Negotiation 101: How to get your boss to say yes to a raise


15th January 2024 – (Hong Kong) Stagnant salaries amid soaring living costs pressure many Hong Kong professionals. However, workers shouldn’t passively accept unsatisfactory pay. Confidently proposing raises through structured proposals can successfully boost income. With proper preparation and tactful negotiation, employees can gain the remuneration they deserve.

Know Your Value

Before requesting more pay, benchmark current market rates for your role, experience level and industry. While websites like Glassdoor provide initial data points, networking within your field better establishes norms. Understand what fair compensation looks like before making an ask. Also thoroughly catalogue your expertise, responsibilities and achievements. Concrete evidence of outperforming expectations and generating value strengthens cases. Managers deciding raises weigh proven contributions, not abstract promises.

Compile metrics illustrating impact, like targets exceeded, new business won or processes optimised. Both hard and soft skills matter, so include examples of leadership, critical thinking and other competencies demonstrated.

Frame Raise Requests Around Benefits

Proving your worth is crucial, but effective proposals express value-added in terms of company, not just individual, benefit. For example, highlight how your work enhanced team productivity or organisational reputation. Discuss new skills obtained and how they improve performance. Explicitly link your growth to broader success. Avoid simply saying you want or need more money. Employers care about organisational interests. Elevate dialogue by demonstrating how properly valuing and investing in you aligns with company goals. Mutual benefit must underpin persuasion.

Understand Company Context

Another key is understanding corporate frameworks governing raises. Before requesting a meeting, learn established cycles or criteria used to review salaries. Compensation decisions typically follow set rhythms and protocols.

Timing proposals for periods when raises are realistically on the table boosts success odds. Avoid mistimed asks seeming unreasonable or naive. Also, consider the firm’s current financial health. Requests landing amidst austerity may languish, while raises flow more freely in flourishing conditions.

Mastering corporate pay adjustment intricacies signals preparation and prudence. It also prevents inadvertent missteps that could undermine credibility. Discussing remuneration absent context rarely succeeds.

Script Compelling, Candid Cases

Carefully plan what you will say when proposing a raise. Write concise bullet points to prevent nervous rambling. The pitch should crisply convey your request, supported by well-articulated reasoning. Mention exact raise amounts only after building your evidentiary case. First summarise major achievements, new responsibilities assumed and skills gained. Then explain how those contributions created value using measurable metrics.

After demonstrating merit, specifically propose the raise percentage or amount grounded in thorough market research. Keeping the proposal realistic within industry pay scales lends gravity. Avoid seeming greedy with outsized asks. Conclude by expressing enthusiasm to keep benefiting the organisation. With preparation and polish, the raise proposal itself can exhibit the diligence and strategic thinking justifying higher pay.

Watch Delivery and Body Language

When finally making your pitch in-person, present confidence through body language. Maintain comfortable eye contact and open posture. Speak slowly and clearly. Avoid folded arms or hunched shoulders that could project discomfort or defensiveness. Listen carefully to responses, remain flexible to discussion and evince eagerness to find agreeable solutions. The meeting’s tone should be a serious yet congenial exchange between professionals, not adversarial confrontation. Be assertive but also collaborative.

If the verdict is positive, constructively discuss raise timing and amount. Tactful give-and-take to align interests continues beyond the initial agreement. Handled adeptly, the process itself demonstrates the value you provide.

Regroup After Rejections

Don’t be too discouraged by rejections, which often reflect corporate constraints beyond your control. Consider requesting concrete feedback on improving future prospects. Also explore if non-financial rewards like extra leave might be feasible alternatives.

If no options exist internally, carefully weigh external opportunities offering fairer pay. But avoid rash ultimatums, which rupture important relationships. Be gracious, then rationally evaluate next best steps. The diplomatic raise proposal process itself provides space for valuable career conversations, whatever the immediate outcome. Handled maturely, it can strengthen rather than strain workplace bonds. Frame interactions as aiming for mutual gains, not zero-sum contests.

Knowing one’s worth and convincingly communicating it to employers is an essential career skill. Employees should consistently seek proper compensation for their contributions. But make well-researched, context-aware and professionally executed cases. With preparation and prudence, pay proposals need not be painful. Candid, productive discussions aligned on organizational benefit can deliver rewards all sides appreciate.