Feb 23, 2016 09:55 AM EST

Salary Negotiations and How To Do It Tactfully

By R S Ali

It is not uncommon for employees to feel like they're underpaid, or that they are worth more than their current salary. However, money is a sensitive subject and as such there are conventions in place, Hays explains, that make the process less awkward.

Do keep in mind that salary increases do not always come in the form of cash. Non-financial rewards are also possible, like more annual leave days, or flexible working hours, or bonuses.

One important thing to know is your limits, and be realistic. Knowledge is power, so make sure you know what you can ask for and get away with. You can request Hays' Salary & Recruiting Trends Report 2016 to compare your salary to industry standards.

So how do you approach the topic? Asking for money is awkward, but if you want a raise then you're going to have to do the hard thing and ask for it. This does not mean being tactless or tawdry.

Remember that a salary raise is something you feel you deserve. If you can make your employers see how much you are worth, then the raise will come automatically. So make a list of recent achievements and laurels. Talk about how you are adding value to the company. Also make a list in your head of any new responsibilities you have been taking on.

While asking for a pay rise, say in a salary review, stay calm and be professional. This is not the time to talk about how much you need the money, or how your bills have been steadily climbing. Do not get emotional.

Also, do not forget to keep multiple options in front of your boss. If he can't give you a raise, maybe he can give you other benefits, or a bonus scheme, or study benefits. Or lastly, maybe he could agree to review you salary in another three or six months. Be flexible, and have a fall-back. Remember that something is better than nothing at all.

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