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Why aren’t you getting a raise?

by on
in Centerpiece,Salary Negotiating,Workplace Communication

Though not all administrative professionals are women, many of them are, which is one reason we took note of Adecco’s 2011 Workplace Outlook Study.

The study asked men and women whether they thought they’d receive a raise, bonus or promotion in the coming year.

More than 40% of men said they thought they would receive a raise. But only 29% of women did.

What accounts for the difference? Researchers found that men are more likely to ask for what they want. And 25% of men plan to ask for a raise, bonus or promotion, compared to only 15% of women.

It’s also true that men and women tend to value different aspects of work. More men value job security, while more women say that health benefits are most important.

But here’s another likely explanation: Women aren’t as skilled at negotiating raises.

Yet another study, conducted by George Mason University and Temple University researchers, found that women were less effective at raising their salaries.

The problem wasn’t their tactics. Women used similar negotiating ­approaches as the men, one of the researchers says.

“We were surprised to find no differences with respect to how men and women negotiated,” the researcher found.

What does that mean? Practice makes perfect. You can’t successfully negotiate if you don’t practice negotiating.

As you practice, keep in mind that for both women and men in the study, one of the most effective nego­tiating approaches was col­­­labo­rative, where both sides cooperate to find the best outcome. A col­laborative approach tends to be more honest and transparent versus competitive.

For example, someone who’s negotiating salary for a new job might sacrifice some monetary compensation for nonsalary benefits.

“When they collaborate, they raise their salary a bit; receive some nonsalary benefits like more vacation, better health care, or help with education expenses; and walk away thinking it’s a win/win,” says one of the study’s co-authors, Crystal Harold of Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

— Adapted from “Getting a New Job? It Pays to Speak Up About Salary,” Matt Palmquist, strategy+business.

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