How to negotiate a salary increase in an inflationary context!

by | Apr 27, 2023 | Career tips | 0 comments

Few moments require as much courage as a negotiation concerning your salary. Perhaps your employer thinks your salary demands are completely inappropriate, while you just feel like you really deserve them. To obtain a salary increase, you need to be tactful and confident. Here, you find out how to request a raise and why a higher salary will be convenient in 2023.


Higher salaries driven by high inflation

Chances are, you are well aware that the inflation rate is quite high. To be more precise, the inflation rate in February 2023 was 6.62% and based on the inflation outlook, the annual average inflation for 2023 is expected to reach 4.2%.

One of the reasons for the high inflation is the rising energy prices. Electricity and natural gas are much more expensive than last year (although they are fortunately going down again), not to mention the increasing prices of food, vehicles and home rent. Obviously, you want to keep paying for all of those things. A higher salary is therefore quite useful.


Automatic salary indexation

Due to the automatic salary indexation, the wages of about one million employees increased by about 11% on January 1. In fact, Belgium is one of the few countries that automatically indexes wages.

From gross to net: how much do you have left?

Did you already receive a pay raise from your employer? Wait a moment before cheering at the high percentage figure and ask yourself the following question: ‘if my gross pay increases percentagewise, how much will I have left net?’.

In our country, 13.07% of your gross pay goes to the NSSO or social insurance. After that, about 45% is deducted in taxes. This last percentage depends on your salary and the tax category you are in. The calculation from your gross to net pay is therefore not the same for everyone.

Would you like to find out how much of your gross pay you’ll have left? Several social insurance offices and unions provide an online tool to calculate your net pay.

Request a salary increase yourself

Life is getting more and more expensive, and you don’t want to lose your purchasing power. A salary increase is therefore necessary. Your employer does not automatically index wages? Do you find that your salary is not in line with the market? Or do you feel that your work is not valued at its fair value? In this case, it is up to you to make an appointment with your employer and ask for an increase.


The perfect time to request a wage increase

Obviously, you do not ask for a raise because you have plans for a new house or because you could just use some extra money. You ask for a raise if you actually deserve a higher salary. Have you been working hard lately and have you achieved visible results? Have you recently really proven yourself to the company? Then this is the perfect moment to request a higher salary.


7 tips on negotiating a salary increase

Inflation, relatively high wages and high tax rates make it a lot harder these days to ask for a raise, and especially to actually get one. Therefore, we share some tips on how to perform your best when asking for a wage increase.


1. Choose an appropriate moment

The moment you ask for a raise is critical. In most companies, the rule is that you can’t ask for a raise until you’ve been employed for 12 months, but there are exceptions.

For example, you can ask for a raise if your job scope has expanded, even if you’ve only been employed for a few months. Have you recently been asked to lead a particular project? Take the opportunity to ask for additional compensation. Have you exceeded the goals that were set for you? Or you simply haven’t received a raise in a while? Then all these reasons are appropriate.

Also ask yourself if your employer wants to spend more on your salary at this point. If sales aren’t doing well or if your employer just hired a new employee to join your team, you might want to hold off on asking for a pay raise. On the other hand, if the numbers for the year have been good, this is an opportunity to take.


2. Define what you want to achieve

Negotiating your salary requires careful preparation. Before you go to the interview, you need to know what you want. What are your salary requirements? How much do you want to increase your salary? These are all questions you need to think about carefully. Make sure that your objectives correspond to the salary that is available on the market, in your sector of activity and for the same type of function and experience. For this purpose, you can download our salary report 2023 with all salary ranges in Sales and Marketing.


3. Do not exaggerate

Avoid overwhelming your employer with your salary demands. Find out in advance what your salary is worth. You can determine this based on your position, education, work experience and skills. You can also consider the average salary of someone with the same position, experience and qualifications in the industry in which you work.

Generally speaking, a reasonable salary increase is around a 10%. In some cases, if your exemplary work and results can justify it, an employer may go as high as 15%, or even 20% if it comes with a new position with more responsibility. But there is no fixed rule, everything depends on your individual situation.


4. Gather evidence of your performance

Your request for a raise must be properly justified. That’s why you should list the reasons why you deserve a raise. Also, gather evidence that shows you are doing quality work and deserve to be paid more.

Look for numbers that show the contribution you make to the company and gather feedback from your colleagues on your performance and attitude at work. You can also show examples of happy customers/suppliers/contractors or base your performance on the objectives and tasks assigned to you to show that you have done more than what was agreed upon for your position or for a given period.


5. Clarify how you see your career in the future

Explain why you want a raise so badly. Explain to your employer how you see the future of your career. Indicate how you want to continue to grow in your position and make a positive impact on the company.

You can emphasize the positive impact a raise will have on you and your motivation. The fact that you will feel valued by the company for the work you have done and therefore loyal and grateful to your employer.


6. Be confident

Negotiating your salary requires courage and persuasion. People who are not used to selling themselves often tend to shy away from it. It is important to be convinced that you deserve a raise, so that your employer is also convinced. With a confident attitude, you’ll already go a long way.

Feel justified in asking. Know that investing in talent retention often costs the company less than hiring someone new if you were to be replaced and leave elsewhere. So it’s to your employer’s advantage as well.


7. Consider a backup plan

Perhaps your employer doesn’t like the idea of a wage increase. So make sure you have a plan B to avoid uncomfortable situations during the conversation. If your employer turns down a raise, you can make other offers, such as relevant training that you don’t have to pay for or additional paid time off.

Perhaps instead of a higher salary, your employer offers more benefits. In this case, you need to know in advance which benefits you are happy with a bike offered by the company, a new smartphone, … Make sure you have an answer ready.

You can also offer in return to re-evaluate the situation at a later time, which you have already fixed in time. For example, discuss it again in 6 months’ time by redefining the objectives to be reached by then and which will guarantee you the requested increase.


Refusal of a higher salary

Your employer may deny your request for a raise. If so, you should find out why. Perhaps you asked for a raise at the wrong time or too much. Or your arguments may not have been convincing enough. It’s also possible that you asked for a raise at the right time and in the right way, but your employer doesn’t have enough assets to meet your salary demands at this point.

Therefore, you can politely and directly ask your employer why a raise is not possible. Be sure to end the interview knowing what you can do to get a higher salary. Perhaps you can take on more tasks or take on additional training. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to continue working for the same salary or look for another employer who offers a better salary.

Do you have questions about your salary, or do you need help finding a job? Feel free to make an appointment with our recruiters.

Projet Manager & Recruitment Consultant | Generations Recruitment

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