By: Ann Brown, TNJ
Working from home has its perks. It also has its downsides.
Being out of the office, away from the eyes of your superiors, makes it harder to monitor your progress. You have less interaction with coworkers and even less with management.
What do you do, then, when you believe it’s time to ask for a raise or a promotion? How do you make your request?
“The trick is to not dwell on the fact that you’re working from home and to focus on hard data,” advises Sebastian Schaeffer, co-founder and CTO of link-building services dofollow.io. “Your boss doesn’t see you in the same way he or she would in an office setting, so it’s important to be proactive about requesting a raise. Be sure to quantify your successes, whether it’s in terms of sales figures, cost savings, or increased efficiency. Use hard data to back up your case and demonstrate the value you’ve added to the company.”
Here are some expert tips on how to impress your boss and land that raise even when you are working remotely.
The right approach
Success in requesting a raise depends, partly, on how you approach your boss.
“You approach your boss the same way that you would in person: Schedule an appointment, have your talking points ready and practiced, and be respectful. ‘I’d like to check in with you about my growth in the organization’ is a fine way to lead into it,” counsels career coach Dan Shortridge, founder of Results Resumes.
The right time
Timing is key. You don’t want to talk to your boss during a busy time or a crisis period. There may also be a time when your company does employee reviews, so check into that.
“Picking the appropriate moment to ask for a raise is a critical first step in learning how to ask for a raise. Check to see if your company has a policy of only giving salary rises during performance reviews. Your employee handbook or contract should have information on this,” notes Robert Gibbson, editor in chief of Decline Magazine.
He adds, “Take into account the season in which your business is operating – the financial status, not the weather circumstances. No matter how wonderful an employee you are, if the company is experiencing lower profits, your request will be denied. Your manager has more important things to think about than a single remote worker.”
Have a focus
Your pitch should be concise and well-thought-out. Luke Layman, CEO of Vector Solutions, says it’s best to focus on three areas: communication, initiative, and accountability.
Communication is important because, “In a remote work environment, it’s easy to get lost. It’s imperative that high-performing employees who are ready for the next challenge become their own best advocate,” Layman says.
There is a technique to becoming your own best advocate, he notes, adding that it’s “super easy” to stand out in a remote work setting because most employees aren’t doing it.
“Try this communication plan on for size: Send your boss an email every morning with your top three priorities that will be the biggest needle mover in the company,” he suggests. “Identify any roadblocks that may keep you from being successful so [your boss] can go to work assisting you. At the end of the day, wrap up with an email that shows how you completed the three highest priority tasks you set out to do.”
With respect to initiative, “identify three key risks or opportunities that are present in your work environment. Write a quick action plan that would resolve each of those and identify where you can take decisive action to complete the tasks, or where you may need a decision or support from others,” says Layman.
Accountability is very important. Bosses want employees who are accountable for their actions.
“Ask for performance feedback and allow yourself to be held accountable. There is a concept called ‘future pacing’ that high performers do every day,” says Layman. “In order to future pace with your boss, ask them to define what success would look like in 90 days.”
Are you ready?
Be honest with yourself. Are you really ready for a promotion and all the responsibility that will go with it?
“Let your boss know that you are now ready to step up. You are now prepared to take on a higher role. Career growth is inevitable for someone who has been preparing for such for some time,” offers Industrial-Organizational expert Cynthia Halow, founder of Personality Max.
Do the research
“The first thing you need to figure out is that your current salary meets the market benchmark. This defines your negotiation strategy. Go to websites such as Indeed or Glassdoor, or Google-search average salary for your job and seniority level. If your pay is below average, appeal to market benchmarks to negotiate fair pay,” advises Roman Peskin, CEO of the career-enhancing learning platform ELVTR.