RESOLVING TO SEEK HIGHER PAY SETS AN ACHIEVABLE
By David Bowman, Human Resources
Los Angeles Business Journal: January 13-19,
Every New Year, most
of us make resolutions intended to make our personal or working lives better.
Of course, we tend to forget about them nearly as quickly as we make them.
there's one resolution that can be made and actualized quickly; you can
get a raise. It takes some research - in terms of what you've contributed
to the organization, as well as what compensation levels exist elsewhere
- but a raise can be had quickly by following certain steps.
First, realize that
asking for a raise is an emotional experience. Both dollars and ego are
at stake so steeling yourself to the task and its outcome is necessary
at the outset.
Next, when you approach
the boss for a raise, you must have several things with you as proof that
you deserve more money.
Memories can be short,
so bring along past performance reviews. Your boss may not remember what
he/she said about you last year or the year before. If there's a new boss,
he or she may not have had enough time to form opinions about you. In
this case, past reviews can be essential.
An absolute must
is a list of accomplishments you've performed for the organization. Have
you increased revenues, decreased costs, or developed better, faster,
less costly system or method of doing things? Quantify these, in terms
of dollars increased and/or costs or hours saved. You will justify your
raise on the basis of receiving your share of the increased productivity
You must have statistics
involving a recent success with which you've been involved. If you were
a member of a team, remember that you're only asking for a share of the
results of the success.
Prepare a list of salary ranges for the same or similar jobs - both inside
and outside your organization. Ask human resources about the salary range
of your job. Depending on where you are in that range, you will know how
much room there is for more money.
For external ranges,
ask friends in other organizations, or perhaps those in industry associations
about ranges elsewhere. Also, check salary.com or similar Web sites.
positive body language. Sit straight and look the boss in the eye. Slouching
and looking away indicate you are unsure of yourself, or that your information
can't be trusted.
Perhaps your organization
has a salary freeze, or you have found through research that you're at
the upper end of the internal and external range for your job. Don't despair.
There are several alternate reward systems that your organization may
be using - 30 percent of the Fortune 500 use some form of variable compensation
for non-executives (professionals, administrators, technicians, production
This percentage is
even higher for management. Here are just a few you might investigate.
Most resolutions for
the new year require drastic mental or physical changes. Not so with getting
a raise. If you have a history of accomplishments - even minor ones, or
those as part of a team - and if you do some homework to become articulate
in describing them, as well as to discover the alternate reward systems
available, this resolution could come true quickly!
- Individual incentives
based on company performance and/or individual achievement. Have you
been included? Ask your boss or human resources about these.
- Instant incentives
based on performance for specific projects. These generally amount to
between 2 percent and 10 percent of annual salary. If you haven't been
included in such a plan, find out if it's being offered in your organization
and get in on it.
- Company-wide incentives.
These usually are based on bonus points for performance of a particular
job category and/or financial performance or a particular unit. If your
job category isn't rewarded as well as others, it may be time to consider
a change. If your unit is a financial or productivity laggard, get into
another one with better performance.
- Gain-sharing based
on increased productivity and/or cost reductions. Typically, this system
is used in manufacturing and operations functions. Have you been a part
of these calculations? If you're not included in gainsharing, consider
if your job is peripheral to a group that's within that system. Are
you essential to their efficient operation? If you can make your case
effectively, you may be included.
- Company stock.
About 30 percent of U.S. companies use this reward system as an incentive.
Regardless of the ups and downs of the stock market, this can be an
attractive reward, presuming the stock is free.
Dave invites you to read other inspiring articles FREE.
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Find out more about Dave Bowman...
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