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4 Research-Backed Techniques for Negotiating a Raise

Topics: Negotiation

Asking for a raise can be tough. PayScale’s research shows that 57 percent of people have never negotiated their salary, mostly due to one fear or another.

Interestingly, though, regularly asking for a raise can result in you earning an additional $1 million in your lifetime. However, it’s easy to toe the line of “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it” when considering negotiation — why put your job at risk just for a little extra income?

The following techniques are backed by research, and they’ll make both you and your employer happy while ensuring you get the raise you desire:

1. Get the Facts

Your very first step when trying to negotiate a raise should be to get the facts — this lets you know what angle to take. For example, if your research reveals that you’re being underpaid by up to 20 percent compared to other people doing the same work as you, that gives you a place to start — you simply highlight the fact that you are underpaid compared to others doing the same thing.

Being armed with data will give you an edge at the negotiation table; your company is paying their negotiator to ensure that you get paid less, but that doesn’t mean that they are unaware of the facts. Data gathered for PayScale’s Compensation Best Practices Report show that most companies know what the market will bear; 53 percent have done a full market study during the past year, and 13 percent do so weekly. By having the facts and presenting them, you disarm the person you’re negotiating with and get much better results.

2. Understand Your Value

One of the most common fears employees have when trying to negotiate a raise is the fear of losing their jobs. Fortunately, this fear is unfounded. In fact, employers may be more afraid of losing you than you are of losing your job. Retention is a major concern for organizations. Forty-two percent listed retention as a major reason for giving raises.

There’s a significant benefit in retaining you and giving you a raise as opposed to going through the whole process of finding and training a new employee — research shows it costs an average of $104,185 to replace an employee. Knowing this, your employer won’t be too confident when trying to talk down your value at the negotiation table.

Understanding the importance of retention makes it easier to grasp the value you’re already offering and emphasize your achievements during the negotiation. And it kinds of crystallizes the pain your employer will go through if they lose you.

3. Focus on the Negotiation Experience

When negotiating, many people tend to obsess over tactics at the expense of the negotiation experience, when in reality the negotiation experience can make or break the deal. According to research by social psychologist Jerald Greenberg, we tend to pay a great deal of attention not just to outcomes but how these outcomes are achieved.

In other words, when your employer perceives that you’re out to ensure a win-win deal for the both of you, and that you’re not just out there to line your pockets with the most money, you’re likely to get a raise.

4. Negotiate on a Sunny Day

What does the weather of the day you are negotiating have to do with your success in getting a raise? A lot, apparently. According to researchers from the University of Southern Brittany, people are more generous and receptive on sunny days. If the weather can affect people’s mood, then it obviously can affect the outcome of a negotiation. So, if you can, try to have your raise discussion on a day when the sun is out. It just might make all the difference.

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Darlene Recent comment authors
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Sunny day or Cloudy day. Didn’t work for me. I did an awful lot of work for my department as support staff including a few large projects and several personal favors. I got a merit of thanks (words only), many emails thanking me and praising me for my service, and high fives during the year. I’ve been with them for 13 years. Another staff member who joined the dept. 3 yrs ago, received a promotion and a raise this year… Read more »

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