Almost two thirds of people never have asked for a raise, according to recent survey of over 160,000 by career site PayScale. And that means a lot of people could be leaving money on the table: Of those who took the plunge and asked for more money, about 70 percent reported receiving some type of increase after they asked for a raise.
"A lot fewer people have asked than you'd assume, but if you do ask, it's very likely you will get something," Lydia Frank, Vice President of PayScale, tells CNBC Make It.
Typically, the risk is worth the reward, Frank says. Especially when you consider that only one in three people report receiving a raise without asking. "You can't wait around all the time for your employer to offer you a raise, especially when we've seen wages have been a little bit flat," she adds.
A raise doesn't always have to be about the bottom line either. Negotiation speaker and strategist Keld Jensen tells CNBC that, when negotiating salary, people should other consider variables like the ability to work from home, more personal time or even a more flexible daily schedule.
The longer you've worked somewhere, the more likely it is that you'll receive a raise. PayScale found that employees who had worked at a company for more than five years were over 12 times more likely to get a raise than someone who had been there less than a year.
"Preparation is key," Frank says. Before you have the conversation with your manager, do research on sites like Glassdoor and PayScale around what the salary for your position in your area.
Also, make sure you build a business case for your requested raise. "They need you to show what impact your work has had on the business," Frank says. Bestselling author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch tells CNBC Make It that it's smart to focus on your achievements, and don't be driven by your feelings. "Impulse and outrage asks are almost always non-starters," she says.
It's best to avoid threats. For a long time, people believed they had to have another offer to get a raise at their current job, Frank says. But that can backfire. Your manager may call your bluff and you'll need to change jobs. Or even if your employer does offer a counter and you stay, there may be some broken trust issues.
About a third of employees who ask get turned down, the report finds. People of color are more likely to get rejected, while white men tend to receive raises far more often. PayScale found that almost half of those who didn't get a raise said budgetary constraints were cited as the reason, while a whopping 33 percent said they got no rationale at all.
Still, even if you are disappointed, "don't assume a 'no' today is a 'no' forever," Frank says. If your manager does refuse to give you a raise, that doesn't have to be the end of the conversation.
If your manager cites a tight budget, try to get more information, Frank says. Ask your manager if they believe it's just a short-term cash fall issue or if it's a long-term problem — and ask when he or she thinks would be a better time to talk about your requested raise. Get some idea of whether your company is in trouble, she adds.
"There's room for more informed conversations around compensation between individuals and their employers," Frank says. "It's typically not a comfortable conversation, but I think it could be a better one if there was just a little more of an ongoing dialogue and it wasn't such a taboo subject."
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