I have a boss who always avoids renegotiating my salary. And when the discussion returns, he says that he does not have the necessary margin when I know very well that he has the margin. – Nicole

Nicole’s question usually arouses many emotions. Indeed, many associate their salary with their own value, and even today, the subject remains relatively taboo. However, it is essential to talk about it openly, because its impact on your level of motivation, commitment and performance is direct. So how do you craft a clear, well-structured request and ensure you’re heard without getting emotional? Here are a few things to think about.

The context refers to the sum of the internal and external elements on which you can base your request for a raise.

1. The annual cycle of salary increases will be the first element to consider.

Depending on their size and structure, organizations follow a specific cycle that generally aligns with the fixed-date performance management process. Be sure to notify your manager ahead of the cycle so that he can prepare adequately. Some organizations also have slack to award mid-year or off-cycle raises. Find out how your organization works to submit your application at the most appropriate time of year.

2. What about your personal performance, the performance of your work team, and the overall health of the organization and the industry in which it operates? Is your organization/industry hiring massively or are you getting instructions on budget cuts instead?

3. The strength of the economy, and the supply and demand for your position are also helpful in determining if the conditions are right for you to ask for a raise. Are you in a high demand position? Are there multiple employers hiring for similar positions right now?

Not that a difficult economic or organizational context completely prevents increases, but your knowledge of the broader issues will allow you to better frame your salary expectations.

To get a good offer, first establish your salary expectations. While it’s tempting to aim higher than your salary goal as a negotiation tactic, be careful not to undermine your credibility by asking too high. It is better to make a request that is realistic, honest and supported by good arguments. To do this, base your request on external competitiveness or on your progression in the salary scale.

If you base your salary expectations on your market value, or external competitiveness, rely on sources that take into account the level of experience and the region. Check mainstream sites (Payscale, Glassdoor, or publications available on the web) to get an idea of ​​average salaries in your field. Employment statistics can also help you determine what constitutes a reasonable raise. For example, it is interesting to know that WTW surveys show that the median planned salary increase budget percentage is 4% in 2023.

In addition, a request based on your progression within the salary scale will better highlight the extent of your responsibilities, the complexity of your tasks and the recognition of your performance. Support your file with your achievements, your successes, your contribution to the team and the comments of your colleagues or other collaborators. Present in detail your added value.

When the time comes to present your request, schedule a sufficiently long meeting with your manager, at a time when he will be receptive.

Throughout the conversation, maintain a spirit of cooperation by remaining understanding of your manager’s arguments and presenting yours in a positive and calm manner.

Explain your understanding of the context then clearly name your salary expectations, with justification, and present the impact that this increase would have on your work. Conclude by asking what the next steps are and planning a follow-up.

As a manager, in a context of inflation, you will inevitably be called upon to respond to requests for a salary increase of 7 or 8% to catch up with the cost of living. It should be remembered here that there is no causal link between inflation and wage increases. Remember that augmentation budgets are driven by supply and demand for talent, while inflation is driven by supply and demand for products and services. Thus, these indicators fluctuate independently. Between 2013 and 2023, it is important to remember that inflation was lower than the budget increases in 8 out of 10 years – except in 2022 and 2023.

In the event that the budgets do not allow you to increase the salary of your employee, ask yourself about the risks of retention and commitment in the medium term, as these aspects will have an impact on the productivity of the organization. In a context of labor shortage, put forward other options, a bonus for example, and put forward the total compensation offer (working conditions, career advancement, etc.). Remain open to your employee’s request and see if a compromise can be found by offering additional non-salary benefits.

We all know that money doesn’t buy happiness… but it does, so take the time to discuss conscientiously in order to strike a balance between compensation that reflects the fair value of the work done and the ability to pay. the organization.