How to get a pay raise in 2017
When was the last time you asked your hotel or restaurant employer for a raise? If you’re like more than half of working Americans, the answer is probably "never." Far too many professionals are uncomfortable negotiating salary, even though most bosses understand that competitive pay is an important component of employee happiness.
Underpaid employees are often unhappy employees. And unhappy employees quickly become under-performing employees or move on altogether, neither of which is good for the establishment’s bottom line. So, if you’re good at your job and can make a legitimate request for more, there’s really no reason he or she shouldn’t at least consider your request.
In fact, one survey found that among professionals who request raises, 75 percent are successful in their quest. While 31 percent of those individuals may get less than they ask for, that’s still better than no raise at all. Here’s a few suggestions to help you join the ranks of those making higher wages in hospitality in 2017.
Carefully track your performance
Are you regularly asked to perform job duties that don’t fall into the official description of your position? Have you kept an understaffed department running smoothly for months or even years by absorbing the workload of your former teammates? Do co-workers, supervisors and hotel or restaurant executives often praise you for your hard work or other contributions? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you have a legitimate reason to ask for a raise.
To prove it, keep detailed notes on your day-to-day duties as well as special projects. Track the results of improvements you’ve suggested, and print out any emails from your supervisors in which you’ve been thanked for your ideas or initiative. You can use all this information to prove your worth when you discuss your compensation with your manager.
Figure out what other hotels or restaurants are paying
There are many salary calculation and comparison tools available online that you can use to gather data on what your employer’s competitors are paying hospitality professionals in your position. These include resources such as Getraised.com or Salary.com. If you find you are significantly underpaid when factors such as organization size, location, and years of experience are considered, you have a legitimate reason to ask for a raise.
Determine the salary increase you think is fair and build your request around it. Some experts suggest that you’re more likely to be successful if you allow your boss to choose from a range, such as "a wage increase of $10 to $12 per hour," rather than naming the specific dollar amount you desire.
Stay positive when broaching the subject
Don’t start your conversation by complaining about being overworked, underappreciated, or threaten to leave if things don’t change. Instead, frame your request in a positive light by focusing on the accomplishments you identified earlier.
Try something like, "I love working at hotel XYZ and have found my position both exhilarating and challenging. In the last year, I’ve taken on a number of new duties (or initiated a number of projects) and believe my responsibilities and contributions have increased accordingly. I’d like to discuss the possibility of a commensurate compensation adjustment."
If your boss says no, find out why
If you’re truly dedicated to your job and have done your homework, it’s unlikely your boss will reject your request based on your performance or industry value. That said, there are still reasons you may be denied, such as the current state of the hotel or restaurant’s budget. If that is the case, consider asking for an alternative. You can request that your boss revisit the possibility of an increase in a couple of months. If he or she insists more money will never be possible, ask for additional vacation or personal days, or other work benefits, in lieu of a wage increase.