May 16, 2022

What’s A Fair Salary Raise? Know Your Worth

Riva HQ

What’s A Fair Salary Raise? Know Your Worth

Uh-oh: it’s time for your performance review. Your boss is pleased with your performance and offers a raise of 3%. Pretty standard, right? It seems fair – after all, it's more than you were making before.

But it’s not fair – far from it.

With inflation topping 8%, settling for your standard 2-3% annual increase means accepting what’s effectively a pay cut. And unless your performance was poor enough to justify slashing your salary, saying yes to anything less than the inflation rate is a costly mistake. 

So what is a good salary raise? And what do you need to consider when approaching the negotiating table the next time you and your boss meet to discuss pay?

Asking The Hard Question: What's a Fair Salary Raise?

bird's eye view of board meeting about fair salary raises
What is a 'fair' salary raise these days?

What's a 'good' salary raise? Well, anything is better than nothing! But, a few variables can determine 'fair' and 'bad' salaries. Let's look at the bad.

Put simply: anything below 8% isn't fair. Inflation rates and cost of living increases mean that anything below this threshold is effectively a pay cut.

Let’s imagine you have a fruitful meeting with your manager, ending in a 6% pay raise. You walk out feeling great, right?

But it was much more profitable for your boss. If an employer has been 'awarding' pay raises below 8%, they're cutting your pay – and many people don’t realize it until it’s too late.

Overall, considering all variables, an increase between 10% and 20% of your current salary is a fair salary increase in today’s red-hot job market.

When Should You Get A Salary Raise?

When should you expect a potential salary raise?

Depending on the company and the employee's tenure, it’s typical to negotiate a potential pay raise every six months or annually.

But these rigid timelines often work in your boss’ favor. Oftentimes, there isn't a concrete rule about when you can ask for more – and the timing matters.

Best Times To Ask For A Salary Raise

  • After a particularly successful project
  • Hitting your team or division targets
  • Closing a deal or signing a new client
  • The anniversary of your start date
  • Every year

If you just started at a job, it’s often best to wait around six months before you start to negotiate a salary increase. Remember: negotiation is a process, and nothing stops you from beginning the conversation well before your formal review to set the stage for a significant increase when the time comes.

After that, it's customary to negotiate pay every year. People usually don't ask for a salary raise more than once a year. However, if you're not having annual meetings regarding salary with your boss, the chances are high that you're being underpaid.

Expert Negotiation Tips to Improve Your Pay

Asking for a fair salary raise is well within your grasp. It's all about advocating for yourself and working with your employer - not against. Here are some key ways to stack the deck in your favor.

Crunch the Numbers

A great way to advocate for yourself is by compiling relevant data and figures to illustrate your case for a pay increase. Show your superiors why you rightly deserve more money.

  • Did your department have record returns this quarter?
  • Did you lead or support a particularly ambitious or successful project?
  • What are the expectations for your role at your company? Did you meet and exceed them?
  • Is your team understaffed? Has hiring been a challenge? What would they do if they lost you to a competitor?

Bringing cold hard facts to your manager or organization can make an invaluable point for you. Your HR department has immense resources on its side. Don’t you wish you had that capital on your side instead? With Riva, you have access to resources to help you organize data and plead your case. Never fly solo!

Be Flexible

Being flexible in life and negotiations can make your goals much more achievable.

Focusing on several moving parts rather than base pay alone can help you maximize your overall compensation package.

If you can negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, you can maximize your outcome. There’s more up for discussion than you might think:

  • Retention bonuses
  • Location and remote work
  • Faster promotion cycles
  • Vacation
  • Flexible hours
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Specific projects and responsibilities

Getting expert help with salary raises can change so much about your job.

Getting Salary Negotiation Help With Riva

Can you get some solid pay raise tips online? Sure. However, people only negotiate their salaries with employers a handful of times during their careers. Why leave those scant opportunities to chance? 

Trying to get the best salary raise is a challenging prospect for many. As such, calling on professionals is an important asset.

Own Your Work With Riva

With Riva, Harvard-trained negotiation experts will help you get what you're worth. With inside information from former recruiters, thousands of data points on pay, and a proven model that has worked for more than 5,000 users to date, Riva clients regularly get increases ranging up to $100k and above. The Riva team sees negotiating a raise as a golden opportunity to advocate for yourself, build your skills, and earn a better wage.

Co-founder at Riva, former Harvard Business School professor David Lax says, "I'm formerly a Professor at Harvard where I taught thousands to negotiate. I saw my students leaving money on the table and created Riva to help."

Driven by seeing students missing out on what they're worth, Lax and his team set out to stem the tide of employers not giving their workers what they're worth.

With an ethos of helping people thrive in the workplace and creating profitable opportunities to raise pay, Riva knows employees need a boost.

Using step-by-step guidance, the Riva team will write up phone and email scripts and help people build confidence to get that salary bump.

Get Adequate Compensation For Your Hard Work

It's all about negotiating for what's fair, not merely focusing on finances.

With over 5,000 satisfied clients throughout multiple industries, Riva helps workers earn an average raise of $20,000.

You never want lingering questions like, 'Could I have gotten more?' or 'What is a high enough raise for my skill set and job title?'

With Riva, put those anxieties to rest and become your strongest advocate for something better.

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