Business

Pattie Lovett-Reid: Why it may not be the right time to ask for a raise

HUNTSVILLE, Ont. –


You feel you have been working around the clock, work-life and home-life boundaries have blurred and yet you aren’t really feeling valued and think you deserve a raise.


In today’s environment, is it a good idea to ask for a raise? Maybe!


Let’s start with when it isn’t the right time.


It isn’t likely a good idea if your company is struggling, dealing with a crisis or still trying to recover from the pandemic. It could be perceived as distasteful putting yourself ahead of the challenges facing the company.


You stand a far better chance of being financially rewarded by being a team player and helping the company overcome the hurdles they are facing. However, it is OK to ask what you can do to help make a difference for future consideration.


Unfortunately some old-school managers may find even asking for a raise off-putting, or you may work for a boss that finds it objectionable. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, especially if you feel it is warranted.


One thing is certain, the answer will always be a “no” if you never ask; however, if you do decide to ask for a raise it is often how you do it that can make the difference. So be prepared and have a reasonable idea of your worth.


Here are a few steps to consider:


1. Be very clear on why you feel you are underpaid and outline your case in a pragmatic manner. This isn’t the time to get emotional and you need to be fact-based. If you have surpassed certain targets, recently experienced a accomplishment or helped the company deliver better results, all are a great place to start.


Highlighting your lifestyle decisions and personal costs shouldn’t be part of the conversation. Don’t make it personal.


2. Do your research to determine the compensation of similar positions in the industry and consider brokering in your Human Resources Department to assist. They can also provide guidance on the timing of the request.


3. Be prepared to have them say no. This isn’t the time to threaten or give ultimatums. You might be better positioned asking what you can do to help move the organization forward. What is the company looking for in you, to warrant a raise?


4. Don’t hide behind email. This is the time for a face-to-face conversation. Timing is everything and if now isn’t the right time, it is reasonable to ask when the right time might be down the road.


Remember to look at your total compensation and not just your base salary. If a salary increase isn’t in the cards right now, maybe flexibility around working from home is, additional time off, education and training costs covered, or a potential bonus down the road. Explore all your options and understand your full compensation package.


At the end of the day if you still aren’t satisfied and still feel unvalued, it might be time to explore other opportunities, because another thing is certain — you get the final say.

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