Ask five people if they would like a raise and chances are pretty good all five will say yes. It’s a good bet, but should you ask for one?
Before doing anything, have you considered all aspects of what makes investing in you a smart choice for your organization? Most strong organizations are managing from the bottom line, meaning that they are always looking to improve or appropriately manage their financial position. Money spent is often viewed as an investment, an investment that expects a return. Are you a smart investment?
You can begin by asking yourself a few important questions.
- Have you protected the organization? Let’s face it; an organization is about being an organization. While you might believe your department, team, or the entire operation revolves around you it probably doesn’t. You are a part of making everything work and supporting the ebb and flow of the organization. Protecting its brand and image is part of your responsibility.
- Have you been a team player? Teams matter, and if you are not supporting, cooperating, and effectively working with other team members this could be a flag to onlookers that you are not so valuable after all. In fact, you could be a worry in the back of their mind. Demonstrate how you integrate with team efforts.
- Are you an example for exceptional customer service? Remember that customer service, or what is sometimes being phrased as the customer experience, is critical for every organization. What is surprising to some is that customer service always has an internal component. You must be sure you are a great example of both the internal and external customer experience.
- Have you learned anything new? The best organizations offer or in some way support learning opportunities. They recognize that being smarter is one of the best ways to prevent falling behind. Ask to be a part of learning opportunities and to continue developing your skills. Make sure you are always learning something new.
- Are you a smart investment? Employee turnover is costly; hiring high end expertise to join the organization from the outside is expensive too. Most employers get an advantage from promoting from within, but they have to have internal candidates who are role models of their [the organizations] future. Be a smart investment for them by continuing to invest in yourself.
There are many factors that can make it difficult for organizations to continue to give raises to each employee year after year, but smart organizations know that they need to grow their best talent. Remember that timing is always critical, and you should consider all aspects of value that the organization brings to you, especially those that don’t appear on your pay stub. Sometimes staying the course even when a raise is not possible will pay off much bigger long-term.
Do you deserve a raise? Perhaps, but let me ask you this, are you a smart investment?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.