Aside from sharing a gym shower with your father-in-law, there aren’t too many situations that are more awkward than asking your boss for a pay rise — but do it right and you can receive the remuneration you deserve.
Karen Gately — founder of HR consultancy Ryan Gately — has outlined seven tips for approaching your employer for a wage increase and get rewarded fairly for your contributions.
Know what you want
Karen’s first piece of advice is simple: understand what you want to earn and why. “Have a clear view of how your role, experience or contribution justifies the need for you to earn more than you already do,” she says. “Look for information that will support your claim that you are underpaid relative to others in a similar role.”
Believe you deserve to be treated fairly
If you don’t believe you deserve a raise, how are you going to convince your boss? “Know that you’re doing the right thing by challenging what you earn and asking for more,” Karen says. “Enter into the conversation with confidence that you not only deserve to be better compensated for your efforts but that it’s reasonable to raise your concerns.”
Be up front
The conversation can get a touch awkward, but don’t dance around your demands. “Speak with conviction and be firm in your expectations. Articulate how your role — and you in it — both make a difference to the success of the business. Understand your facts and avoid the temptation to be apologetic for raising the issue.”
Compare the pair
You should focus on how your skills compare to your peers to understand exactly what you’re worth. “Focus on your own worth and why you should be paid more competitively,” Karen says. “Avoid debates about the specifics of what others earn. Focus on what is fair compensation for you in your role.”
It’s an important — and often flustered — conversation, so composure is key. “Remain calm and professional irrespective of how your employer reacts. While voting with your feet and leaving your organisation may ultimately be what needs to happen to improve your circumstances, negotiations are rarely helped with aggressive demands or threats.”
Even a man with a clear idea of what he’s worth needs to be pragmatic on occasion. “Be willing to listen and consider your employers point of view while remaining firm in your stance for a more equitable reward and recognition for your efforts,” says Karen.
Agree next steps
You might have to be patient, and persistent, before your boss follows up your demands. “Don’t expect your manager will be either willing or able to give you an immediate response. Allow them the opportunity to reflect on your request and come back to you. Ask that they commit to meeting with you again to discuss the issue further after they have had the opportunity to consider.”