January 8, 2024
Damali Peterman, Author of Negotiating While Black: Be Who You Are to Get What You Want, is back to give tips to negotiate a raise in 2024.
1. Know what you want. Knowing what you want means being able to identify the outcome you desire from a negotiation – in other words, to take a position or express a positional statement about what you want to happen. This sounds obvious, but it’s a step too many of us skip! A want can be tangible: I want a raise. I want a bigger office. A want can also be intangible: I want respect or appreciation. Going into your negotiation with a clear want in mind is vital.
2. Know what you need. A need is different from a want. If your want is “what you want to happen” then our need is “why you want it to happen.” A need is an interest. A need is usually the reason or rationale for you wanting what you want. Here are a few examples of knowing what you need: I need a new car because I need to commute to my new job. I need a raise to have extra cash to pay for my kid’s tuition. I need respect so that I can feel good when I go to work. If there’s one need that trumps all others, I call that your Million Dollar Need – the why that drives everything you do. If you can identify and secure that in a negotiation, you’re golden.
3. Be specific. Articulate what your wants and needs are as specifically as possible, but at the same time be open to allowing the person you are speaking with to suggest alternative approaches to meeting your wants and needs. This requires active listening skills.
4. Understand the compensation structure of the company. If you are engaged in pre-hire salary discussions, you have to know the salary range being offered for your position, have a good sense of whether that is market or not, and understand how their compensation structure works. Conduct your own research, but also don’t be afraid to ask questions during your interview process. If you already work there and are seeking a raise or promotion, here are two great questions that you can ask: 1) Am I meeting and exceeding the requirements of my role? 2) What can I do to be compensated accordingly? I know an HR Executive at a Fortune 1000 company who loves those questions because, among other things, it invites the reviewer to help you to accomplish your goal of getting that raise. Either way, make sure you understand what is budgeted for the year and the next year to see if a raise is economically feasible for the company.
5. Know what is happening in your industry. If your industry (or even your company) is downsizing, going through a restructuring, resetting to allow for non-traditional hires or hires without a 4-year college degree as we have seen with many highly recognized companies in the private sector, then the timing
6. Be creative in crafting your compensation package. Compensation is not just about cash or liquidity. There are many ways to be compensated that could be quite valuable to you depending on – going back to the first two points– what you want and what you need. For example, companies may offer a lower base salary but include the option to work remotely, health insurance, paid time off, bonuses, stock options, retirement plans, and other perks like tuition reimbursement, flexible spending account, health spending account, discounted transportation benefits or access to company cars. And please don’t forget that what happens to you and your money upon separation of employment is negotiable as well. Review severance terms, including timing of payouts, unused vacation days, non-compete and non-solicit provisions. At the end of the day, thinking outside of the box can help you to get what you need and sometimes what you want too!