Dear Job Doctor, how do I renegotiate my salary?

Salary negotiations can be one of the most delicate and challenging discussions for both the employee and the employer.

Firstly, we need to look at the right approach to ensure this discussion to manage your relationship with your manager. To determine the right approach, you will need to consider three things.

First, your company’s method of awarding salary increases.

Second, an objective view of the value of your role. It is essential to understand the difference between the value of the role that you perform and your value as an individual. The two are not the same.

Third, timing and the economic situation of your company. During today’s pandemic and economic uncertainty, salary increases may not be possible due to cost restraints.

Ask your manager for a review meeting to discuss your responsibilities and remuneration. At the meeting ask what opportunities are available or the process by which your salary package could be improved.

Keep your approach positive and constructive. Ask what the rationale is for setting and increasing salary levels in the team, department or company. Is there flexibility? Who does your manager need to gain approval from? Will he or she support you? What commitments would the company want from you? What can be agreed, what would you need to put in and what can be given in return?

Keep it to a discussion, not a demand.

If you do not achieve an increase in salary despite trying all options, it may simply be that your manager or company is at the limit of the value that is placed on your role, which is different to your value as an individual. You may have a very high potential value, but if your role does not enable you to perform to your full extent then your reward level is likely to be suppressed.

Advice for managers

Employees rarely leave jobs just for money, but they are more likely to leave a manager who has not taken the request for more money seriously and with respect. Considering that the cost of employee turnover is between 40 and 100 percent of an employee’s salary, it’s worth treating seriously.

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Darren Robinson is the Managing Partner at Anderson Wise, an independent local recruitment firm in Luxembourg.