Next month I’ll fly and present at 6 conferences and corporate events on workplace retention, navigating change and increasing DEI and growing productivity. I’m careful to craft each presentation for participants, but the themes will be employee-focused for a good reason. Workers at all levels have an advantage such as we have not seen in many years. Employers need us and we need them. However, we’re all aware that the pendulum has swung solidly in your favor, and we don’t know how much longer this will be. Therefore, your time has arrived to go for it in the workplace.
As employees, your time has come for better remote options, a raise/bonus, (if you can present a compelling case), healthcare coverage, and promotions. When to ask depends on several factors that include:
1) Pick one thing and choose carefully. What are you trying to accomplish is the question? The answer comes from #3 below. And, you must be willing to ask for one item and be prepared to not push for more until… Once you’ve achieved the desired outcome(s) and are smiling and dancing internally it’s fine to ask for more. You’ll most likely receive a yes, no, or let me look into/think about this. You’re moving forward with more upside potential!
2) Timing. Your manager will have moments they are open to discussing YOU and moments where they are neck deep in 17 things that are pulling them in many directions. Look for patterns, times of the week or day where they seem to be less busy. Strike when they are open to gain an advantage and get their mostly undivided attention.
3) Planning and rehearsing your pitch is essential. This is sales. You’re selling YOU to them and need to be ready for questions and have answers. What do you want the most? Figuring out your priority order will give you a clearer vision of what to ask for.
4) Death by emotion & victory with passion. Yuck, icky, negativity, OY are just a few thoughts that would go through my head when one of my team members would spill too much, complain too much and whine too much. To be clear, there is a fine line here and you should not cross it. Doing so will diminish your chances and here is why.
We’re busy, working hard and focused on many things. How do you want someone to approach you and have a dialogue? Professionally? With passion? With well laid out thoughts? Yes, to all of this! Getting too emotional puts humans in a defensive posture. Being practical, kind, and passionate without being overly emotional works best.
5) Listen well. I shock some people when I use the phrase- ‘shut up and listen.’ I know this will get people’s attention and that’s my goal because those who listen well are more effective. They discover more, show a real desire to understand and show an interest in what another person is saying. Doing this well is as important as any other step. And, you might need to practice this as well. In any conversation just sit back and listen better. Watch what happens to you. More at ease, anxious, curious are a few feelings that will wash over you. Keep practicing and in no time, you’ll be a better listener.
Your time has arrived and your place of work needs your talent, dedication and knowledge to help them continue moving forward and being successful. It’s true, it’s a jungle out there in the world of employment. However, you have the advantage; the upper hand in this ever-evolving climate of control, power and importance. Understand and being okay with this can ignite your career and propel you forward to the role/position you desire.
Be confident. Be organized. Believe in you!