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Asked by Jisoo on February 6, 2017

My manager tells me during my monthly meetings that my emails numbers are the best out of the team and that I have been doing a great job taking on new responsibilities. Many say that raises are only about 3%. I want to ask for more than 15% at my annual review. Would I look too much like an amateur asking more than the average raise? Of course I will list all the roles I took on and my reasons

Answered by Stuart, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on February 21, 2017

Hello! This is a great question. In today’s environment it is not uncommon for annual merit increases to be in the 3% range for many industries. There are of course many exceptions. First, annual increases generally are not offer and counter offer propositions like initial job offers. They fall within a range based on the person’s performance rating. Second, the lack of a bonus, 401K match, etc applies to everyone in your department so is not really a reason to raise one employee’s pay in the department. Third, if you have taken on additional roles and responsibility you may want to investigate whether your employer has an incentive program for stretch assignments or if the role has expanded well above your peers in the department and is a sustained expectation you may want to look into the possibility of a promotion. Promotional increases are generally larger than annual increases and dependent on how much of a step up the new role is from the existing role. Lastly, going into pay conversations with facts and knowledge is powerful. If you have the ability find out the pay range for your position and where you are within it as well as investigating externally on sites such as

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Answered by Dean, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on May 2, 2017

Hi and Congratulations on your review!
There are a lot of factors that go into wage increases.  Some companies do have a  range in which they typically operate within, so while 3% is the norm, they may have discretion to 4% or even 5% depending on your performance.  As a rule a 15% increase is quite high but you need to frame and anchor why you feel you warrant an increase.  You would be wise to get access to salaries in your area for similar roles as added support for an increase request.  If you came in below the normal range you may be able to request a salary adjustment in addition to taking on more responsibilities. Don't come out too greedy and keep hitting it out of the park!

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on August 16, 2017

Congratulations on being a high performer and on the great feedback! As Stuart and Dean mentioned, there are various factors that go into a merit increase. I would agree that 3% is very common for an annual merit increase and may also depend on how long you have been in your position. It is harder to negotiate a merit increase than it is to negotiate a job offer. Merit increases are often based on the company’s performance, as well as your performance. It is common for teams to only have an allotted amount for their employee’s so your manager may not be able to exceed the average amount. If you want to negotiate for a higher amount, the most important thing is to do your homework and understand if your ask is realistic based on your job profile. If you have access to the information, try to understand what your pay range is and what employee’s in a similar position are making. A more realistic ask may be to start thinking about a promotion. If you are truly going above and beyond and exceeding expectations, are there opportunities for advancement or a promotion in your position?

Best of luck and keep doing good work!

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