Elizabeth Hall, Editor
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New report on salary negotiation: Forget the ‘You’re just lucky to have a job’ economy, employers are giving raises to top employees
Falls Church, Va.—With unemployment still running over 9%, too many managers tell their employees—whether through their words, actions or both—that they should feel lucky to even have a job. “You need to nip that attitude in the bud … it is an insidious plague,” says attorney Shanti Atkins, CEO of California-based ELT employment law training firm. Atkins says managers should always treat employees with respect. Anything else is bad for morale, counterproductive and can lead some employees to ignore company policies and even file lawsuits. The truth is: Employers will always strive to find a way to reward top performers, whatever the economy.
Now a new RAND study shows the number of companies freezing salaries was down for the second year in a row in 2011, with the trend expected to continue into 2012.
And, according to Mercer’s 2011/2012 US Compensation Planning Survey, 97% of organizations are planning to award base pay increases in 2012. The survey shows the highest-performing employees—8% of the workforce—received average base pay increases of 4.4% in 2011, compared to 2.8% for average performers.
So, good employees should not hesitate to ask for raises. Even in a difficult economy, employers want to retain their best talent, and, as one CEO tells Business Management Daily, “It’s much easier to negotiate a compensation package with a manager who talks big-picture terms about how he or she can make my life easier or address my company’s needs than with someone who harps on demanding another $10,000 a year.”
Amid this good news, Business Management Daily has released a newly updated, free report entitled: Salary Negotiating 101: 7 secrets to boosting your career earnings, negotiating a raise and striking the best deal in a job offer negotiation.
Among the key pieces of advice it offers to employees asking for a raise:
- Assess your worth on the open market by analyzing salary surveys of your industry, contacting trade groups or professional associations for the latest employment trends and salary data and looking at job listings. Negotiating a raise involves knowing your market value. (See page 6 of the free report for a list of resources.)
- Know how to counter these words,“You already earn more than anyone else in the department.” Remember you should not compare your pay to others in your company. Instead, cite salaries for comparable positions elsewhere. Knowing—and letting the higher-ups know—what you’re worth on the outside can help increase your value on the inside.
- If your company has had a bad year with an ironclad ban on raises, ask instead about rewards in other forms—for example, more vacation time, flexible hours, telecommuting options, your employer paying a greater portion of your healthcare insurance premium and/or matching retirement contributions.
- Faced with a “no raise” response, ask the boss to outline specifically what you must do to earn a raise. Come prepared with a list of projects you can offer to undertake—along with profit or cost-saving projections. Within the context of increased profits and lowered costs, chances are that management can stretch company norms. Then establish a timetable for reevaluation.
For those trying to secure the best deal to join a new employer, experts advises, “Don’t be bashful. Your tenacity shows the kind of confidence and self-assured leadership that can enhance your stature from the outset. Many recruiting managers respect candidates who drive a hard bargain.” But do your homework first. Download the free report here: Salary Negotiating 101.
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