Bonuses are great incentives to either get you to sign up or to stay with an organization. They supplement your income and can be a factor when choosing between positions or companies. Bonuses are also a good way for an organization to show their appreciation for your hard work. For some people, this show of appreciation can be worth more than the monetary value of the bonus.
Not all organizations have a set policy on when to give bonuses, though. If you feel that your compensation is not enough or that you deserve one, you have the recourse of asking for a bonus.But simply demanding a bonus out of the blue is a good way for your request to be quickly dismissed. Here are some tips to help you not only to be heard but have a good chance of getting the bonus:
Prepare for the Discussion
Prepare a good case on why you deserve a bonus. List down all your accomplishments and give concrete examples – backing up your claims with facts will make your request much more persuasive.Highlight skills and experiences that make you an asset to the organization, but do not sound boastful.
Try to gauge if your organization is doing well financially. This can give you an indication of how well a request for a bonus will be received.
Writing down your pitch for a bonus will help you to organize your thoughts. It will help provide structure to your conversation with your boss. Have a trusted colleague or mentor read your pitch. They can help you note down additional points to discuss and help to anticipate your boss’ reaction.
Timing the Request Properly
The proper time for asking for a bonus can affect your boss’ response. Ask your boss for an appointment since this ensures that you will have their full attention.
Scheduling a meeting early on the start or late at the end of your boss’s workweek is not recommended. They may be distracted during these times with tasks or other meetings that could detract the discussion.
If you have a salary or performance review meeting, you can ask for a bonus at that time.
Be Ready to Compromise
If you have been excelling in your position, this gives your boss more reason to accept your request. But there is a possibility that they can’t give you the bonus that you want. It’s possible that the company is going through a slow period, or perhaps your department has already exhausted its budget.
Be realistic with what your boss can give you. Negotiating the terms of your bonus isn’t something that you should just easily give up on. Try to find a good balance that works for you and your organization. For example, if they can’t give you the whole amount you requested, you can try to get more leave days instead.
Always be tactful while having the discussion, even if your request gets rejected. If you get a negative response, don’t sulk or throw a tantrum. You are a professional. Ask for a reason for declining your request or for points of improvement. A good manager will respond with action items or concrete reasons for the response they gave.
Saying “no” is not the end of the process but can actually be the start as your manager can continue assessing your request. Negative behavior on your part can, therefore, be taken as further justification for their response.
Do Not Threaten to Leave
If getting a negative response will cause you to leave, do not mention it during the discussion. They may just take you up on it and then you’ll have to follow through with your threat.
Asking for appropriate compensation is always a challenging ordeal for any employee. However, by keeping these simple tips in mind, you will be able to negotiate these types of requests with the utmost ease and professionalism.