Nobody likes asking for a pay rise. We hope that our efforts will be recognised and rewarded accordingly, but sadly that’s not always what happens. Managers may be busy focussing on budgets and targets and sometimes it takes for you to stand up and ask, instead of waiting for extra cash to appear in your pay packet.
Factors to consider before you ask for a raise include:
– Market information. Consult a specialist recruiter in your field and find out what the market norms are for you position. Keep the whole package in mind. You may find that you are paid at the lower end of the scale for your position in the market, but that you have a fabulous pension scheme or car allowance which compensates.
– Pay scales. Find out if there are restrictions in terms of pay scale. You may find that you are already at the top of that scale and your manager is restricted as to how much they can pay you, in which case you need to find out what you would have to do to achieve a promotion and go up to the next grade.
– Your cash value. Work out how much money you have saved/earned the company in the last 12 months and ask for an increase based on your cash value to the company.
– The management’s point of view. See it from the other side. How valuable are you as an employee? How easy would you be to replace? What precedents would it set for other employees?
How to approach the subject of a pay rise with your manager:
– Find out when the next salary reviews are due. If it’s in the next few weeks you may be better off waiting until they occur and then making your case. If it’s not for another six months then request a discussion with your manager.
– Ask for a face-to-face meeting. An email or letter will not suffice. You need to discuss the issue rationally, calmly and give both your manager and yourself the opportunity to ask questions.
– Take with you to the meeting a list of achievements and reasons why you deserve a pay rise.
– Also take with you evidence of your market worth. Take along testimonials from recruiters and salary surveys stating what your skills would be worth elsewhere.
What to do if your pay rise request is declined:
– It may be that your manager is restricted by current budgets. Ask when the next pay reviews will be and ask if you specifically will be considered for an increase in salary.
– Negotiate other benefits. There may be no more money in the salary pot, but you may be able to negotiate a higher contribution to your pension, flexible working hours, or extra training opportunities.
– Ask for extra work and responsibility, and have achievements linked to an increase in pay.
It may be tempting to threaten to resign in the hope that your employer will try to keep you with the offer of a higher salary. This is a dangerous game to play (particularly if you don’t have an offer of a job elsewhere!) Remember that you are in your career for the long haul and you want to burn as few bridges as possible. If you give your employer every opportunity to help you increase your salary and there is still no possibility of a raise or increased benefits, then perhaps it’s time to start looking around for a new position elsewhere.