Being paid what you are worth is something all employees deserve.

Unfortunately however, the reality can be very different.

Studies have shown many organisations are quick to take things away from their employees – with bonuses and vacation time often falling by the wayside.

Those same employees may also have to wait several years for a pay rise – and that’s if they receive one at all!

So, to help employees in their negotiations, there follow some handy tips about the best ways to negotiate a raise with your employer.

It is also worth noting that, when considering these guidelines, some employees may wish to take advantage of their annual performance review to put them into operation:

  1. Be prepared

Planning is the key to effectively asking for a pay rise. Long before you even head to the negotiation table, you need to be ‘laying the groundwork’ for a bigger pay check. The key to success is to highlight your skills by keeping a performance review file. Over the year, use it to store memos, lists of completed projects, or additional work taken on during the year; as well as documentation of good performance and any complimentary letters from customers or managers. This file is useful as it not only provides you with proof of what you have accomplished, but also jogs your memory when the time comes to prepare for a review.

  1. Increase Your Visibility

When negotiating a pay rise, you should basically, be running a marketing campaign for yourself. Therefore, you need to increase your visibility by volunteering for projects or committees outside of your normal scope of work. Bosses soon note any extra projects you take on; when you stay late at the office, classes you take, or new skills you acquire. By raising your profile in the organisation you are literally creating a bigger footprint – and these positive accomplishments make good ammunition when it comes to gaining that pay rise.

  1. Compare the market

Another good step when negotiating a better salary is to assess your existing wage against the rest of the market. There are several industry and salary guide organisations that can provide such information – or you could go onto LinkedIn Jobs to compare the wages earned for your position at different organisations. If you are earning at the lower end of what somebody in your role typically commands – then this could be a good bargaining chip when it comes to negotiations.

  1. Be professional

Always approach the topic of a wage review professionally. Set up a meeting with your boss, and approach it as a friendly discussion and not a conflict. By being friendly but assertive, you indicate you are trying to work things out for the benefit of both parties. Explain to your boss this is something you have to do for yourself in order to plan your financial future and career. Also, never enter negotiations with a sense of entitlement, as this is likely to hurt your chances.

  1. Consider non-salary options

If your company can’t increase your salary, it may be worth considering your compensation as a complete package. Depending on your company and line of work, you might try to increase your benefits package, expand your vacation days, or gain flexibility. A title change may also be an option – as that can be done at no cost to the company.

Finally, no matter how good a case you prepare, always remember the answer may still be ‘no’.

So be prepared for this – and keep in mind a ‘no’ isn’t forever.

You can still ask your boss about revisiting the issue, and pick a suitable time to follow up.

Always keep in mind a ‘no’ can turn into a solid ‘yes’ later on; and by addressing the issue now, you will have laid important groundwork for the future.