Kenyans work very hard, and despite the labour law put in place, rarely do they get the payment they deserve. Most Kenyans find themselves working overtime without being compensated. Let’s face it, after working for any company in Kenya for some time, you should receive an increase in payment. However, this rarely happens, but what you may not know is that your workmates could be getting more money than you for the same amount of work done. How is that possible? You may ask. It’s possible because bosses, especially in the private sector, long since perfected the art of individual negotiations when asked about payment issues. ‘Come speak with me personally’ is often the statement they give and rarely does anyone take up that offer for fear of being victimized. So how can you ask your boss for a raise?
Fish around for numbers
You need to know how much employees in your particular field are being paid. When you are in an organization in Kenya, you may assume that everyone is being paid the same amount of money and because people rarely discuss their finances with workmates, you may not know where you stand in relation to others. Ask your workmates or friends in a similar profession how much they take home. This knowledge is vital to your negotiation and should be used to help you ask your boss for a raise.
Are you entitled to ask your boss for a raise?
Your workmates may be earning more than you, but this does not mean you are entitled to the same perks. You need to put into account the experience you have and the number of years you have been with the organization. This will give you an estimate on the range where you should lie. Your actions in the workplace will also contribute to your success or failure. Do not expect to be given a raise if you spend your day goofing around or delivering half-baked work.
Is your employer financially able to meet your pay demands?
Employers too face a variety of problems and challenges. So, if you discern that your employer is facing financial hardships, you need to take a step back and wait for a more appropriate time to raise the issue. You may need to do a little research by looking at financial records to gauge how your employer is faring.
If you go up to your boss and simply ask for a raise, chances are your request may be denied. You need to make your argument by listing your accomplishments and attributes that make you a valuable employer. You should start with what you have recently done and work backwards as this will give the impression of continued excellence.
What happens after you ask your boss for a raise? This is a question you need to ask yourself because your boss may turn you down. How will you react? Will you threaten to quit? Or will you become disheartened and go back to work? Will you ask for a timeline of when you can ask for a raise again? Being mentally prepared will allow you to decide beforehand what your reaction will be and prevent you from doing something you would later regret.
Do not just show up
You want to be taken seriously, and you can achieve this by booking an appointment with your boss. This would tell your boss that what you want to discuss is serious in nature. Do not turn to emails and phone calls when you want to discuss a raise but endeavour to do this face to face. When you go to the appointment, you should state why you are there in a clear manner. If your boss does not agree to the raise, go ahead and present the facts you gathered earlier and state your accomplishments and experience.
What not to do
Do not grovel or sound very desperate. Remember, asking your boss for a raise is your right not a privilege of only a few. You may be desperate for a raise, but this does not mean you should show it. You may want to tell your boss every challenge you experience at home – do not do this. You need to show your boss that your request is not an emotional response to your problems but a well thought out a proposal that should be given the attention it deserves.
Sometimes the only thing standing in the way of your raise is your credentials. The papers you may not have may be holding you back. In the organization, you are working with has a set standard on the way it administers income, it would work to your disadvantage if you do not have a paper to show. You may often find that you accomplish the same duties as someone with a higher diploma or degree than you, but the other person is getting more because of his papers. If this is the case, you can decide whether pursuing more education
will work to your benefit.
Never give up
Sometimes human nature works against you and your boss may refuse your request simply because he is in a foul mood. The point here is, never give up your quest to getting a raise. Look for an opportune time to ask for a raise while ensuring that your work is still in top form. It would not be wise to start slugging off because your boss refused your request. He may well be inclined to accept your request the second time you ask him, and you should therefore not sabotage your chances.
Asking your boss in Kenya for a raise is often a step many do not take and therefore they remain in the same pay grade year in year out. You should not let fear or a preconceived notion deter you from asking for a raise. Remember, your boss can only either refuse or agree to your request. Use these tips to ask your boss for a raise and who knows maybe this time you getting that raise that is long overdue.