How You Can Negotiate Your Salary With The 5 W’s Approach
In today’s day and age, technology has grown leaps and bound, causing several jobs to become obsolete. In such uncertain times where technology is on the rise, the job market has become fiercer, more competitive, and cutthroat than ever before. As a result, salary negotiations have become more stressful and challenging than ever before.
Studies indicate that a vast majority of women employees tend to underestimate the actual worth of their jobs. As a result, they become complacent at what they are being paid and hold back from asking for a raise or seeking employment with a higher salary.
Irrespective of how technologically advanced a country or an economy gets, knowing the true worth of your job and then effectively negotiating salary is the key to experiencing ultimate job satisfaction.
Thus, let’s take a look at the 5W’s approach to effective salary negotiations, but first, let’s discuss why we people don’t negotiate salary.
So, why don’t we negotiate salary?
Mastering the art of negotiation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. As much as we hate to admit it, not everyone is a born negotiator. For some, the negotiation process might be an easy task, while others feel overwhelmed by just the thought of it. Having said that, there are several reasons why people don’t negotiate.
Some of these reasons include:
- Fear of losing one’s job
- The risk of sounding too pushy or greedy
- The feeling of being uncomfortable because of the entire negotiation process
- The risk of sounding too arrogant or facing rejection
Irrespective of why employees shy away from a negotiation, leading HR experts explain that negotiation is an integral part of the employment process. When you negotiate for a higher salary, it automatically sets you on a more valuable trajectory and one that will reward you for many years to come.
So if you are one of the many who feel that they are not being paid worth their time and effort but dread the whole negotiation process, then perhaps it’s time you consider the 5Ws approach in salary negotiations.
Negotiators who believe in this approach set themselves apart from the rest and can better navigate the sometimes murky waters of mediation and negotiations. So follow the 5Ws path outlined below and see how it helps you become an effective negotiator.
Step 1: Knowing the WHY?
Knowing the why is about knowing oneself. Like with any other aspect of your life, knowing yourself is the first step towards preparing for effective salary negotiations. To do this, try tapping into your inner motivation and seeking what drives you. Now draw on that emotion and let it inspire and propel you.
Once you realize what you are truly worth and how important you are for your company’s success, you will automatically start to feel more driven, persuasive, and influential when you take a seat at the negotiation table.
Another strategy to grasp your “why” is by closing your eyes and envisioning the negotiation process. Imagine that you are negotiating with your employer. Try to visualize how you think it will go down.
Be sure to picture your approach while carefully considering the argument you state to make your case, your attitude, energy, and, most importantly, the motivation you have been holding on to.
Remember, negotiation isn’t always about money; it can be about other aspects of the job, such as health benefits, flexible working hours, etc.
Step 2: Understanding the WHO
Once you have considered your whys, try turning your attention to the party at the opposite end of the negotiation process. Knowing yourself and what you truly want from the whole negotiation process is only half the battle.
To be an effective negotiator, you must also consider the reasons why your employer will be inclined to agree to your demands (in other words, what would motivate them to pay heed to your request)
Instead of making the common mistake of staying detached, use the visualizing technique to tap into your emotions. Find out what motivates you and what might motivate your employer to agree to your demands — knowing the why will fuel you and help you consider the employer’s perspective, and keep you ready before you even begin the negotiating process.
Step 3: Recognizing the WHEN
We have all heard the phrase “timing is everything” one too many times. Like any other scenario, learning when to negotiate is an integral part of the negotiation process. When it comes to carrying out effective salary negotiation, preparation plays a key role. Even if you time your negotiations perfectly, it won’t work unless you have done your homework and adequately prepared for it. Part of this preparation includes doing your research and laying down the groundwork or foundation for formal negotiations.
Spend some time planning and coming up with the most strategically advantageous timing to carry out the negotiations.
For instance, if you are joining a new organization, the perfect timing to negotiate is when the job offer is made verbally. Or suppose you are looking to ask for a raise or a bonus. In that case, it’s best to discuss it during a peak selling month or after you have secured a client that your company has been chasing for months, as opposed to asking during an audit or a day after the budget has been finalized. Being tactical and deliberate is the key to planning the “when to negotiate” dilemma. Having said so, it is also wise to be prepared for the dreaded “no.”
Remember! just because it isn’t happening right now doesn’t mean it never will. We all want our actions to yield the best results. But sometimes, despite putting in our best effort, things don’t always turn out in our favor. So, in addition to intention, involvement, and intensity in action, it’s ‘timing’ which determines the outcome of our endeavors. Things happen when they are meant to happen.
Grab a copy of my Salary Negotiation Guide. You’ll learn how to decide what you want, initiate negotiation discussions, and walk away with a win-win solution that leaves you feeling heard and valued!
Step 4: Deciding the WHERE
Now you are well acquainted with the whys and the when of the 5 W approach for effective negotiations. Let’s dive into talking about the next powerful monosyllabic word, “where,” and why it is crucial for successful negotiations.
From salaries to home insurance, there are pros and cons of almost any place that you choose to conduct negotiations. When considering where you would like the negotiation to take place, try to be innovative and tactical. Don’t get caught up in the power struggle of negotiating on home ground or familiar surroundings. You should focus more on considering the strategic implications. After all, negotiating smart is all about weighing the odds and trying to tip the balance in your favor.
Salary negotiation is more of a sensitive issue requiring a quiet and peaceful conversation. Thus, it is crucial to find a place free from any distractions. This could be in your boss’s office, a board room, or even the HR office. On the other hand, if you wish to imply and set the groundwork subtly, perhaps doing it over lunch or dinner or even suggesting the topic at a social event might do the trick?
At the end of the day, where you choose to begin your negotiations largely depends on your why and what sort of negotiations you are planning. Both require careful consideration and adequate planning.
Step 5: Deciding the WHAT
Did you know that salary isn’t the only thing employees can negotiate with their boss? No doubt money is one of the key motivators and why people work. After all, we all have to pay rent and other miscellaneous expenses! This fourth step of the 5W approach sheds light on the different aspects of the job that are commonly negotiated and discusses how to put the best foot forward in doing so.
Whether it is stated explicitly or not, many HR experts reveal that a lot of employees now prefer negotiating other aspects of their job as well. This may include things like:
- Having flexible hours
- The option to work from home a few days a week
- Medical insurance and incentives
- Promotions and titles
- Annual leaves
- Transportation and parking perks
- Granting maternity or paternity leaves
- Opportunity to choose your team and even
- The projects you get to work on
Research indicates that employees who have sponsors or can act as their advocates within the company have a significantly higher chance of succeeding in such salary negotiations since they can put in a good word for you when the opportunity arises.
So whether you are negotiating at a new job or in an organization where you have already spent a reasonable amount of time, you must take your time to weigh your options and ask yourself questions like:
- What is your key motivator?
- What is the most pressing issue that you should be negotiating right now?
So think long and hard and speak up!
The art of negotiation isn’t as complex as people have led you to believe. Do your homework right, cover your bases, and most importantly, implement the “5W approach” in your salary negotiations. You are bound to succeed just as long as your demands are rational and make sense. Good luck!
Originally published at https://sabinegedeon.com on March 7, 2022.