personal request

Making Requests To Your Managers: 7 Basics For Employees

who this class is for

Employees, staff members, and managers

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About this micro-class

Employees may need to make various types of requests to their managers or employers throughout their professional journey.

Effective communication is essential in making requests, and approaching the conversation with a collaborative mindset can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

General Principles for Making Requests at Work

Making a Request

Etiquette is key: Be respectful, professional, and considerate in your communication.

Be prepared: Do your research, gather necessary information, and anticipate potential questions or concerns.

Consider the other party’s perspective: Understand the impact of your request on the team or company.

Follow the proper channels: Use the appropriate communication channels and adhere to company procedures.

Receiving Feedback

Show appreciation: If your request is approved, thank your manager or employer. 

Ask for an alternative: If your request is rejected, politely ask for an alternative path or suggested next steps.

1. Time Off and Leave Requests

Etiquette

Request time off well in advance, especially for planned vacations.

Use the appropriate channels for making the request, such as company software or forms.

Provide a clear and concise reason for your request.

Best Practices

Check company policies regarding time-off procedures and deadlines.

Plan for any potential workload issues during your absence and propose solutions.

Worst Mistakes

Requesting time off on short notice without a valid reason.

Failing to follow the proper procedure for making time-off requests.

2. Workplace Accommodation Requests

Etiquette

Provide documentation if needed (e.g., medical certificates for health-related accommodations).

Discuss the request with your manager privately.

Be willing to collaborate on finding reasonable solutions.

Best Practices

Know your rights and the company’s policies regarding accommodations.

Propose specific adjustments that would help you perform your job effectively.

Worst Mistakes

Failing to communicate your needs clearly.

Refusing to engage in a collaborative dialogue.

3. Flexible Work Arrangement Requests

Etiquette

Discuss the request professionally and be open to compromise.

Clearly outline how the arrangement will not negatively impact your work or the team.

Best Practices

Present a well-thought-out plan detailing how the flexible arrangement will be managed.

Highlight potential benefits for the company, such as increased productivity or employee satisfaction.

Worst Mistakes

Making the request without addressing potential concerns or challenges.

Insisting on a specific arrangement without considering the needs of the team.

4. Feedback Requests

Etiquette

Request feedback in a positive and constructive manner.

Specify the areas in which you are seeking feedback.

Express a genuine interest in personal and professional development.

Best Practices

Choose an appropriate time to request feedback, such as during performance review meetings.

Be open to receiving both positive and constructive feedback.

Use feedback as a tool for growth and improvement.

Worst Mistakes

Requesting feedback in a defensive or confrontational manner.

Ignoring or dismissing constructive feedback without consideration.

5. Training or Professional Development Requests

Etiquette

Clearly articulate how the training or development opportunity will benefit your role and the company.

Provide details about the program, including cost and time commitment.

Best Practices

Align the requested training with your job responsibilities and future career goals.

Explain how the new skills will contribute to your performance.

Worst Mistakes

Requesting training without demonstrating its relevance to your role.

Failing to show how the company will benefit from the investment.

6. Salary or Compensation Requests

Etiquette

Schedule a meeting to discuss the request rather than bringing it up casually.

Clearly outline the reasons for the request, such as increased responsibilities or market value.

Be open to negotiation and compromise.

Best Practices

Research industry standards and salary ranges for your role.

Highlight your achievements and contributions to the company.

Worst Mistakes

Demanding a raise without proper justification or research.

Comparing your salary to colleagues in an inappropriate manner.

7. Promotion Requests

Etiquette

Schedule a meeting to discuss the promotion request.

Clearly articulate your achievements, skills, and contributions to the company.

Express enthusiasm for taking on additional responsibilities.

Best Practices

Document and quantify your accomplishments.

Demonstrate how your skills align with the requirements of the higher-level position.

Showcase your commitment to the company’s success.

Worst Mistakes

Demanding a promotion without presenting a strong case.

Focusing solely on your tenure rather than your achievements and qualifications.

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Shop for etiquette, behavioral, and contextual signs

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