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ow's the time, you think. Now's the
time to ask your boss for that pay raise
you feel you so richly deserve.
But what is the proper strategy? Five
bosses at local businesses which have
from 12 to 42 full-time employees say
there are some definite do's and don'ts
for employees to keep in mind when asking
for some extra cash in their paychecks.
Perhaps the most important "do" is to be
prepared not only with facts and figures on
what you mean to the company, but the an-
swers to questions you'll probably be asked
by your boss.
"Employees have to prove to me that
they're worth a pay raise. They can't expect
it because they're wearing nice clothes that
day," said Marshall Loewenstein, president
and CEO of Loewenstein Poultry and Michi-
gan Cold Storage in Taylor.
"I want to know what an employee has
done to increase productivity or sales or what-
ever," Mr. Loewenstein said. "I also look for
a good attendance record and loyalty to the
company — someone who doesn't complain
about working early or late and gives 100 per-
cent effort all the time.
"When we make money, we like to share
it with the employees who helped us make
Glen Goldberg, owner of the Four Seasons
Garden Center & Custom Landscaping Ser-
vices in Oak Park, says employees asking for
Some Sound Fiscal Advice
Key points to keep in mind when you're asking for a pay raise:
1. Come prepared with facts and figures about how
you've helped the company in the past and will do
so in the future.
2. Be ready to answer questions from your boss with
3. Don't be late for work or miss with an unexcused
absence just before meeting with the boss.
4. Don't bring constructive criticism into the
a pay raise should know their attendance
record and whether they achieved goals that
were established for them by their supervi-
"I also look for a commitment to the corn-
pany, if someone has constantly gone above
and beyond the call of duty," Mr. Goldberg
said. "It may be spending extra time to fin-
ish a project or constantly seeing their tasks
Five bosses offer
tips to employees
who want to ask
for a pay raise.
STEVE STEIN STAFF WRITER
Glen Goldberg, owner of Four Seasons Garden Center & Custom Landscaping Services in Oak Park.
through to the end."
Andy Sallan, president of Futuristic Fur-
nishings in Royal Oak, says employees meet-
ing with their boss about a pay raise should
be prepared with "examples of how they
helped the company save or make money or
increased the awareness of it."
"They also should keep their answers to
questions short and very specific because their
boss probably is a busy person who doesn't
have a lot of time for the meeting.
"It's also a good idea for employees to out-
line what they have accomplished in the past
few months and how they plan to help the
company in the future.
"This shows some initiative and is some-
thing which can be noted the next time they
ask for a raise. Remember, the boss has to
justify giving the raise to his or her supervi-
sor or to a bottom line."
Lee Schottenfels, vice president of mar-
keting and business development at First
Care Medical Centers and First Care Health
Plan, works exclusively with sales personnel.
He says they need to use their sales tech-
niques when asking for a pay raise.
"They have to show how they've made the
company money, and they must demonstrate
it in a self-assured, confident and comfort-
able way. Not smug," Mr. Schottenfels said.
"Good salespeople know how to do that. They
know how to be assertive, yet friendly. They
know they can't be confrontational with their
boss, like walking in and demanding a
Taking a risk can't hurt, Mr. Schotten-
fels said. For example, a salesman or sales-
woman who asks for a small increase in base
pay but a higher percentage of commission
beyond this year's sales total "would be well
received," Mr. Schottenfels said, "because he
or she is taking a risk on their performance."
Steve Simons, president of the Group SAA
Limited advertising and catalogue produc-
tion company in Farmington Hills, says it's
important for an employee to understand the
monetary issues being faced by the person
on the other side of the desk.
"Just like the Red Wings, not every em-
ployee can be paid like a Sergei Fedorov or a
Steve Yzerman," Mr. Simons said.
All five bosses said they've heard some off-
the-wall requests for pay raises, but only two
wanted to divulge them. Mr. Loewenstein
said one employee wanted a pay raise after
Mr. Loewenstein received a new desk because
the employee thought that was a sign that
the company was doing well.
Mr. Goldberg said an employee had an un-
excused absence the day before a meeting
about a pay raise.
"For some reason, he thought being absent
would help his cause," Mr. Goldberg said.
MONEY TALK page 54