You may be in line for a bigger raise than usual next year.
Employers in the U.S. project average salary hikes of 3% for executives, management and professional employees, and support staff in 2022, according to a new survey from benefits consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. That's a jump from the 2.7% average bump those workers got this year.
Production and manual labor workers can expect a 2.8% average boost, an improvement on the average 2.5% raise in 2021.
Why the generosity? For one thing, corporate budgets are bouncing back from the pandemic, which forced many firms to slash compensation. Now, surging demand for labor, combined with an unprecedented number of Americans leaving their jobs, means that companies must do more to attract and retain employees.
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"What this leads to is an opportunity that is ripe for employees to self-advocate and help their current employer understand their value," John Bremen, managing director at Willis Towers Watson, told CNBC.
With inflation on the rise, workers hoping that growth in their pay will outpace rising prices would be wise to ask for a pay hike sooner rather than later. Follow these three tips from career experts to give yourself the best chance of scoring a bigger paycheck.
1. Prepare your case. You'll have the best chance of convincing your boss to raise your pay if you can demonstrate your growth as an employee. It doesn't necessarily have to be something as ironclad as making more, bigger sales or outworking your peers. "Maybe you've gotten a new degree or added new skills," Angelina Darrisaw, CEO of professional coaching firm C-Suite Coach, recently told Grow. "Maybe you've noticed a pay gap between you and the industry standard. Those are also instances when you should bring up a raise."
2. Name your price. Set up a face-to-face meeting with your manager and be ready to ask for a specific number. "Once you asked for the raise, part B is asking for how much money you want," New York real estate mogul and "Shark Tank" investor Barbara Corcoran told Grow. "Every boss, me included, is going to give you less money than you asked for. And if you don't ask for a figure, you're going to get way less money, if at all."
3. Be prepared to hear "no." If your manager can't give you the raise you want now, ask when a pay bump might be more realistic, and what goals you'd have to achieve to deserve it. And if a larger salary is off the table, ask to explore non-cash forms of compensation, such as flexible hours or enhanced benefits, Darrisaw says. "It could be tuition reimbursement dollars, matching contributions to charity, or extra paid time off."
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