Earning

Walmart is giving 165,000 employees a raise in October: Here’s how to ask for more money at your job

Walmart has a new wage structure, bumping some up to $30 an hour. Here are the steps that can put you in position to ask for a raise at your current job.

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Walmart is giving 165,000 of its employees a pay raise and will bump some up to $30 an hour: "Hourly wages are the most important part of their pay, well ahead of quarterly bonuses," the retailer said in an announcement.

The raises will go to staff with team leadership roles at various locations across the United States. Workers in some hourly roles will see their new minimum wage start between $18 an hour to $21 an hour, and that can go up to $30 an hour if they work in a Supercenter, which are the stores that sell general merchandise as well as groceries and typically stay open later.

Hourly deli and bakery associates at those stores will see an increase from $11 an hour to $15 an hour or higher, and select auto care center workers will get a raise, too. Walmart's pay initiative goes into effect in October.

When it comes to your own job, you don't need to wait for this type of big company-wide announcement to get the raise you deserve. These three tips can help.

Keep a record of your achievements

It may seem boastful to keep a journal of your own accomplishments, but it can help both you and your boss recognize your contributions when it comes time to discuss higher pay.

Note concrete, detailed examples of times you have taken the lead on a project or received acknowledgment or accolades that can support your argument, experts suggest.

"This is the most critical aspect of winning a sizable pay raise," says David Cusick, chief strategy officer and executive editor at House Method. He's involved with every hire at his company and often sits in on interviews. "By pointing to the skills, knowledge, and tools you've gained since starting, your employer becomes better aware of your increased value. Don't get too bogged down in the actual costs here. Focus more on time as value."

Know your worth

It makes sense to estimate your financial worth before negotiating a raise.  

To set realistic expectations about the salary you want and why you deserve it, try using a salary calculator, which can estimate your market value against those in similar industries.

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It could also be wise to talk to your human resources department to get a more specific idea on the pay range of employees in your position. Or, if you feel comfortable enough, you could try to get information from co-workers.

It's best not to ask your co-workers point blank what their salary is. Instead, you could frame the question more generally: "What do you think someone at my level at this company should be making?" Or you could try a less personal question, like, "Do you have any idea what my predecessor made?"

Another method to gauge salary is to check websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, as they offer a way to search for average salaries for various jobs by city.

Ask at the right time

The coronavirus pandemic has tightened budgets at many employers. "Companies are cash-strapped due to Covid-19, but they're also looking ahead to 2021 and beyond with an emphasis on growth," Cusick says. So it could still be a good time to initiate the compensation talk with your boss.  

Still, be cognizant of when you ask for a raise. If your company just had layoffs, for example, or if your manager seems worried about cost-cutting, it may be better to wait. These discussions tend to take place around annual reviews, too, so planning to make an ask then can be wise.

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If you don't have an upcoming performance assessment, try to ink in a time right after you've done something good, like when "you've more than added value since you've been in the company, and your talents and your experience are worth more than you're getting paid," Maggie Mistal, a career consultant and executive coach, told Grow in February.

Be creative, especially if you're valued at your job but getting more money anytime soon is not an option. Ask about perks and benefits like additional vacation time or a flexible schedule.

Some companies also offer stock options, education stipends, and rebates on work-from-home gadgets.

A survey by the career site PayScale found that two-thirds of the 160,000 people polled have never asked for a raise. But of those who did ask, 70% got some sort of increase. So usually, it pays to ask.

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