Top tip - negotiating a raise
Negotiating a raise or discussing a promotion is often avoided. Recently I’ve been coaching a young professional on how to “have the difficult conversation”. Imagine my delight when I got a text saying “Yay, served up my SNIFF n’ Chips and it’s worked a dream!”. As it’s worked for them, thought I’d share it.
So, what’s “SNIFF n’ Chips”? SNIFF stands for Start, Norm, In-between, Forget-it, and Futuraction.
“Start” is what you’d like in an ideal world, ignoring budget cuts, the stingy boss, the colleagues you may think are better than you. It’s the package that makes you walk out of the office with a spring in your step, knowing your contribution is valued and appreciated. You’re delighted to go the extra mile for the next year. You’ll message your friends and celebrate. Think Lamborghini and Tiffany.
“Norm” is acceptable. It may not be what you asked for, but it will keep you motivated. You feel sufficiently valued that you’ll happily stay for another year and see how it goes. You’re satisfied enough to ring a few friends and share the news that you’ve been recognised for your contribution. Think Volvo and John Lewis.
“In-Between” is touch and go. You don’t feel your contributions and value have been recognised enough. There’s a minor improvement, but not enough to significantly boost your self-esteem, and definitely not enough to go out and celebrate. You wonder if you should look for a role elsewhere. Think second hand cars with dodgy origins and discount stores.
“Forget it!” is unacceptable. You feel insulted. You know you’re worth more than this, and heck, you’ll actively look for a new job. Think wheelbarrow and Pawn shop.
“Futuraction”, my new word for 2019, is what actions you’ll take in each scenario. Scenario planning is important to give you confidence entering the negotiation, and means you aren’t left rudderless if things don’t go your way.
The key to a successful outcome from your negotiation about your salary/promotion is to define your SNIFF. To do this:
First, define what your CHIPS are. They can be different salary levels, pension contributions, Maternity/Paternity entitlements, cars, bonuses, holiday or unpaid leave, flexi-time conditions, Continuing Professional Development opportunities, but a chip can be anything that has value to you or that is specific to your role.
Second, decide what chips belong where. Imagine a table showing four large circles named Start, Norm, In-between and Forget it. Decide what chips go in which circle. Work out what could equate to a particular chip that may not go down well with your boss. If they reject the potato wedge of an extra £10,000, what collection of thinner chips could be an acceptable substitute? Be ready to bring them into play. Attendance at conferences, networking opportunities, being on a high profile case or project and additional CPD could be valuable contributions to furthering your career, but be perceived as costing the company less.
Third, Futuraction. Identify three actions you’ll take for each of the 4 SNIF outcomes. It’s important to celebrate, and to have a plan B.
In summary, SNIFF is a useful framework to clarify your thinking, and help you achieve your desired package. It gives you confidence and added flexibility when negotiating. Identify your Chips, define your SNIFF, and rehearse in advance with a friend so that you are really prepared.
Good luck, and remember you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.