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How To

How to Ask for a Raise During Performance Review

Andrew Langat
July 18, 2023
A round table business meeting.
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"The biggest risk is not taking any risk... In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks." - Mark Zuckerberg.

James is in his third year as a computer system analyst; he has previously aced performance reviews, and increasingly most managers in the company rely on his opinion before making significant decisions. However, despite all this, he has never had a pay raise, and salary research on his industry reveals that he lags way below his peers.

He feels the time is ripe to ask for a raise in the coming annual review. As a growth-minded individual, he hopes for positive feedback but is unsure how to go about this conversation.

Is this the appropriate time?

Will my raise request get rejected?

Like James, you might also wonder how to start your career path. Here is how to ask for a pay raise with your current employer.

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How to Ask for a Raise at Work: Our Best Tips

Use the following tips when asking for a raise.

First, Ask yourself: Is this the right time?

It would help if you asked this question. The right timing is everything. It can make or break your case. A great deal of self-awareness will help with this. It is the right time to ask for a raise when:

  • There is increased revenue, and you can tie this to some of your efforts
  • When your current salary is way below industrial standards
  • You consistently get positive feedback, and you want to leverage this

It is the wrong time to ask for a raise when:

  • There has been a recent round of layoffs & there are signs of a coming layoff
  • When the company has frozen further pay increase
  • When company sales have reduced considerably(poor financial health)
  • When the company is restructuring

Prepare for the salary raise Conversation

This should never be a walk-in and start-a-conversation kind of scenario. Take your time to prepare. This entails learning about your role, what drives your boss, and the company's goals and policies. This will help you anticipate what to expect from your boss and how to respond to your boss or manager's queries. Essentially, you should be able to answer: "Why should I give you a raise?"

To prepare for a conversation and go to the meeting prepared, do the following:

  • Learn about how to communicate effectively. You need to know that how you pass your message significantly impacts whether you will get a pay raise.
  • Learn the art of negotiation. You need to this conversation professionally and apply the rules of effective engagement.
  • Compile reasons why you believe that you deserve a raise.

Fun Tip: Don't just practice; record it.

Here is an example script for the salary conversation after a performance review with your boss.

You: Hi, James; thank you for meeting with me today. I wanted to talk to you about my salary following my performance review.

Boss: Sure, I'm looking forward to hearing why you deserve a pay increase.

You: I've been with the company for five- years and consistently exceeded expectations in my role. I've also taken on new responsibilities.

Boss: First, I appreciate your hard work and dedication. You've been a valuable asset to the team. The concrete numbers from the last financial year attest to this.

You: Thank you. I appreciate your positive feedback. I'm confident I'm worth $80,000 in my current role. This is slightly lower than the market rate for a similar position.

Boss: I understand your request. It has been a long since you last raise. I'll need to talk to HR to see what we can do in the near future, as we have faced similar requests from many employees.

You: Thank you for your consideration, and please note that if the company budget is tight, I'm open to discussing additional benefits you have for consideration.

Boss: You're welcome. I'll surely get in touch once we have reviewed your request.

Determine a competitive salary for your position

How much you are paid depends on many factors: geographical location, type of company, experience, education level, etc. Regardless of your position, there is always a way to gauge if your salary is competitive.

A simple Google search such as the "average salary range of a data analyst in New York" can shed light on your standing.

You can further break this down to a specific industry. "Such as the average salary range of a data analyst in Banking in New York."

This way, you can go into the conversation from the point of knowledge. Additional sites for salary review include Glassdoor, Indeed, and

Always Bring Data + Numbers(Your Accomplishments)

Data and numbers will be your greatest assets for why you deserve a pay rise. As is often the case, numbers don't lie. For example, an argument such as this can enhance your prospects:

"Since I assumed this role, there has been much success and a considerable improvement in revenue. The strategy plan I designed and helped execute led to a rise in new customer onboarding by 14%

Don't forget to negotiate other benefits

Don't be fixated on just money when going for salary negotiation. Remember that compensation doesn't always mean more money alone. It can include additional benefits such as health insurance, daycare reimbursement, prospects for professional development, retirement plans, etc.

round table business meeting

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What are the Rules for Negotiating Salary Raise?

1. Don't Focus on Salary Raise only.

When negotiating a job offer, don't be blinded by money alone as a means to an end. Doing this may make you look greedy and limit your chances of pay increases.

It is advisable to look at the bigger picture and be ready to discuss available options.

Consider other factors like flexibility, growth opportunities, location, travel, vacation days, and educational offerings to determine the actual value of the position.

2. Don't set a Salary range

When asking for a raise, be specific. Use exact figures instead of ranges. Specific numbers demonstrate that you've done your research and accurately reflect your value. It makes it more likely to receive an offer.

3. Create a strong argument.

To negotiate for a better offer, it's crucial to articulate why you're worth more than the initial proposal. Along with researching, take note of examples that showcase your strengths and how you can positively impact the company's success. Mention any certifications, degrees, or qualifications that exceed the job requirements. However, it's essential to be completely honest. Falsifying your experience or salary history could jeopardize your job chances.

4. Elaborate why you deserve it.

You'll unlikely receive an updated offer if the company doesn't already think you're a strong candidate. It's essential to express enthusiasm for the position and indicate that you prefer this role over other offers, as they may be considering other candidates and could move on to their second choice if they sense any hesitation from you.

5. Document the deals.

When negotiating, stay positive and know when to accept an offer. Employers won't withdraw an offer due to negotiation but avoid pushing too hard. After agreeing on compensation, request documentation with all special arrangements outlined.

6. Have realistic expectations.

Your initial salary negotiation pitch is crucial. Research your industry, location, and experience to determine your market value. Come up with a competitive but realistic number. Be prepared with specific figures to stay in control of the conversation. Any counteroffer will be based on your first offer.

7. Have limits

Don't waste your time negotiating for a raise if you won't have leeway for negotiation. Employers usually won't increase offers at the lowest end of the spectrum, especially if others hold similar roles. You may not receive a substantially higher salary than your colleagues.

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Avoid Doing These Things When Asking for a Raise

To enhance your chances of a salary increase, avoid the following:

Don't use personal reasons to justify why you need a raise

No matter how compelling you think your reasons might be, it should never be tied to salary negotiation. Personal stuff is personal and, as such, should remain that way. Examples of personal reasons include:

  • "I need this increase as we are expecting another child."
  • "My mortgage payments just went up!"

Don't lose your cool

Your Manager's feedback on salary increase might not be what you want to hear. You might have worked hard; your data supports your claim, and your recent performance review clicked all the right points.

Don't Fudge Numbers or Take Undue Credit When Asking for a Raise.

It is not advisable to manipulate numbers to increase your chances of receiving a raise. This behavior can have serious consequences, including termination from your job.

It's essential to never take credit for someone else's accomplishments when negotiating a pay raise. This unethical tactic will not lead to success in the long run.

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How should I respond to a raise rejection?

Although you may greatly anticipate an improvement in your salary. You may receive a negative response. In case of this eventuality, do the following:

1. Seek other Networks.

Many organizations are transitioning towards flat structures, moving away from strict hierarchies. If your workplace has a corporate culture of decentralized power, your boss may be just one of the many stakeholders responsible for your career growth and salary increase.

To expand your network of allies and increase your chances of advancement, consider requesting a meeting with your boss's boss to discuss your contributions and work. By building relationships with additional stakeholders, multiple supporters will be backing you up.

Remember that being denied a raise can be a setback and an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

2. Suggest alternatives.

Before proposing solutions to your Manager, ask for their perspective first. You can negotiate for a raise, bonus, stock options, job title, vacation time, professional development, work-from-home, or home office upgrades.

3. Continue the Dialogue.

Rejection can lead to dialogue and negotiation. If a raise request is denied, suggest a development plan. Create specific metrics and check in regularly with your boss to show determination and exceed expectations.

4. Authentically Share Your Achievements.

When asking for a salary increase, it's essential to highlight your achievements. You can spread the word about your impact by giving a case study presentation or appearing as a guest on industry podcasts. Additionally, start meetings with your supervisor by sharing recent successes, and make sure to frame them in terms of how they benefit clients or advance the company instead of just personal accomplishments.

5. Take a Step back to Contemplate the Decision.

To comprehend why your boss denied your request, it is crucial to identify any potential challenges they may have faced. Approach the conversation with an open mind and a curious demeanor. Refraining from becoming defensive in your tone and body language is imperative. Consider asking pointed questions such as:

- What factors contributed to this decision?

- How are performance and compensation evaluated?

- What can I do to improve my situation?

Acquiring more information will aid in determining whether it's worth staying with the company and negotiating for a higher salary or determining if it's time to start planning for a new position where you'll be more appreciated.

6. Take a diplomatic approach.

After being rejected by your boss, you must process your emotions before responding. Thank them for their honesty and express disappointment, but also remain committed to adding value to your role. This opens the door for future discussions about compensation.

7. Have Goals and Objectives.

To guarantee your success, it's necessary to approach your next moves as distinct projects. This approach will simplify staying motivated as you work towards smaller yet attainable goals, such as securing a new client in the coming month. Instead of fixating on lofty objectives like increasing sales over the next quarter, set ambitious targets to keep you driven and focused on one task at a time.

As you accomplish each milestone, you must recognize your progress and reward yourself with something modest, like a meal from your preferred sushi spot. By commemorating each small triumph, you can maintain your momentum and keep propelling forward.

To Sum Up;

These pointers will help you sustain your motivation and transform a rejection into an opportunity. Although it may be daunting, preserving your momentum can unlock doors beyond your expectations in your current and future roles.

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Want to learn more about connecting self-awareness to professional development? Get in touch today.

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How Highrise Can Help

In conclusion, asking for a raise during your performance review can be crucial to advancing your career and recognizing your worth. Highrise, an online leadership development platform designed for growth-minded professionals in fast-paced industries, offers valuable insights and strategies to help you be prepared to navigate this critical conversation successfully.

Remember, when requesting a raise, it's essential to prepare thoroughly, highlighting your accomplishments, skills, contributions, and the value you bring to the organization. Approach the conversation confidently and professionally, emphasizing your dedication and commitment to your role.

Highrise provides comprehensive resources and expert guidance on presenting your case effectively, negotiating confidently, and ultimately increasing your chances of securing the raise you deserve.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.