What Do Employees Wish for Most (And How To Get It)
What do many employees wish for at work? A bonus or raise. At least that's so according to results from a recent survey developed by OfficeTeam, a global staffing service that specializes in placing administrative professionals. The telephone survey, conducted by an independent research firm in February, polled 571 men and women in the United States over the age of 18. All respondents were employed full-time in professional positions. Survey results revealed that almost half (48%) of the respondents put "a bonus or raise" at the top of their "wish list" at work.
But that wish probably doesn't surprise those of us who already feel overworked and underpaid or are in need of just a bit more money for personal financial reasons. But is that wish based in reality and if so, why isn't it happening for some of us?
Well, while I can't tell you with absolute certainty how to get a raise, I can tell you it often takes more effort than simply crossing your fingers or putting it on your "wish list".
Your first step toward getting a raise or bonus is to tackle that reality factor associated with wanting more money; that is, you must determine if and when you warrant a raise or bonus. And today's reality says that being a worker who gets to work on time, does a good job and sometimes even stays late just isn't enough to warrant bigger bucks in business. Neither is personal financial need.
"A lot of people have the misguided notion that because they're working really hard, they deserve a raise," says syndicated workplace advice columnist and leadership development consultant Joan Lloyd. "Or people think that because their personal expenses have gone up, they deserve more money." Not so, says Lloyd who owns Joan Lloyd & Associates in Milwaukee (www.joanlloyd.com).
"The bottom line is there are only two basic ways to earn more," Lloyd says. "And that's either increase the size of the job or increase the level of performance."
More specifically, Lloyd explained these two factors this way:
1. If you have roughly 20 percent more responsibility and authority in your job, you're within your rights to ask for more money, she says. That's because your job is more substantial and thus truly worth more now on the open market.
2. If your performance on the job is over and above, then a merit increase or bonus pays you for the effort and results you're getting.
And determining if or when your performance has increased relies on more than instinct or guesswork. Use methodology. Have a plan.
"At the beginning of every year after the performance review, talk about expectations [with your boss]," advises Lloyd. "Ask 'What would excellent performance look like?'" she says. And persist if your boss doesn't give you a straight answer. "Say 'I really want some examples,'" says Lloyd. "Ask 'Does it mean this? Does it mean that? How can I aim for a higher goal so that at the end of the year, I'm eligible for a bigger merit increase?'"
After that, Lloyd suggests you check in twice during the year. "Don't wait and be surprised," she says. "Check in and say 'How am I doing against what we talked about? These are the expectations you said (write them down beforehand). How am I doing against them? And if I'm not at an excellent level, please tell me how I can get there so at the end of the year I'm eligible.'"
Then if you've been getting feedback throughout the year and keeping communication channels open with your boss, his jaw won't slacken at your request for a salary increase when you make "the ask".
About two months before performance reviews, or before the appropriate budget cycle at your company if you don't have performance reviews, give your boss a heads up about your specific desire for a raise or bonus. Why? Because your boss needs time to present your case to his boss, the owner or the human resource department and to do so before the budget has been finalized for the year.
So be proactive and initiate a conversation about your performance at that time, says Lloyd. Don't stay silent, possibly indicating you're satisfied with things as is or just plain getting lost in the shuffle on your boss' to do list.
And when you ask for the raise, don't make demands or whine but rather be factual and make a very strong business case, Lloyd advises. Consider even putting your case in writing so you make it easier on your boss to restate if he must take your request to someone higher in the company.
Your case should include previously discussed expectations and how you fulfilled them and what results you attained. Or make a chart showing your responsibilities at the start of the year and your current increased responsibilities and decision-making authority.
"It should be pretty evident to the manager that you want more money and that you are open to taking on more responsibility or improving your performance," says Lloyd. "So this [salary request] shouldn't come as a surprise at the end of the year or cycle."
And before you make your case, always have a plan B. You may truly warrant a raise, and your boss may truly want to give you one. But for whatever reason, a raise may not be plausible this year at your company. So plan B could include what else you'll settle for in lieu of a raise, such as a couple more days of paid vacation, a flexible work schedule that allows you to work at home one day a week or just a spot bonus.
"If you're a good employee, bosses don't want to lose you and they feel just as badly as you do that they can't reward you for what you're doing," Lloyd says. "And the thing that worries every manager when they can't give a raise is 'Am I going to keep my good people?'" Plan B might just answer that question for both of you this year. And then next year is a whole new ballgame.
© 2004 Karen Fritscher-Porter
About The Author
Karen Fritscher-Porter is the publisher and editor of The Effective Admin, a FREE monthly e-zine for administrative support professionals who want practical tips to advance their career and simplify their daily job duties. Learn more about The Effective Admin and sign up today to receive your FREE issues full of helpful career and workplace tips at http://www.admin-ezine.com.
Note: Want to use this article in your print publication, e-zine or website? You can do so for *free* as long as you use it in its complete and unaltered form followed by the brief credit line above. I'd love to know about its usage too if you'd like to send me a link or copy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job Interviews -- How to Follow Up Effectively
Getting a job is not just about your performance in an interview. The post-interview follow up you do has a critical role in a successful job hunt. Here's how to do it effectively.
Are You In A Groove Or A Rut?
Ruts: the routines in our work and lives that have become uninteresting and bothersome.
How To Power Negotiate Your Next Bonus
A raise in your base salary is a permanent source of increased income. However, to increase your take home pay, you can also negotiate performance bonuses on specific projects, activities, or time frames. In the sales world bonuses are often called commissions. That is, a person is paid a salary plus commission for a certain level of sales. However, even if you are not in sales, you can find ways to earn extra income by negotiating win-win solutions.
Free Resume Template: The ONLY One Youll Ever Need
WARNING: This article is likely to make you mad.
I was asked last week for an article about employment, "What is your favorite 'employment phrase'?"
Does Your Resume Lack Vision?
You're just getting over the shock of having become unemployed. You know you need to begin a job search, but you may not know the best way to proceed, or where to start.
How to Improve Your Work Situation
buWhy are so many people unhappy in their work situation? Why do people, who are successful at one career, have such difficult times coping with their new career? These problems frequently occur, because conflicts exist in their work relationships.
Personal Contacts: The Key to Successful Networking
When the word "networking" is used, we tend to think of upwardly mobile college graduates with a bursting day timer in hand chatting up the competition at business meetings, conventions, or workshops. The average blue/pink/white collar worker disconnects, feeling that they could never be that pushy, don't know enough people to even start the attempt, and that the method only works in competitive business environments.
Nine Ways to Tell Youre Ready for a Promotion
So you noticed the new job board posting on your way back from lunch. They finally decided to fill the assistant manager spot in your department! Trouble is, you've only been in your current position for about eight months. There's also been some talk of hiring from outside. Should you go for it anyway? Here are some ways to tell if it's time to power up the corporate ladder.
Home Healthcare Careers
One of the fastest growing sectors of the medical industry is that of home health. There are many reasons for this growth, but most important are:
Common Résumé Mistakes
Using a general résumé.
Job Search Lessons From The Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is a game but, like sports in general, it offers useful life lessons that we can take with us . . . if we only look below the surface. As I watched the game, I saw a number of things. How many did you see?
Handling the Dreaded Why Did You Leave? Question
If you left your last job under less-than-ideal circumstances, you probably dread the "Why did you leave?" question that almost always comes up at job interviews. Here's how to handle it.
Becoming A Home Inspector: What the Home Inspection Schools Dont Want You To Know
Chances are if you're reading this you've thought about becoming a home inspector. You may have even seen the ads that say you can make hundreds of dollars a day as a home inspector. Home inspection schools put many of these ads out. They paint a rosy picture about the profession and how easy it will be for you to make a ton of money virtually overnight. I'm a Professional Real Estate Inspector and I'm going to tell you what the home inspection schools don't want you to know about this profession!
Conflicts With Your Boss Are Inevitable, But Can Be Healthy
If you are a pro-active, get-things-done type, sooner or later you will come in conflict with your boss. The same sort of assertiveness and confidence that leads you to have a mind of your own has helped him to earn his position.
Workplace Violence - 8 Tips For Spotting Early Warning Signs
One of the greatest threats facing both employees and the companies they work for, is workplace violence. It has become the leading cause of death for women and the second leading for men, following closely behind motor vehicle accidents. In fact, the best estimates now being reported show that 1-in-4 employees will be the victim of workplace violence this year alone.
Relocation Issues...Who Will Pay?
In light of recent unemployment figures, and a continual downturn in the labor market, many unemployed professionals are finding themselves in a bind when their benefits or severance packages are depleted. It is not easy to compete with 300-600 resumes for one job. Those seeking jobs through postings on the web or through a professional recruitment service must consider a new place to live as well as a new employment situation -- if they are serious about the jobs they are applying for.
Where Will Your IT Staff Come From NOW?
The labor recession is over. During the course of the recession, almost 500,000 IT positions were lost according to publicly collected data and anecdotal information suggests even more. According top a recent poll, American business will add over 200000 new IT jobs in 2005. Your staff will probably be scanning job boards to see their value and blocking access is useless; they'll only do it at home.
Get a Raise: How To Ask Your Boss For More Money
How many people do you know who think they deserve a pay rise, but are too scared to ask? You might even be one of those people! Why is it we are afraid to ask for what we believe we are worth? It's time to stop worrying and start asking, but before you charge into your boss's office give yourself the best chance of success with these helpful tips?then book that meeting with the boss.
The Global Work Marketplace - The Revolution Of How Work Gets Done
Will cubicles be a distant memory for today's workforce? Will the expense of office space and the tremendous burden of employee benefits be a thing of the past for modern day businesses?
Recent Job Posts
|home | site map|