Here’s How to Lock in That Bonus and Raise for 2015

Here’s How to Lock in That Bonus and Raise for 2015

Chinese business man thinking about money

It’s the end of the year and there’s one thing that ought to be on your mind—your compensation.

Specifically: “How can I make sure to get my bonus and a raise for next year?”

Even though you may have earned a raise and bonus, there’s a good chance your manager just won’t hand you one.

Why Most IT Pros Get Short Changed

It’s not that your manager doesn’t want to reward you, they just need to be reminded why they should reward you. Although the best managers are always aware of their people’s achievements, if you’re relying on your manager to track your outcomes for you it ain’t gonna work out so well—they’re too busy tracking their own!

You have to go after the compensation you deserve, and prove why you’ve earned it.

The Ideal Method

  • First, gather the list of achievements you and your manager agreed to early in the year.
  • Second, update it with its percentage complete, demonstrating you accomplished what you said you would.
  • Third, add testimonials from your project stakeholders and peers to really prove the point.
  • Fourth, review your achievements with your manager and remind her that you just made it easy to get your full bonus.
  • Fifth, let your achievements and stakeholder testimonials speak for themselves.

What’s that…? You never worked with your manager to agree on your Target Achievements for the year? You don’t have a large stack of documentation detailing your acknowledged contributions?

Of course you don’t! The majority of IT professionals do not have a systematized process for setting targets and documenting achievements.

But don’t worry: even if you can’t quite follow The Ideal Method, there is still a way to create a compelling case for why you deserve increased compensation.

5 Steps to a Better Bonus and Salary Negotiation

In short, you are going to spend a couple of hours revisiting your accomplishments for the year and turning them into outcome-oriented statements—each with a heavy emphasis on business value:

  1. Identify the outcomes your work directly generated. List projects and milestones you contributed to, as well as operations-related improvements you were part of.
  1. Define how you personally contributed to these outcomes. Don’t write: “I worked for three months on the project modules.” Instead, frame it as: “I produced 7 of the 14 modules.” And if your front-line team reduced ticket resolution time by 14%, explain how you reduced your own time by 30%.
  1. Make sure these outcomes are the ones that really mattered. Ask your stakeholders: “How has your life changed because of these outcomes?”
  1. Identify how you grew as an employee to make your contribution. What new skills did you acquire? What new capabilities did you demonstrate? When listing these skills, make sure you also list any soft skills you developed—eg: increased communication efficiency.
  1. Summarize both your accomplishments and your growth using the most tangible metrics possible. Demonstrate—with hard data—that the person you are today, and what you now bring to the table, is substantially greater than a year ago.

And, most importantly…

Start Preparing For Next Year’s Negotiation NOW

Next month—in early January—I’m going to send you my guide on how to plan ahead and set your 2015 Target Achievements…

But for now, box out a couple hours to go through the above five steps and you will enter your upcoming negotiation with more leverage than you are sitting on right now.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

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