The FM Professional

How to Negotiate a Higher Salary

David Spence
December 3rd, 2014

Getting Your Boss to Say “Yes” to a Raise

1. Keep Track of Your Accomplishments

As you may already know, C-level executives like numbers. Any time you save the company money, make a note of it. Did you decrease utility bills? Save on supply costs? Increase productivity by a certain percentage? Have these figures handy when you meet with your supervisor to discuss a raise.

Not all your accomplishments have to be quantified, of course. If a colleague praises or compliments you in an email, that too can be something to bring to the negotiation.

2. Wait for the Right Time

When asking for a raise, timing is key. Kiplinger says that if your annual performance review won’t be happening anytime soon, you can always breach the topic after you’ve excelled on a project. The positive impression you’ve recently made can strengthen your case for why you deserve a higher salary. Of course, as U.S. News points out, you should only ask if you know the company is doing well financially. Requesting a raise during a time of instability can make you appear unprofessional.

3. Research Salary

Go into the discussion with an exact number in mind. If you’re getting paid less than other FMs in your area with similar levels of experience, that’s definitely something to bring up to your boss. But how to find that information? FacilitiesNet is one place to look. Registered users may access a salary comparison tool for FMs based in the U.S. Enter your job title, education and facility information to see where your current payscale falls. IFMA is another possibility; the organization sells a salary report that was published in 2011.

4. Think Outside the Box

Your boss may not be able to approve a raise when you ask. But there could be other ways to rewarded for your hard work. Think extra vacation time, or tuition assistance for continuing education. According to Kiplinger, “You might also consider bargaining for…a more prestigious title or a week at a professional conference in Hawaii.” You never know—by pursuing continuing education as a perk, you may be laying the foundation for a monetary raise in the future.

5. Document the Conversation

Say the conversation goes well, and you get the raise you were hoping for. Congratulations—now get it in writing. Nothing is set in stone until you have a written record of the raise. Monster recommends writing a memo to your boss and HR recounting what was discussed. Both you and your boss should sign the memo and retain copies. That way, there will be no ambiguity or back-tracking on what was said.

Negotiating a raise can be nerve-wracking, but if you go into it with the right amount of skill and know-how, you’ll be much more likely to get what you want than if you go in totally unprepared. Keep these tips in mind for your next annual review.

photo credit: Cayusa via photopin cc