Did you know, most Britons would rather talk about their sex lives than their salary, according to a 2015 study from University College, London. Yes, money is an uncomfortable topic of conversation for a lot of us – but discussing a pay rise with your boss needn’t be awkward. Here, experts give their advice on how to successfully negotiate a pay rise.
Do you deserve a pay rise?
First ask yourself whether you have good enough grounds to ask for a pay rise. Look at your original job description – has your role substantially changed? Also check your contract. If a salary review was promised at the time of recruitment you are perfectly entitled to raise the subject, says Corinne Mills of Personal Career Management.
How much should you ask for?
Pinpointing your exact value to a company can be difficult, but there are resources which can help give you a good idea.
“Try speaking with trusted industry peers or using one of the many online salary checkers to give yourself a ballpark idea of what is normal for your role,” advises Rebecca Mossman, HR director at HireRight.
If you can demonstrate your job role has changed and is on par with another, higher paid role, then you can simply state that you would like the difference between the two salaries, advises Mills.
“If you are asking them to dip into a discretionary goodwill pot to keep you happy and stop them having to recruit your replacement, then you could ask for around 5%,” suggests Mills. “Otherwise in a time of low inflation, probably anything from 1% to 3% of salary could be reasonable.”
Arrange a meeting
It is important to discuss your salary with your manager face-to-face, so ask to book a meeting with them, says Mills. “Find a really good time to speak to your manager and don’t just grab them unawares,” she adds. Ask to book a meeting with them in a place you won’t be disturbed and give advance notice. The likelihood is that your manager will ask what the meeting is about. “Tell them you’d like to talk about your role and that you’d like their advice,” says Mills. “Asking for ‘advice’ means the reaction is likely to be less defensive.”
When making your case, demonstrate why you deserve to be paid more using specific information. “Clearly present what you're currently achieving for the company, with clear examples outlining where you go the extra mile over and above your agreed objectives and goals. Demonstrate where you add value, and use facts and figures if you can,” says Mossman.
Moving house or struggling to pay your car’s MOT? These reasons are out of your employer’s control, don’t demonstrate your value, and ultimately just won’t wash in a negotiation, says Mills. “There have to be objective reasons for asking for a pay rise, and they must be business-focused and not personal,” she explains.
Another common faux pas to avoid is trying to justify a pay rise by saying you “work very hard”, according toAnnabel Jones, who heads up HR for more than 800 employees at ADP UK, a global HR and payroll firm. “Every employer expects employees to give their maximum effort to the job at all times so this alone isn’t valid justification for a pay rise request,” she explains.
State your case calmly and don’t be confrontational, says Inji Duducu, head of HR at Benenden Healthcare. “Don’t issue an ultimatum and don’t expect an answer then and there,” she adds.
It is important to stress your commitment to the organisation and express how much you enjoy the role you are doing, advises Mills. “Warm them up by reminding them how great an employee you are,” she says. “Leave them with a positive impression, rather than playing the disgruntled employee.” If you are negative or confrontational your employer may question your commitment to the company.
Don’t refer to, or make comparisons with, the salaries of your colleagues, advises Jones. “This information is personal, deemed sensitive and does not prove why an employee’s work efforts deserve financial reward,” explains Jones. The only exception would be if an employee suspects there is a gender-related pay gap.
After you have had your meeting, it is important to follow up with an email. “Thank your manager for their time, briefly summarise the payrise discussion you had with them and ask for an indication of what - and when - the next step will be,” says Mills.
What if the answer is no?
If the answer is no, ask them politely under what circumstances it might be possible, advises Mills. Try to establish a timeframe for another review and ask if there is anything you can do to strengthen your case in the meantime.
Be prepared that your business might not currently be in a financial position to increase pay and remember that pay is just one aspect of rewarding good work, advises Duducu. Be creative - does it have to be a pay rise? “Could it be higher bonus earning potential, paid for training or a different company car?,” asks Duducu. “Perhaps flexi-time would be a benefit for you – for example if you could do compressed hours then you might save on childcare or travel costs at no budget impact to your manager.”
So, be prepared and remain professional whatever the outcome - do this and negotiating a pay rise might not be the awkward ordeal you first imagined.
Thank you to Kirstie Brewer of The Guardian Jobs – Click here to review original article.
Jose joined New Frontiers in 2000 working a variety of roles from recruitment consultant to in-house recruiter and staff trainer and now General Manager. Jose has a wealth of travel industry experience having worked in travel for 8 years prior to joining New Frontiers with roles in retail and for a tour operator.