Asking for a salary increase is never an easy task. Most people, no matter how much they struggle financially, hesitate to do it considering that money is a very delicate subject. Besides, they don’t want to come across as someone very greedy or pushy.

According to a new survey by Payscale, creator of a huge database of individual compensation profiles, nearly three out of 10 (28 per cent) people who have decided to keep quiet do so because they feel “uncomfortable” negotiating for a bigger paycheque, while 19 per cent don’t want to be “perceived as pushy.”

And it’s mostly women who are more likely than men to say they don’t find it easy to bring up the pay raise subject to their managers. In the same survey, 26 per cent of female chief executives said they’re uncomfortable negotiating compared to 14 per cent of male chief executives.

Here are a few tips that may help you get the paycheque you deserve:
Know how much you’re worth

Before you bring up the subject of salary increase to your manager, make sure you are able to back up your case. First, ask yourself, are you receiving less than what you deserve? Do some research to get the accurate salary information for your current role. Find out how much your colleagues are pocketing each month, if possible.
“Knowing the compensation structure helps,” says Robert Richter, compensation survey manager at Aon Hewitt Middle East.

However, Richter warns that the majority of the organisations will not disclose their pay bands or compensation structure to its employees, so it may be difficult to exactly determine what room for maneuver is. In that case, reach out to employees in other companies within your industry. You can get in touch with people through networking or in social media. Also, go through online literature related to salary trends or compensation reports that are applicable to the UAE job market.

Build your case

Once you have established how much you are really worth, you need to find a strong argument for your case. You can think of a lot of reasons you can present to the negotiating table, but chief among them should have something to do with performance.

Richter said you will sound convincing if you can show to your employer that you have been doing well and meeting your targets. “It’s important that the employee has a sound reason for the salary increase, that would be constant high level of performance against her/his objectives for the year,” Richter tells Gulf News.

If there is no formal performance management system in the company, Richter says employees should ask for bi-annual feedback sessions with their managers. “If that is positive for an extended period of time, it’s only fair for the employee to expect to get reward for that,” he adds.

Use your budget

Some experts suggest you can also use your budget to support your claim that a salary increase is essential. Calculate how much you’re spending each month and see which areas in your budget have increased this year. Are you spending more on housing rent? What about your children’s tuition? Are you buried in debt? Although your employer has no business about your personal finances, there’s no harm in letting your manager know that what they’re paying you does not commensurate with the rising cost of living.

Offer to take additional tasks

When you negotiate, be prepared to offer something in return. Your employer obviously wants a return on their investment, so make sure you’ve got this one covered. Experts say it may be a great idea to suggest to your boss that you’re capable of taking on more tasks in exchange for a higher salary.

“Another way would be for the employee to see if she/he can take on further tasks and responsibilities within the organization. If that also help to save cost (i.e. for the recruitment of somebody else from outside) it’s a win win situation for the employee and organization as part of the saving can be used for a salary increase,” says Richter.