As manager of human-resource development at defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp., Cheryl Getty has trained hundreds of the company's executives in the art of effective performance appraisals. She's concluded that paving the way for a raise is a 24 x 7 process. Here are three strategic steps that smart Lockheed Martin people take to convince their superiors that they've earned a bigger paycheck.
1. Court feedback.
"Most people have a no news is good news attitude toward their performance," says Getty. "That's a big mistake. Get feedback from your boss on a regular basis and fine-tune the parts of your performance that can stand improvement. By the time you go in to request a raise, you've done everything you can to exceed expectations."
2. Demonstrate value.
"Your value to the company is enhanced when people outside your department ask you to help on projects. You can't afford to sit at your desk and not interact. So make yourself available to help other teams, but clear it first with the people above you — this keeps them in the loop and lets them know you're in demand."
3. Get on the fast track.
"Every organization has a fast track to higher management, but you must be skilled to run that race. You don't acquire those skills serendipitously. To get them, let your boss know you want to take on challenging projects that prove your worth. Keep a journal that details all the extra work you're doing. If you cap out in terms of salary, ask for compensation through training or tuition or a supplemental bonus — that's how Lockheed Martin rewards major contributions when we can't pay a merit increase."
A version of this article appeared in the June/July 1997 issue of Fast Company magazine.