Here’s How to Ask for a Raise You Were Promised but Didn’t Receive

There are several situations where an employer might promise a raise that’ll happen in the future. In some cases, a job offer includes compensation increases associated with specific milestones, such as achieving a goal or completing a set number of months in the job. At times, it may be promised by a manager, essentially serving as a reward that the company can’t formally offer at that time but could cover in the future.

While many promised raises do occur, there are situations where they don’t happen. The reasoning can vary. For example, companies may experience unexpected financial hardships, managers might believe that the required milestones weren’t achieved, or if the promise was made some time ago, it could have slipped their minds.

As a result, it’s wise to know how to ask for a raise you were promised but didn’t receive professionally, increasing the odds that you’ll ultimately get the pay bump. If you aren’t sure how to approach it, here’s what you need to do.

Request Promised Raise Offers in Writing

While this step is proactive and may not work if the offer was made long ago, it’s always best to request any offers of a future raise in writing. This serves as a formal record of the discussion, making it easier to broach the topic should the salary increase not come through by the deadline.

When you request the written offer, make sure that it contains specific details. Along with the dollar amount or percentage, request a deadline be included. If the raise is associated with milestones or goals, have those outlined along with metrics that allow you to know when you’ve succeeded in meeting the requirement.

Submit Requests for a Promised Raise in Writing

In many cases, it’s best to handle pay-related issues in writing. This creates an official paper trail. Plus, it’ll make it easier for you to review conversation details later, as you can save the related correspondence in a safe place for future use.

Generally speaking, email is an acceptable format for following up on a promised raise. Whom you address it to may depend on the source of the promise and who signed off on the terms. As a result, you may need to reach out to your manager, human resources, or other individuals or departments.

Another benefit of submitting the request in an email is that you can refine the content carefully, allowing you to remain direct and professional. Additionally, you can attach copies of any relevant documents or previous messages, making it easier to show a justification for your request.

When you write the message, focus on the facts. Remain calm, professional, and succinct, outlining precisely what was promised and when that promise occurred. If there were milestones or goals involved, summarize how and when they were met. Reference any supporting attachments as you discuss those details, ensuring the reader knows where to find pertinent information.

At the end of the message, don’t outright demand the promised pay increase. Instead, request a status update, as that shows you expect action while ensuring you come across as professionally as possible.

Follow-Up as Necessary

In some cases, a single email is enough to secure a promised raise. However, if you fail to get a reasonable answer in an appropriate amount of time, don’t be afraid to follow up. Along with recontacting the original recipient, you can also include other pertinent individuals on the email if appropriate. For instance, if you originally contacted your manager, you could add human resources or your manager’s superior.

Continue asking for updates or next steps, ensuring you don’t seem to be demanding a raise, as that will be better received. Additionally, remain fact-oriented, as that also makes a better impression.

Consider Other Employment Options

If you follow up and still aren’t given a promised raise, then you may want to explore other employment options. Ultimately, there are companies that live up to their commitments, so applying to new opportunities may help you avoid this issue in the future.

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