Asking for a pay hike can be a tricky affair. Even after a lot of discussions with your boss, you might end up having nothing more than mere assurances.
Your appraisal depends on a lot of factors, some of which you have no control over. A recession hit market, company's financial loss, etc are examples of some such reasons.
However, there still a whole lot of things that are indeed in your control and you can try to maneuver these factors to get the kind of hike that you are looking at. Here's what you can do:
List down your responsibilities:
Make a bulleted list of all the responsibilities handled by you in the last one year. Do not miss out on any task. Then try explaining the problems faced by you while performing them and the way adopted to overcome the difficulties.
Self initiated efforts are always acknowledged with respect. Therefore make sure you dedicate enough time for the list.
Make a note of the extra work:
It is important to have undertaken additional responsibilities in your work-life. This not only shows your dedication towards work but also the capability to accommodate more work within the allotted time. Your willingness and confidence will help your boss to build trust in you.
Speak about the added skills:
Sometimes you need to learn certain skills do be able to perform your current job better. Point out any skill-building activities you've done or professional training courses you've taken. Any knowledge transfer or training to other team members should also be spoken about during the performance review meetings.
Collect your thoughts and prepare yourself for the meeting. Get your points ready and keep all inferences to work at the back of your mind. Remember to use positive terms and sound confident in the meeting. Present your case clearly and logically.
Talk to the decision-maker, not HR, if you can:
Often people throw themselves into negotiations with people who don't have any power over pay. It's a waste of time. Many times the company appoints a person from the HR team to have pay discussions, who might then pass pay rise requests up the line, but often key messages are lost or distorted. So try and find out who are the key decision makers and also look at ways that you can speak with them.
Get the data:
It is important to know what others in similar positions are being paid by competitors and the employer in question via salary surveys from recruiters or word of mouth.
This will give you an idea how less or more you are getting in terms of market competition.
Pick The Right Time:
People pick the right time and a quiet, private place for having a salary discussion and book a meeting rather than casually stopping by to ensure they get the decision-maker's attention.
You don't want to be going in when the person you are dealing with has had bad news or there's a crisis in the organization. The right time will also depend on the work cycle in the organization.
Don't just accept the first offer:
Whether you should take a first offer from an employer depends on what was offered and your circumstances.
Read the person's mine you are dealing with for salary negotiations and be open to accepting a good salary offer, particularly in the current economic climate.
But in senior executive positions, sales roles, and other jobs where people are expected to be good at bargaining, taking a first offer can be a big mistake, as employers tend to anticipate bargaining in such roles and build this into their first offer.
Be ready. Don't wait for someone to recognize your achievements. Step forward and request for your promotion.