I feel fortunate to work for a company that, if I needed to, would engage me honestly in a pay raise negotiation. I haven’t felt the need and thought perhaps I might provide some thoughts on why. I hope these might help answer @heather_reid’s question. I want to note that my response here is an aggregate of experience at different companies.
Some companies do salary research as a part of determining salary adjustments from year to year. This may establish an average increase of a company’s overall salary expense.
Also, different job families have different levels base on experience (e.g., entry, junior, senior, lead), and those job levels have a salary range associated with each range (e.g, the range of the junior level is 10,000 to 20,000, senior level is 18000 to 29000; numbers are meant show a range and do not represent real salaries, note the ranges overlap). The salary range changes every year reflecting the research.
I offer this information because for any one year, the overall salary adjustment at a company is very close to the average of all salary adjustments in the company. You are competing for a part of that adjustment. For example, if the overall adjustment to all salaries averages 2.5%, a person doing average work may receive a salary adjustment of 2.5%.
In the case of awesome people like yourself, you feel you deserve more and want to ask for more than 2.5%. I encourage you to consider the salary range for your level (if it exists), where you are in that salary range, the value of your work products during the evaluation period (usually the past year), and the feedback of your peers.
If a salary range does not exist, some research could help establish one. Multiple surveys on salary for different jobs are sometimes public. If you participate in one of those surveys, you will likely get the results.
Using the range, you can estimate how your salary compares to the range. If the range is 10,000 to 20,000 and your salary is 15,000, then you know you are paid in the middle. Another interpretation could be that, since 15,000 is in the middle, you could achieve a higher salary.
Work Product Value
You believe you’ve shown your awesomeness but sometimes not everyone knows it. Use a record or journal to log major defects, collaborative efforts, leadership demonstrations, and others. For each item in that list, I recommend some quantification; be specific and tangible. For example, if defect A was found in production, it would have resulted in dissatisfaction of X customers. Or, through the collaboration with persons B and C, we established a method to reduce time in Process ZXY by x hours per week which accelerated the introduction of Product CBA.
I believe some Shift Left ideas can apply here. Establish goals for the evaluation period early and maintain a journal of work products during that period.
Near the end of the evaluation period and before your evaluation is created, present your awesome work and how you achieved or exceeded your goals.
In some cases, peer feedback is helpful to show corroboration. However, do not expect corroboration to be your primary reason to receive a raise.
You are doing a great job and you know it. Collect the facts and present them to your manager. Help them conclude that you have earned a pay raise.