How do I bargain with my HR for salary increment?

How do I bargain with my HR for salary increment?

An organization is a complex mix of people, systems, and environments, where they altogether exist and coexist. They either complement each other and make for a stable structure or can contradict and create chaos in the organization. Systems and environment are non-living aspects of the structure, which can be managed through rules and regulations. Whereas with increasing job opportunities, people come with a background and culture, which varies and have a great impact on their behavior. HR of a company is responsible for managing the human resources of a company. 

Just like any other resource, humans also have requirements. Like to run a machine, you need fuel, for humans to work effectively, they require salaries and incentives. HR is responsible for optimizing human resources. They are also responsible for understanding and solving their grievances to reduce the turnover rate and also acquiring new talents.

HR faces many issues when it comes to handling grievances. It varies from the personal level to the organizational level. One major dilemma they face is during the time of increment in salary, which generally takes place at the beginning of every financial year, which is in March. HR wants to optimize the increment level to a point where the salary increase is sufficient according to the company policies and also at the same time fulfills the requirement of the employee so that he/she does not leave the company.

As an employee, it becomes a crucial time to negotiate for a better salary increment and you should come up with the best way to pitch your salary raise. The outcome depends on both the negotiation skills of the employee and also his/her past performance. The ideal situation would be good negotiation skills backed by great performance, which will give maximum output as you will be able to justify your demands.

There are some basic guidelines to negotiate a salary hike with your HR. First of all, set your expectations in reality. We tend to make mistakes which we must avoid during salary negotiation like You cannot ask for a raise when the company is not making a profit, or it is beyond your merits. After setting your expectations in reality, you should also do your homework. The company generally keeps an additional budget. But before talking to your manager, you should be prepared with your target salary, which should be in par with the position you hold and the average salary in the industry for the same, your accomplishments and accolades to back your claim for an increase in salary. It will help HR to determine your inputs for organizational growth and can act as a base for increment.

After you are ready to approach HR, you should know how to approach and start a conversation. You could start by portraying your gratitude towards the initial salary increase, then move to your accomplishments and accolades and finally state your expectations. This can either be conveyed through email or personally, which will depend on the type of structure your organization follows. 

In general, HR will try to negotiate and either reject your proposal or postpone it based on budget constraints or company policy. At this moment, you have to showcase your negotiation skills. Try to convince him/her the rationale behind the increment in salary or ask for a timeline, which both of you can check on regular intervals to monitor your progress. The goal is to be predefined, which needs to be achieved for you to get the increment. 

There is a chance that the company policy does not allow for a salary increase in terms of money, but there are other intangible/tangible aspects of increment. One can ask for flexible work hours, more paid leaves, sabbaticals, or goodwill. It will depend on a person's requirements and the company’s policy to offer them. In the change towards employee-centric work culture, it is easier for them to ask for an intangible aspect of increment, which will work towards organizational goals. It will give an incentive to the HR to consider your request. 

The basis of any negotiation is to know your worth, know what the other party wants, and to have a fair trade-off. An integrative negotiation, which will benefit both parties, has a better chance to succeed as compared to distributive negotiation where one or both parties may become hostile.

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Sachin Chauhan

Authored by
Sachin Chauhan