10 steps to a pay rise
With news that higher living expenses are driving almost half the British workforce to boost their income, and companies now being more transparent with what they pay their staff please read below my ‘ten steps to a pay rise’ guide.
Step 1. Know your target
Different employers respond to employees requesting a pay rise in different ways. Larger companies or those in the public sector will usually have set protocol and policies where reviews may only take place at certain times of the year or may be only related to performance. Even smaller companies usually have one nominated person to deal with such matters. Find out the correct channels through which to apply or risk potential irritation by being off target at the outset. Timing is also important. The best time to ask for a pay rise is ‘after a good appraisal or when finishing a successful project’. And the worst? “In the appraisal itself. An appraisal is a springboard from which you justify a pay rise, not the arena where you ask for it.”
Step 2. Keep your boss onside
It’s good practice to let your immediate boss know your pay rise intentions. Keep them informed. By going behind their back or over their head will only alienate the very person whose views will be sought on improving your package.
Step 3. Get a job evaluation
If your employer has a policy of fixed salary grades, you’ll only succeed in achieving a pay rise if you can argue your job should be upgraded. Ask your HR department if they can carry out a job evaluation on your job.
Step 4. Know your worth
You’ll have a much stronger case if you conduct research on how your industry peers are paid. Check out salaries at recruitment fairs, job adverts and online salary surveys. Then, apply that knowledge to demonstrate evidence of your value to the organisations, linking it to cost saving and profit improvement in particular.
Step 5. Seek support
Whether it’s a life coach, a professional association or a work colleague, talking your case through with a third party can help clarify your pitch. Similarly, building bridges (internally and externally, up and down and across the hierarchy) is healthy and impressive.
Step 6. Be proactive
Don’t just dress the part (although a clean, well-presented appearance is important when impressing superiors) BEHAVE the part. Asking for more responsibility now and then linking it to a pay rise in the future is a positive step to success. Employers respond better to proactive employees rather than those who fail to help themselves.
Step 7. Raise your profile
Make sure your superiors are aware of your successes without resorting to flattery. Discussing with your employer how you can improve performance and contribution to the organisation in a way that will enable a pay rise is a good approach.
Step 8. Be sure of your motives
Are you being honest about your desire for a salary increase? Being undervalued or genuinely underpaid are acceptable motives for seeking greater remuneration. Unfair or unrealistic expectations are not. How would your company see the situation, do you think?
Step 9. Be firm
Don’t fall at the final hurdle when it comes to salary negotiation – be bold. Once in a position to negotiate a pay rise, try never to be the first to mention a figure but if you have to, start high. And remember, negotiating an improved whole package (i.e. benefits and salary package) rather than fixating purely on the salary figure is a successful outcome as well.
Step 10. Move on
If you are unable to reconcile the difference between the expectations OF YOUR ROLE (not you as an individual) and your employers’ salary limit and there is no room to negotiate with a current employer about developing your role, then it’s time to move on. However, don’t ever use the threat of leaving a current employer unless you are content with that outcome – they might just say ‘yes’.
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