04 Aug Tips on how to ask for a pay rise.
You may not get one, it might not be possible for the company at that moment, but if you don’t ask you don’t get, and whilst you may not get it this time, you may be top of the list when they’re next being handed out!
But knowing how to ask, why you are asking and choosing a right time are all important to your success. Be positive and be pragmatic!
Be honest with yourself
Why do you want a pay increase? What have you done to warrant a pay increase? Extra work, longer hours, valued member of the team, brought in work? Apart from yourself, would any of your colleagues if asked agree you’re worth a pay rise?
Once you have your reasons for asking you’ll need to spend time on how you’re going to raise the subject. Whilst you may be right, you don’t want to be clumsy in what you say.
Do your research
Find out what the going pay rate is for what you’re doing? Check with colleagues, if you can’t or if they won’t tell you, check out online or use job advertisements to see what competitors are paying. Why not apply for a job, see how far you get, see if other people value your services?
Don’t approach your boss or manager out of the blue and don’t choose a busy time of the day. Prepared with the above, ask for an appointment, 30 mins will do, you don’t want the meeting to go on for too long, painful silences aren’t a good way to end a meeting and ending a meeting very early isn’t a good sign either! You also don’t want your meeting to be disturbed so an appointment where you have both carved out time for the matter is important.
Once at the meeting
Clearly set out your reasons, provide examples of when you’ve shown initiative, added to the team and the business. Remember this is a business meeting, so ensure you’re persuasive in a business capacity. And rather than just talking about the past, if you have good ideas why not suggest things you could do in the future to help the business. Always keeping your boss on side, explain why you like your job, why it’s a good place to work – you don’t want to alienate the person you’re speaking to, this isn’t personal and you don’t want to give the impression that it’s a bad business or they overlook staff – and don’t say you’re underpaid. Stay clam and relaxed, too much emotion or nerves can make you come across aggressive. In fact I would practice the words out loud before I deliver them for an instance like this. Tone is important and you want your boss onside. You may want to start with a question, how do you think I’m getting on in the business? But have plenty of examples of things you have done that have been helpful. And you may also want ask what would I need to do to get a pay rise?
Don’t speak to fill the gaps!
Once you’ve said what you want to say, keeping it concise, ask for their opinions. What do they think?
Be prepared for a ‘no’
If the answer is ‘no’ listen to the reasons. It could be not now, it could be the business couldn’t afford that, it could be you haven’t done as well as you think you have, or what you’re doing isn’t what the business needs. Take it on the chin, but have other suggestions up your sleeve. Would it be possible for you to work flexible hours? That could save you money on your public transport bills. If it’s more money you need, could you ask to be considered for overtime? If you know of a work project coming up could you volunteer to do it or be on the team to deliver it?
Follow up on your meeting
What ever the outcome, send an email thanking them for their time. Ask for feedback. How could you improve your performance, what more could you be doing, what could you be doing differently. Or if your boss mentioned coming back and speaking to them in 6 months, then mention that in your email too so it’s recorded.
Whatever happens take this as an opportunity to learn. Take this too as an opportunity to apply for other jobs, see what’s out there. There’s a number of people I’ve spoken to who started off thinking they wanted a pay rise, when really they were looking for a change of scenery too. Be open minded throughout, you may end up with a pay rise and a scene change!