Can't Get That? Then Get This!
How to Get Something of Value in a Negotiation with Your Boss

by Liz Tahir

It is time for your company review, and you are focusing on one thing: an increase in salary. Not only that, but you have determined how much of an increase you should get. But you soon learn it is not happening as you thought. Do you just leave the meeting, feeling disappointed? Or have you been smart and determined what you can ask for that would be of value to you?

Here are a few possibilities-of-value:

Career enhancement training: Ask the company to pay for tuition reimbursement for college courses to help you work toward an undergraduate or advanced degree, or to attend a series of workshops and seminars in your field. Point out that this will not just increase your skills, but gives the company a more knowledgeable employee. Keep in mind that you should be prepared to perform at a higher level, as the company is entitled to see a return on its investment.

Flexible work hours: In today's world, companies are generally more agreeable to allowing workers to create their own schedule. For example, if you are a night person and prefer to start work later and work later (or the other way around, if you prefer to start work in the wee morning hours), you might be able to convince your boss to let you try this. The important key is that the amount of work and the quality of your work are not diminished.

Work from home: If your job is mostly done electronically, and there is not much interaction between you and other employees, it may not matter where you are actually located. You may negotiate coming to the office only one day a week or so. Again, though, your work load and its quality must not be diminished.

A support person for you: If your work load keeps getting greater, and you're feeling overwhelmed, show your supervisor how hiring a part-time assistant for you would benefit the company. Most companies are aware of the increased workload of their employees today, and your company just might be agreeable to getting you the help you need (particularly if they fear you might max out!) You may figure out this person does not need to be a new-hire, but a present employee who could be assigned to you several hours a day, or a certain day a week.

Fitness: Ask the company to pay for your fitness center membership. Most companies know the value of a healthy employee. Not only is a healthy employee likely to perform their job better (and be more agreeable while doing it), but they are less likely to be absent because of sickness. Or maybe you might convince the company to pay for a physical therapist or yoga trainer to come to the office several times a week during the lunch hour, so more employees can benefit by this.

Child care: Ask for payment of child care, so you can work with peace of mind. Or better yet, convince the company of the merits of providing on-site child care for you and the other parents.

The important part of all this is that you are prepared with these requests before you talk to your boss. It is important to do your homework before you get in to the Big Meeting. Have some idea of the cost of whatever perk you ask for (if a cost is going to be involved), particularly so you can counter any objections thrown at you.

The truth is that most companies really do want to keep their workers happy and satisfied in their job. The other truth is that most companies do not spend much time in figuring out how to do that. You can be the person who can get what you want by pointing out these ways to them.

Liz Tahir honed her negotiating skills through years of making multimillion deals in company boardrooms to bargaining for a brass bauble in a Turkish bazaar. A former corporate executive, she has, for the past 18 years, headed Liz Tahir & Associates as a marketing consultant, conference speaker, and business writer. Liz has delivered seminars and workshops from Japan to Brazil on improving negotiating skills for better success in today's international marketplace. For more information about her services, go to http://www.liztahir.com or call her at (US) 504-569-1670.

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