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6th June 2018

How to Successfully Ask For a Pay Rise

Posted in: Recruitment
Salary Negotiation

Asking for a pay rise can be one of the most daunting tasks you will come across whilst in employment. Many won’t even approach the subject with their managers for fear of creating an unstable situation. However, we are in a candidate driven market where the demand for candidates outweighs the supply available, giving you a more favourable position to ask for that pay rise.

If you feel you work tirelessly for your company and overdeliver on your targets and their expectations, but, feel undervalued because of your salary, then now is the time to do something about it. You should ask for a pay rise, however, it is a fragile moment and you need to approach the matter correctly. Follow our tips below to make sure your salary negotiation is a success.

Do your research

In the meeting, you will have to justify your worth to your manager and the company. What have you achieved at the company? Do you have evidence of over-achieving on set KPIs? What knowledge and experience do you bring to the role? You will need solid quantifiable evidence for all of these. Have as much evidence as possible to try and remove any doubt from your manager’s decision-making process.

It is important you research what your market value is. Search for job advertisements similar to the role you’re currently in and find out what competitors are paying, this will help you build an overriding picture that you’re being underpaid and if you were to leave you could achieve a higher salary. You can also use the many salary checkers available to give yourself greater peace of mind that you are undervalued and underpaid.

How to get over your nerves and ask for that meeting

When you’re asking for a pay rise you need to project confidence and prove that you are deserving of it. As with any job interview, the key to success is research. The more you do, the more prepared you will be for any question or situation, the less nervous you will be and also appear. By removing uncertainty you allow yourself to be and appear more confident.

Know what you want and what you’re asking for, set yourself a target, either a fixed amount or percentage increase. You also know your manager, try and anticipate what their reaction will be and any objections they might raise to your salary negotiation. If you’re still feeling underconfident, then practice in front of a mirror and practice your argument to friends and family to get their honest feedback.

There are certainly bad times and more favourable times to request a meeting for a pay rise, and there certainly is no perfect time to ask. It is critical to ask at a more favourable time. Do not ask at the busiest times of the week, especially Monday morning, when they will most likely have numerous meetings and everyone will be gearing up for the week ahead, or Friday afternoon when everyone is winding down. You need to target a time of the week when your manager is feeling relaxed and more approachable.

From a business timing point of view, your annual performance review would represent a good opportunity to approach this topic, as would the end of your companies financial year. Analyse the companies processes and your manager’s diary to find the best opportunity to ask for a pay rise.

When you’re in the meeting

  1. Get Comfortable
      Our surroundings can often influence our demeanour and our decision making. If your Manager is sitting at the top of your boardroom table, they will be more inclined to act in an authoritarian way. If you can, take your Manager to a more neutral and relaxing part of this office.
  2. Explain why you deserve the Pay Rise
      You are asking the company to pay you more money because you believe you’re worth the extra investment, you will have to justify this extensively. Use clear examples of how and when you have gone beyond your job description, make sure to use any situations where you’ve taken initiative, improved business processes or helped support the wider team. Where possible quantify your success, perhaps you exceeded your targets by X amount. If you can attach a monetary value to yourself it will make the salary negotiation easier.
  3. Keep your boss on your side
      If your efforts to get a pay rise are not working out how you had hoped, it is important to keep the relationship with the Manager as positive as it was when you both walked in. Do not burn any bridges because you did not get the outcome you wanted. Remain calm and professional, reaffirm your commitment to the job, the company and your desire to do well.
  4. Listen to the Answer
      If your boss decides not to increase your salary after your best salary negotiation efforts, be gracious and ask for feedback. What should you be doing differently, and how can you improve your performance in the role? You want to be in a position where if not this time, in a few months after continuing to perform at a high standard, your Manager will be open to another discussion. Approach your meeting as a chance to learn and change your work prospects so that, even if you lose this battle, you end up winning the war.

What to do after if your request is rejected

There can only be 2 outcomes from this meeting, either you get the pay rise or you don’t. However, there can be many different reasons for not getting the pay rise.

The most common response will be that the company are already over budget and there is no extra room for your pay rise. If your Manager believes you’re deserving of the pay rise because of your performance, but there is no budget, be persistent with your goal, set a timeframe for a review of the situation and continue to work to your current level. Then you will be in a very strong position come your review date.

If the feedback you receive is a bit more negative, and your manager believes your performance does not warrant a pay rise, as I said above remain professional and calm. Find out what you can do to improve your performance and set some clear and achievable targets.

If you are in a situation where there is no spare capacity in the budget, explore other options that will benefit you, such as, working from home more, extra training and certifications, gym subsidy, extra holiday, etc.

If they cannot offer you the pay rise or provide any other incentives to retain your services, it may well be time to explore other opportunities in this candidate driven job market.

If you have got to this situation in your current position, Recruit Mint will be more than happy to help in any way possible. Give us a call on 01733 802300 or register with our agency to see what jobs in Peterborough are available for you.