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Negotiating a higher salary is always challenging. Many people dislike the awkward negotiation process with its back and forth bargaining between opposing parties. This negotiation process is essential though if you want to be fairly compensated for your effort. It is important to remember your employer's first priority is their bottom line, not yours. So, when the time comes for your annual performance review try following these tips to enhance your salary negotiations:
Many people enter salary negotiations stating that they have increased earnings or saved the company money but don't back up the claims with cold hard facts. To make your requests more compelling provide your employer with corroborating evidence to back your claims. Show them the evidence of various initiatives that you lead that created fiscal savings or increases in revenue. Examples:
Remind your employer that they would have a hard time living without you. Tell them about the extra call coverage you provide, how you man the Saturday clinic or how you cover sick colleagues clinic hours when they are out. Talk about any future initiatives that you may have that will help the organization. Employers like to know that if they are paying you more, they are getting more. This shows them that you are willing to keep pushing ahead and adding future value to the organization's efforts.
It seems like every day there are more and more non-clinical related duties assigned to Physicians. These duties are all part of your job and it is important to illustrate these roles come negotiation time to ensure you are properly represented. Highlight any leadership or administrative roles you have in the organization. Are you a mentor or a EMR go to for the staff? Are you working on any research or community education efforts that shines a light on your organization? Remember to mention any awards or accolades you have received and how it also reflects favorably on them.
Remember the saying "you catch more flies with honey"? A way to improve your negotiation outcomes is to approach them with an open and team-oriented attitude. While it is vital to be assertive and present yourself and your abilities in the best light, don't forget that your employer is not the enemy. Be sure to present your negotiation points in a positive tone. Instead of emphasizing employer shortcomings regarding compensation, make the meeting about why you are such an asset. It's a natural instinct to respond negatively to criticism; so by not putting the employer on the defensive, you are increasing the likelihood of buy-in.
Incentives don't always have to come in the form of hard cash. There are other factors to consider when sweetening the pot. Maybe your employer can cover your gym membership fees, cell phone contracts, or more CME activities. Lastly, remember that you may get a NO. No matter how good you are, there may not be enough interest or funding to cover a raise at your organization. If you hear no, consider asking what changes need to occur for this to happen or what you can do to change their minds. This information can set you up for success the next time you engage them in negotiations.