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Signs you deserve a raise

Kendra Y. Mims is a freelance writer and online content editor in the Chicagoland area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in journalism. Her passions include writing, reading, and traveling.

An inside look from a manager's perspective

You come to work early and stay late, take on extra projects without complaining and put your all into your assignments. Though you appreciate the pat on the back, you’d like it more if your boss showed their appreciation in a pay increase. But before you march into your boss’s office demanding more money, check out what these managers have to say when it comes to giving out raises.

Business woman working

Lance Hall, lead UPK developer of Hall Group Solutions

When giving out raises, Hall says he looks for the following:

  • Employees who go above and beyond their role.
  • The employee’s overall performance of assigned responsibilities.
  • How long the employee has worked for the company.
  • How well the employee collaborates with others in and outside of their department.

Wendy Enelow, author, trainer and career consultant

Enelow’s top reasons that employees should receive a raise are based on:

  • Individuals who exceed expectations for job performance.
  • Individuals who ask for additional responsibilities and opportunities.
  • Individuals who make measurable improvements in the company, project, process, product, etc.
  • Individuals who are always reliable, punctual and trustworthy.

Jessica Blair, owner of Blair Chic Boutique

Blair asks these key questions when evaluating an employee for a raise:

  • Does the employee meet and exceed their job description on a consistent basis?
  • Has the employee made a positive impact on the business?
  • Is the employee engaged in the business (provides feedback, ask questions in meetings, etc.)?

Task manager from Virginia

This task manager determines whether an employee is qualified by the following:

  • I evaluate the roles and responsibilities of the employee and how they've measured against their job.
  • I assess whether they have done anything that was outside their normal role.
  • I measure the consistency of performance beyond their roles and responsibilities.
  • I track the progress from the quarterly performance checkpoints.

To ask or not to ask… that is the question

Before you ask your boss for a raise, do your homework and find out what the average salaries are for your job position (Salary.com is a good place to start). Asking is tricky because it can be a turn-off. These managers recommend the following:

“It can be an uncomfortable conversation, so having set periods for raises provides a target for the employee. Also, constant communication and feedback on improvement helps the employee and manager stay in accord as to how the employee is progressing.” —Task manager from Virginia

“It depends... on the person, the position they hold, how long they've been in that position and their work performance. Asking for a raise can be off-putting if someone has only worked at a company for three months and is only doing an "OK" job. Conversely, if someone has been with the company for six to nine months or more, is doing an excellent job and has built strong working relationships with both their peers and their supervisors, then it's fine to ask for a raise. In fact, I encourage it. If you don't manage your career and work to move it forward, who else is going to do it?” —Wendy Enelow

“It is all in the approach. If you reach out to your manager and say I need a raise because gas prices are going up, then that’s a turn-off. However, if you reach out to your manager and are prepared with examples of why you are entitled to a raise, it will open up dialogue.” —Jessica Blair

How to pop the question?

Feel entitled to a raise but not sure how to approach management? Use the tips below:

“The best case to build is through quarterly performance reviews and any customer/client feedback that the employee can document. Documenting significant accomplishments as they occur prevents the possibility that the employee or manager will forget. Treat performance reviews as your time to brag on yourself — a little bit respectfully, of course.” —Task manager from Virginia

“Be confident and provide specific examples of why you deserve a "yes." If the answer is "no" due to specific feedback or budget issues, ask when you can follow up with your boss to be re-evaluated. Also think out of the box. Maybe you can't get the raise due to budget issues, but how about two extra paid days off, a $50 gas card or the option to work from home two days a week?” —Jessica Blair

“The most important thing to know is that the employee must clearly and concisely communicate why they deserve the raise. You don't get a raise for doing your job. Rather, you get a raise for going beyond just doing your job! This has to do with the quality of your work, productivity, efficiency, cost savings, revenue capture... the list is endless. No one is entitled to a raise. Everyone has to earn them!” —Wendy Enelow

More advice on getting a raise

How to successfully ask your boss for a pay raise
Ask your boss for a pay raise
How to secure your next raise

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