10 step process to bonus negotiation
Help! My bonus is less than my male report!
Despite reaching my targets year on year with related bonuses, I have just discovered that one of my reports (male) is going to receive a greater bonus than myself this year. It was a very successful year for me personally in terms of meeting targets, and of course my team exceeded expectation. How do you think I should handle this. Sara (Italy)
Hi Sara - Thanks for your mail. This is not an uncommon situation. Women step up to the negotiating table 6 times less than men during their careers and generally according to what stats you read, earn 81% of their male counterparts. I actually think this is probably a generous figure. I cover this in detail in a series of posts starting with "Let's go girls.. negotiate ."
As you say you had a particularly successful year as team manager as well as previous years. Bonus negotiation is no different to salary negotiation.
[Tweet "My first and basic question would be: "why are you not making bonus recommendations and who is?""]
So I would suggest the following 10 step process for bonus negotiation:
- Get into business neutral - don't take this personally. It's a negotiation process.
- Understand well your areas of added value - have all that information prepared as a business case.
- Talk to your boss with attentive listening skills "Help me understand... "
- Benchmark your salary within your team - were there any special circumstance to factor in?
- Research your own external market value.
- Look at fringe benefits - could you translate extra cash into another benefit. Is that what you want? Benefits can eventually have a high monetary value and also play an important role in work/life balance issues. There is a caveat in the sense that generally benefits do not count toward pensionable earnings if there is a scheme. Factor this in fully.
- Be prepared to get into the double bind of women being perceived as aggressive and strident when negotiating salaries and fees. Let that go. Remember business neutral.
- Do you have an HR appeals process within your organisation. What is the HR input?
- Evaluate any rejection neutrally - the question should be not be “ do you want to stay in this job?” – but “when would be a good time to leave? My employer doesn't value me.”
- Really ask yourself if you are prepared to leave. If it all works out make sure you have control over the salaries and bonuses of your reports.
Hope this helps.
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