How to ask for a pay rise.

How to ask for a pay rise.

Asking for a pay rise can be daunting for many, so you want to give yourself the best possible chance for the conversation to go well – which is why preparation is the key.

  1. Start by gathering as much market data as you can.

    This could be through salary survey reports, analysing job boards, or even asking a Recruiter for their advice. Once you know what the market is paying, you can make a more informed decision on what salary you should be asking for. It’s important to note that size of business, and industry does have an impact on those average salaries though, so pull your research for multiple areas.

  2. Look at your performance history – Have you consistently been told you’re a strong performer? Have you been taking on more of a lead role in your team? More projects and responsibilities? Have you streamlined an initiative and saved the business money or time? All of these can help broker the discussion with your manager.

  3. Find out what the metrics are for pay increases at your work.

    According to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends study, some businesses are moving more towards ‘skills based pay’, which means your salary might be linked to your learning and development – which is why it’s even more important to demonstrate that you have a structured and realistic career development plan in place. Prioritising your development will broaden out your skills and experience, but also signal to the business that you are worth investing in.

  4. Set up a time to speak with your manager

    Give your Manager prior notice that you’d like to have a discussion around your salary. The perfect time to do this is during performance reviews, before the financial year closes – It’s very difficult to get an ‘out of cycle’ pay increase due to budgets already being locked in for the next financial year, so pick the timing wisely.

  5. Come to the meeting with a collaborative attitude.

    It’s worth being realistic about expectations. It’s not always possible for businesses to increase salary significantly, so take the time to think about what is really important to you, and have a plan B. Is it actually more money that’s important to you, or could it be flexible working? Will having a ‘work from home day’ help, or is it investment into study? Could the business offer you subsidised parking within the building? Or, could they increase your bonus structure if you have one? Why not negotiate this into your request!

  6. Be clear about your ask and your why

    Remember to focus on your skills, e.g. ‘I have been recognized as a high performer in my current role and I’m actively working on my development by taking an Account Management course to bolster my sales skills. Based on the research I have done, I am requesting my salary be revised, and I am looking at XYZ.’

  7. Avoid making demands and ultimatums

    ‘I deserve this because I’ve seen a competitor advertising my role for more.’ Is not a good idea. Avoid using counter offers as leverage, as this can have poor long term impacts – chances are next time there is a promotion going, they’ll likely go with the person they think will stick around the business for longer.

One final note is to have confidence in your ask and empathy for the situation. It’s important to realise that your Manager and peers might also be in discussions around their pay, and there’s never usually an unlimited amount of money in the pot. There could even be factors out of their control which means they can’t give you as much as they’d like to.

Have a plan, be open minded and good luck!