How to ask for a pay rise

14 May 2019

pay rise

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the same company for six months or six years, it’s important to know how to professionally ask for a pay rise. Many smaller organisations won’t automatically recognise and scale your salary in line with inflation or increased responsibility, so you need to know how to ask for what you’re worth.

Do your company research

Before you make a time to talk to your manager about your salary, do your research. Is success more likely after a full year of employment? What is the standard procedure around salary reviews at your particular company? Does your role directly contribute to the company’s turnover? Where does your role sit in budgeting terms? Can you support your claim to a pay rise by using company numbers? For example, ‘Since I joined the sales team our income has tripled!’

You should also conduct current marketplace research. What is the current salary expectation for someone with your experience (or if it’s a sales-based role – performance output)?

Glassdoor is an excellent resource for checking employee reviews of companies.

Finally, be sure to get familiar with how the company is performing in terms of the current industry marketplace, too. If it’s a listed company, are shares increasing in price, or falling? This can add a little oomph to your request (or make you reconsider your timing).

Timing is everything

Ask for a pay rise when business is good – such as after landing a big client or making a big sale. When there is more cash coming in the door, the chances of making some of it yours can only go up.

Consider requesting your pay bump around the end of the financial year so it can be allocated as part of the new financial year’s budget. Ultimately you want to make it as easy as possible for the boss to say ‘Yes’!

Figure out what you offer the company

In the last 3-6-12 months, what outputs have you provided to the company? Are the staff you manage performing highly? Did you exceed sales or performance targets by a certain percentage? Have you taken on extra responsibilities (at no higher salary)? Even better if you have some direct feedback from a manager, client or key stakeholder in the company, use it. Every little bit counts.

What next?

When you have all the information you need, and you’ve developed an approach (confidence is everything) book a meeting with your manager. In the meeting, keep it professional, list the benefits you offer the company and back them up with evidence of what others in similar roles are receiving. Remember - in negotiations, the one with the most power is the one that is willing to walk away.

Keep your options open and remember – you deserve to be valued for your work. Good luck!

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