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Negotiating Better Work Conditions: Tips to Make the Most of Your Negotiation
Negotiating better work conditions is a serious matter and, sooner or later, you’ll have to tackle this task.
Timing and the course of the conversation varies. It will depend on your personal situation, the company you work for, and oftentimes, cultural background.
First, you need to know that, when it comes to improving your working conditions, you don’t have much room for error. Negotiating unfair working conditions with your employer can be challenging, but it can also be very rewarding. Fortunately, there are several tips that can help make the process easier and more fruitful. Keep reading to discover what you need to know.
Define Your Objectives and Set Clear Goals
Like any negotiation, you have to clearly state your objectives. In this case, your objectives will determine what you want to achieve. If you want to ask for a pay raise, for example, you need to outline how your salary expectations relate to the business’s overall goal (e.g., profit, growth, time invested, etc.)
If you want better benefits, prepare a list of what is it you want.
Remember, negotiating better work conditions is not always easy or pleasant, but you need to do it!
Determine The Negotiation’s Focus
Once you’ve set your goals, you’ll want to focus the negotiations on those specific goals.
One of the best ways to do this is to identify the general themes running through the company’s policies and procedures. After all, most companies have similar policies and procedures across several departments. Once you know what the company’s overall goals are, you can tailor your claims to focus on those specific goals.
One strategy to do this is to identify the broader strategic goals the company has and try to align your demands with these goals. And, of course, you need to do your negotiating for better work conditions with your direct manager.
Don’t Be Overly Optimistic
Let’s be honest: negotiations are rarely easy, and the process is rarely smooth.
In fact, it can often be very challenging, particularly when you’re the one who has to negotiate.
Overly optimistic thinking can lead to missing the mark by just a few degrees. For example, if you assume your company is fantastic and you’re prepared to offer anything, you could end up with nothing at all. Optimism can also be dangerous in other ways. If you’re too confident in your negotiations, you could end up being too hard on yourself. This could make the negotiation process more difficult, and it will not get you the desired results.
So, when negotiating better work conditions, the best advice would be: keep it real!
Build a strong case with supporting evidence
Like most things in life, good negotiations require an abundance of evidence and a good explanation for why things happened the way they did.
This is why you should build your case with supporting evidence.
Back up your claims with facts, not assumptions. Steer clear from mentioning feelings.
When negotiating for better work conditions, focus on tangible things only. This is how you’ll show the company you’re serious about your demands. When we say “tangible”, we mean actual things that can be measured; such as salary, time-off, number of projects.
Be Flexible on Conditions
One of the most significant risks in any negotiation is getting tied down in a contract that you’re unable to negotiate away.
This happens when there’s a mismatch between your personal preferences and the specific conditions set out in the contract. For example, your boss might suggest you work 50 hours per week but then put a cap on the hours you can work after that. You might also feel as though you deserve a vacation every so often but then have to pay for it out of your paycheck. This kind of imbalance can leave you with no option but to accept the conditions as written and walk away from the negotiation with less money than you could have made.
So, when negotiating better work conditions, try to be flexible – you are speaking to a business, after all.
You never know until you try. Negotiating better work conditions with your employer can be difficult, but it can be very rewarding. It’s not always easy to know how to start negotiations for better work conditions. However, a good starting point is to ask yourself these questions: Do I want to work for this company? Am I willing to put in the effort necessary to become successful at my job? Do the working conditions (i.e., environment, co-workers, etc.) align with my personal wishes?
What if negotiating better work conditions fails?
Well, if you fail, at least you know you tried! And once you realize that, you’ll be at peace. And ready to move on. Here’s where we come in – we can help with your CV, LinkedIn profile, or job interview prep! Check out our services page to learn more, and get in touch using the form below.
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