“Let your boss know this is what you’ve been doing. Your achievements, your outcomes – back them up with facts, figures and statistics. See what your boss has to say,” she said.
“Then whatever response your boss gives you, you can see whether this is a good time to bring out that you are looking for an expanded portfolio, higher pay, etc.”
Employees need to “be able to articulate with proof” as to why a pay rise is deserved, the career coach added.
KNOW THE RIGHT TACTICS
Ms Ng said that there are four main metrics that managers and firms usually use to gauge success: Increasing the top line in terms of profits, reducing the bottom line in terms of cost, maximising resources and customer retention.
Almost every role will have to deal with at least two of the four aspects, said Ms Ng, adding that employees should quantify achievements based on them.
“Use facts, figures, numbers. Don’t tell them ‘I think I’ve done well, I have participated in this project’. Tell them what is the outcome of your doing. If you’re able to quantify your role, your achievements, your values, based on four of these, you should be on the right track,” Ms Ng said.
Ms Ng noted that a bad practice for job seekers or employees would be to use offers from other firms to counter-offer or negotiate salary bumps, especially if done multiple times or if the numbers are untrue or inflated.
“Don’t fluff things up, because the industry is small. If your boss has a lot of visibility or enough network, your boss will know. You’re actually not giving yourself a good leeway in the organisation,” she said.
“So having an adult conversation and discussion … I think that is still one of the best practices.”
“Still, one thing to take note: Never reveal the company that offered you – don’t do that until you have signed on the dotted line,” she added.
MORE THAN BASIC SALARY
Negotiating does not always have to be about a higher basic salary, said Ms Ng, adding that there are other forms of remuneration that negotiators should look at.
These include overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, stock options, allowances, medical benefits, leave, hybrid work arrangements, and the flexibility to do other jobs.
“When it comes to negotiating, there are so many components and it differs for everyone because our life stages are different. Maybe for a parent, flexibility is important. So you need to negotiate based on your life stage – what is important to you at that particular point in time,” Ms Ng said.
It is also important to constantly upskill when it comes to career planning and career management, as “our pay rise will never be able to beat inflation”, said Ms Ng.
Additional or enhanced skill sets, along with the aspiration to constantly learn and improve, could just earn an employee or job seeker that coveted pay bump, she said.
“With your skill sets and portfolio expanded, not only do you have more reasons to ask for a pay raise, it also makes you a lot more marketable. You can pivot easily in any kind of crisis.”