If you think you deserve a pay rise, say ‘Aye!’
Wow, I just went slightly deaf with all the positive responses! But, of course, you know the current economic situation and you’re lucky to still be in a job, aren’t you? Well, yes, but how does it feel to be paid less than what you think you’re worth? Is it worth the hassle and risk of asking?
It’s important to think through a number of issues and have lots of information when you do pluck up enough courage to make your request. Ask these questions to help you prepare for any negotiations on salary:
So, firstly, decide what would be the best time to ask for the rise. Naturally, this would seem to be during the
performance review process with your boss. But if this hasn’t been for some time, or any rise you previously had is lost in the mists of time, think about whether you deserve this discussion sooner rather than later.
Then, make plans to meet up. This has to be a more formal meeting than your usual ones with the boss, as the subject matter is one of great importance to you and them. Link it in with performance measurements and career plans.
Write down your contributions to the company and how they have benefited from having you there. Keep a file of your achievements regularly. You’ll need to build a business case for why the company should increase your pay. Document why you should be rewarded. Keep track of measurable results from your actions, e.g. increased sales, quality improvement, decreased staff turnover, etc. Be absolutely clear on why you deserve this increase.
Know what you are worth in the marketplace. Most companies conduct external and internal salary surveys to compare salaries industry-wide and geographically-spread. Such information is widely available on sites such as www.jobsite.co.uk/career/advice/negotiate.html and www.salarysearch.co.uk . Have a word with your HR department to discuss what your type of job pays in your industry and local companies.
Talk win/win with your boss. You want them to consider this as a benefit to the company as well as to you. Show how everyone has benefited from what you’ve done in the past 6/12/18 months, or whatever, and list your accomplishments in a way that shows those benefits. Show how you are going to build on those results in the next time period. Describe your goals in ways that will support the company’s and your boss’s goals, and how you will continue to make a difference.
Then, ask for the amount you are looking for in monetary or percentage terms that you know you deserve and why.
Listen to the response. Consider the reasons for what they are saying. Remember, this is a negotiation with them, so summarise your position and make sure you understand their position too. If you do meet some objections, make sure you are prepared to explain why you still think you deserve the raise.
If the answer is ‘No’, then prepare to ask what you need to do in order to earn one. What else do they expect you to do? Write it down and make it very specific. You need to know what their expectations are for the future and what their plans are for your career.
Here are some things NOT to do:
Don’t threaten to leave if you don’t get the raise. It proves you’re not that committed to the company and are basically just out for something for yourself. It negates everything you’ve said before about being a company player, and isn’t career-enhancing.
Don’t complain to colleagues. This proves you’re not a team player and can instil a lack of confidence in the company by others, wondering what the future may hold for them. Politically, it’s a disaster for you, and if management get to hear about it, bang goes any promotion or pay rise in the near future. You only prove yourself to be a whinger and a moaner.
Don’t ask what everyone else in the company earns. Unless you work in a company with an open policy on these matters, most salary details are kept private. Instead, do your research on the net and find out what you could get by benchmarking other companies.
If you prepare effectively and are confident in your abilities, performance and accomplishments, there is every chance that you will at least get a hearing ear when you talk about your deserved pay rise.
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.