Anyone who has sat in front of their boss hoping to acquire something different in their position knows all too well that negotiating is a skill. It is something that few have experience with, but with practice, mastering negotiation can definitely work in a manager’s favor — especially when it comes to higher salaries. Failure to negotiate could mean leaving money on the table.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics last updated their salary reports in May of 2015, at which point they listed operations managers as receiving an average of $119,460 a year. reported that directors of operations receive an average of $98,960. And lists directors at $80,000 a year.

These numbers are attainable for Facility Cleaning Decisions readers, if they put in the time, seek out title promotions and follow a few tips for negotiating salary increases.

First, do research and make calculations based on the findings. This will help managers come up with an appropriate figure and provide ample facts to back up the proposed increase. Armed with appropriate research, managers will exude confidence and demonstrate preparedness.

It’s also important to know the value of the company before meeting to discuss salary increases. Some facilities are funded through public taxes, government funding or private donations, which can dictate the salaries allotted to staff. This shouldn’t stifle attempts for higher wages, but it is important to keep in mind during the negotiation process.

When negotiating a new salary, experts comment that one of the biggest mistakes made is aiming too low. Many people will consider their current salary and request a small percentage increase, or just settle for what they are accustomed to making. Instead, managers are encouraged to consider improvements or advancements made to the department, additional square footage or personnel, added responsibilities, as well as any evidence uncovered in the research done. This should provide a benchmark for salary increase proposals.

With that benchmark in mind, aim high when going into a meeting about compensation, but be prepared for rejection. Managers should not be afraid to ask for salary increases, or the negotiations that will likely follow.

Experts recommend padding the initial salary request, opening the door to a back-and-forth discussion before settling on a specific number. Then, if the end result is lower than expected, look beyond the salary during the negotiations. There are often peripheral benefits that are negotiable, such as health or retirement plans, or increased vacation time. Managers should consider what is important to them, beyond money, and shouldn’t be afraid to negotiate for what they want.

According to the survey, salaries have leveled off during recent years, even though job responsibilities have expanded. Employers have tried to increase productivity, often without adding staff, leaving many managers feeling as if their compensation has not kept pace with their contributions.

There is never a guarantee that negotiations will land managers higher salaries, as strict budgets and facility funding could hamper the end result. But it is never out of the question that after spending years giving the job everything, managers do deserve a fair wage for an honest days work.

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