The topics of money and salary are considered taboo subjects in our society. The barrier to talk about one's own salary does not only exist in private circles, but also on the job. Accordingly, salary negotiations are anathema to many and are either postponed or omitted to the detriment of one's career. It does not matter whether the salary discussion is taken up during the application in the job interview or after the probationary period.
Salary increases are necessary to be able to earn well and advance professionally. As a side effect, this offsets inflation. If you don't dare to ask about your salary, you are giving away the chance of additional benefits or one or two extra euros.
The knowledge of the necessary tricks and rules in a salary negotiation is a prerequisite for success. Some tips on the right time for salary negotiation or the scope of an additional benefit we have collected for you.
Good preparation for salary negotiations
Every employee who wants to talk to his superior about salary should be well prepared for the conversation. Demands and wishes must be backed up with arguments and performance in the salary discussion. The mere desire for more money will not be enough for the boss.
What services has the employee performed for the company?
What issues and problems could be solved in his time in the company?
What added value does the employee have for the company?
What will this added value look like in the future?
The employer should recognize during the salary negotiation that the employee has a great benefit for the company.
Never go into salary negotiations unprepared!
Collect arguments why one's own work is worth more and will be worth more in the future.
Good ideas and suggestions for improvement for the future are also part of the salary discussion. By giving tips on how to increase productivity or quality, the employee shows that he is the right investment in the future of the company. It is useful to prepare a list of past achievements in advance.
Possible arguments for a higher salary include:
- Success of own projects
- Attracting new customers
- implemented ideas
- Additional commitment
A touch of psychology in salary negotiation
Skillful rhetoric is also required during the salary negotiation. For example, it can be helpful to talk about a salary adjustment instead of a salary increase. This can actually have a psychological effect on the supervisor. Suggesting that the current salary is not commensurate with the employee's skills and knowledge. An adjustment of the salary to his performance is the logical conclusion.
When to ask for a salary increase?
If an annual or biannual employee review exists, it can be used for salary negotiations. Scheduling an appointment of one's own is forfeited in this case.
If the company does not offer regular appraisal interviews, the employee can demand the salary interview. It should be noted that salary negotiations are not conducted every year. Those who have not had a salary adjustment for two or three years should ask their boss for a suitable discussion. It is the good right of every employee to make this request for a salary negotiation.
An inopportune time to schedule a salary negotiation exists when the company has setbacks or financial shortfalls. This strikes a chord with the boss and is reflected in his decisions. A positive response to the request for a higher salary is unlikely to be forthcoming.
Employees who want to schedule a salary negotiation should take the supervisor's mood into account when choosing the right time to do so. Recently completed a project on a positive note that achieved great success? Is the boss in a better mood in the afternoon than in the morning?? Even the weather can have an unconscious influence on the outcome of a salary negotiation. Waiting for the right time and paying attention to small details is worth its weight in gold in the run-up to a salary discussion.
Tips for the ideal time to negotiate salary:
- Last salary increase was at least two years ago
- Company economy is positive
- Include the boss's mood of the day
Show self-confidence during salary negotiations
A good argumentation regarding the achievements in the job is not sufficient for a positive course of a salary negotiation. A self-confident appearance on the part of the employee is just as important. A successful negotiation will only take place if the employee is convinced of himself and his request. Shyness and uncertainty are out of place. Don't act like a supplicant by asking about the existing budget or expressing discomfort regarding a salary request. Such behavior strengthens the power position of the counterpart and increases the probability of a refusal on salary increase.
A confident demeanor, on the other hand, helps employees emphasize their prepared arguments. The superior is more quickly convinced of the need for a salary increase.
Tips in salary negotiation:
- Strike a balance: don't be too nice, don't be too demanding
- Demonstrate conviction
- Use relationships
- emphasize positive aspects and achievements
In salary negotiations, it is secondary whether the personal relationship between boss and employee is positive. Not niceties are in the foreground, but the clear presentation of the desired demand.
A "good rapport" with the boss can still have a positive effect during salary negotiations. It can also be beneficial to mention the feel-good factor in the company and the motivation regarding the position and future tasks. Avoid comparisons to the salaries of colleagues, as such an argument can be quickly shot down. The employee should focus on his or her own strengths during salary negotiations.
Stay cool during salary negotiations
The most important thing in salary negotiations is to remain calm. Employees should be aware that the boss has calculated the amount of the potential salary increase beforehand.
Depending on how the conversation goes, he will decide whether the employee will settle for less, if necessary. A nervous interlocutor will have less chance of success than a relaxed and self-confident counterpart. Especially at the end of the salary negotiation it is important to "take the pace out" and let the conversation end calmly.
Additional tips in salary negotiations:
- Avoid topics without content and inappropriate topics, even in the case of emerging silence
- by (discreetly) mirroring gestures, facial expressions, choice of words, speed of speech, etc. unconsciously gain the trust of the counterpart
What level is appropriate for a new salary?
In order to master the tightrope walk between an outrageous and a too small salary increase, it should be clear beforehand about the extent of the salary adjustment. An important tip: The first offer should come from the employee. If you have a figure on the table from your boss, it will be difficult to get it adjusted upwards.
The sum first mentioned must be accordingly in appropriate measure over the actual conception. If the desired salary increase is corrected downward, the employee does not have to compromise his or her idea in this case.
If all requirements are met, an increase in salary within the range of 3 to 5 percent is usual. In some cases, particularly successful employees can negotiate 10 percent more money in salary negotiations. If an employee is seeking more money, he should find out about realistic salaries in his industry and occupational group. Tables on the Internet or in magazines are available for this purpose.
Options for a salary increase: cash or employer benefits
If the boss cannot be persuaded in any way to give a salary increase, this is no reason for resignation. The employee can propose other additional benefits instead of a higher salary. Tax-free or tax-privileged employer benefits can be, for example:
- Company car
- better telephone
- Payment of gasoline or train expenses
- More vacation days
- Continuing education
- Health and age promotion
Such employer benefits have the advantage that the employee can use their full value. On the other hand, taxes and insurances have to be deducted in case of a salary increase.
Result of a salary negotiation
A decision in salary negotiations should ideally be based on objective and mutually comprehensible arguments and facts. It is important that both employer and employee leave the salary negotiation with a positive feeling.
A salary discussion should never take place under time pressure. If the boss says that he has to leave urgently in 15 minutes, then it makes sense to suggest an adjournment of the conversation. At the end of an interview, if possible, both sides should feel that everything relevant has been addressed. Unspoken only causes sleepless nights and dissatisfaction.
In order to be able to understand the course and the result of the salary negotiation better later on, it is helpful to keep a short protocol. The employee can then refer to statements made by the boss or use the key points for later discussions.
Tip: Do not advertise your success in a positive salary negotiation. There is a risk that you will sow discord among co-workers with the increase and cause inquiries with your supervisor. The latter will consider giving out salary increases frivolously in the future.
Advantages of additional qualifications in salary negotiation
Additional qualifications are a neutral advantage that anyone can acquire and use in salary negotiations. Learning a language or attending seminars are good arguments to justify a salary adjustment. It does not matter whether the additional qualifications were obtained in the context of the job or also privately.
Tips for additional qualifications at a glance:
- Continuing Education
- newly acquired language skills
- Attending seminars
- extra-occupational engagement
Involvement in the company and attendance at extra-occupational activities is considered positive by many bosses. If you never participate in birthdays, shared meals or lunch breaks, you will be perceived as poorly integrated, which is something the boss hears and sees as well.