Career Negotiation May 21, 2012

A Salary Negotiation Case Study

A friend of mine is a department manager at a large company. His secretary requested a 10 percent raise...

A friend of mine is a department manager at a large company. His secretary requested a 10 percent raise. She was worth it.

The problems was that 10 percent represented a large raise compared to the 5 percent other employees had received. Was there a creative both-win way out of this problem?

As they explored the possibilities, several ideas emerged. The company starts work at 8am and closes at 5pm.

The manager learned that his secretary encountered heavy traffic every evening on the way home. They agreed to have her work from 7:30am to 4:30am This saved her at least 20-25 minutes driving time. Certainly a benefit to her at little or no expense to the company.

They then studied her job in detail. Before long they jointly developed a new description which gave her more responsibility, and, at the same time, more interesting work.

Both parties benefitted from the changed scope of work. The raise itself was then discussed. A compromise was reached by agreeing on a 6 percent raise for three months and then an additional 2 percent later if the new responsibilities were adequately performed.

What was accomplished in this management situation was to move the talks from a confrontation and contest to a win-win arrangement.

Negotiation on the higher win-win level did the job. Together they created values and satisfactions that were not there before, values that both sides welcomed. The company gained by enlarging the scope of work in exchange for a raise that was less than the 10 percent requested.

The manager also gained something that was even more valuable, an employee who knew she could work with her boss in a creative both-win way.
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