with them to ensure their speeches illustrate their true value to the company.

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