You've found your ideal rewards, now how do you ask for them?


When you've landed on the right ideas, it's time to suggest the potential perks to your boss. To be sure your manager listens to your proposal-and more importantly, accepts it-try following this seven-step plan

When you've landed on the right ideas, it's time to suggest the potential perks to your boss. To be sure your manager listens to your proposal—and more importantly, accepts it—try following this seven-step plan:

1. Respect your manager's time. There's no need to wait for your scheduled review. Capitalize on the energy that comes with thinking of a great idea by asking for a meeting now. Be sure to work around your boss's schedule, and be sure to tell her the subject you want to discuss in advance.

2. Open with strong, positive statements. Tell your manager how much you like working for the practice. Avoid saying negative things about your compensation and implying that you'll quit if you don't get your way.

3. Justify your request. Present your ideas as rewards that are based on your value to the practice. If you've assumed new responsibilities or taken on tasks outside your job description, point this out to your manager. Has the entire team come together to accomplish something exceptional? Mention it. Remember, though, that you shouldn't expect a reward now for something you plan to do in the future.

4. Be specific. For example, if you'd like to attend CVC West in San Diego, would you simply like the time off or would you like the practice to pay for your registration and travel expenses? These are two very different requests, so you must clearly outline what you want. If you can stay with your aunt to save hotel fees, be sure your boss knows the actual costs for you to attend.

5. Stay practical. As much as you might love an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii, don't expect your boss to go for it even if your practice is located in Honolulu. If there's money involved, know the cost to the practice before you ask for the perk.

6. Give your boss the WIIFM (What's in it for me?). Prepare a list of ways the new benefits and incentives could:

  • Increase productivity,

  • Improve employee morale,

  • Allow management to reward—and encourage—exceptional performance,

  • Assist the practice in hiring and retaining A-list team members.

7. Be gracious. End by thanking your boss for talking with you. Ask if you can clarify any of your points and what the next step will be. Then leave it open for your manager to decide when and how to take action.

With the right attitude and the proper preparation, you may just get what you want. But even if the answer is, "No," don't run away with your tail between your legs. Respect the decision, and ask what you can do to earn the rewards eventually. Then start a new frugal rewards search, rework your ideas, and try again.

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Angela Elia, BS, LVT, CVT, VTS (ECC)
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