When you’re consistently outperforming your colleagues or going well beyond your job expectations, it’s completely fair to want a pay rise. Not only is it an excellent means of retaining staff, but it also helps businesses show that they value their employees and appreciate their efforts.
That being said, it can still be an awkward conversation to approach. Asking for a pay rise rests upon a variety of factors that need to be weighed up before approaching your manager- this includes company performance, the timing of your request, and your own achievements in your current role.
Don’t let this put you off though! If you set out a convincing business argument and demonstrate your value, decent employers should do their best to keep you. Recruiting new members of staff costs employers time and money, and with the current skills shortages in the UK, businesses should be doing their best to retain talent.
So how do you give yourself the best possible chances of bagging that pay rise? Here’s a few of our own trusted tips to help you on your way.
Step one- research, research research. You need to build up a clear outline of your value before you do anything else, as you’ll need to state your case in the most convincing way possible.
Take time to find out how your salary compares to others on the job market- here you can suss out if you’re being underpaid. Salaries are dictated by the availability of candidates, so it’s worth researching if your local area is facing skills shortages within your industry. If so, this could push your pay rate higher, and allow you more room to manoeuvre when discussing a rise.
If you’ve established yourself in your current job role, you’ll have bags of experience already under your belt. Do people come to you for training? Do you have strong client relationships or industry expertise? Draft up a list of your technical know-how and soft skills, and place emphasis on your performance reviews. Quantifiable workplace results will be sure to stand you in good stead.
Pick your moment
Like all good things, timing is everything. Keep tabs on the company’s performance, and any potential expansions/downsizing that may take place. It’s unlikely you’ll receive a rise if your company is making cutbacks.
Be sure to find out when your next performance review will be- you can then use this an opportunity to have an open conversation about a higher salary, especially if you receive a glowing report.
Sometimes though, there isn’t a golden opportunity to have the conversation. Instead of jumping in straight away, be mindful of any upcoming deadlines or stressful dates for management, and book at least half an hour’s time when scheduling your appointment with them. The last thing you want is your manager looking at the clock while you try to negotiate.
Present your case
When you sit down with your manager, it’s important to establish the right approach. Don’t go in all guns blazing- instead, state your case calmly and articulately. It seems an obvious point to make, but don’t beg or plead- let your performance speak for itself.
It’s important to already have a benchmark salary in mind. This needs to be a viable figure for your employer to even consider your case. This is where your initial research comes into play, as you’ll be able to pit yourself against employees in similar roles elsewhere.
Start your meeting by keeping things positive- explain that you enjoy your job, list some of your achievements, and what you intend to contribute in the future. You then need to discuss the ways in which you exceed your role, which will need to be backed up by hard evidence and results. You can then lead the conversation towards a higher salary.
This is the most nerve wracking bit, but try to keep your cool. Stick to the facts, and keep your body language as open and direct as possible. You need to show confidence in your abilities!
If things don’t go as intended though, don’t become too disheartened. It’s frustrating, but signing off your meeting with a suggestion to review in 6 months keeps the possibility open, and lets your employer know that a pay rise is still important to you. Be sure to keep up the hard graft, take on more responsibilities, and show your employer that you’re an asset to the business.
Assess your situation from here- if you still haven’t received a pay rise 12 months after your initial request, it could be time to look for a new job elsewhere. You ultimately want to work for a company that appreciate your value and worth as employee. If your business can’t offer that to you, seek out those that will.
If you’re currently looking to find a new job and need some help with your search, drop us a line.