Do you deserve a pay rise in 2016? Here’s how to ask...
So you think you deserve a pay rise in 2016? Now all you need to do is ask for it. For most of us, that's easier said than done.
Here are some tips to make that awkward conversation go a little smoother:
We can all learn something from the Boy Scout motto. So before you do anything, come up with some very solid reasons for why you think you should be paid more. Are you excelling in your role and worth more to the company? Or perhaps you are making less than the average worker in your position?
Either way, you need to have evidence to support your request. Do you know what you’re worth? Start with Fair Work Ombudsman to find out the requirements for your Award. Then visit PayScale or download Hays 2015 Salary Guide app.
Have at least three solid reasons why you should earn more, and back them up with evidence. You’ll feel more confident about the conversation, and you’ll have more control over the outcome.
While you’re doing all that research, consider your request from your company’s point of view. This will help you prepare for any potential resistance.
And remember, nobody likes to be caught off-guard. When you set up your meeting, let your manager know what you want to discuss. This gives them the chance to get their thoughts in order – which will give you a better (and faster) end result.
The timing of your request is crucial. If your company isn’t meeting budget right now, or has just made others redundant, it’s clearly not the right time to ask for more money.
But don’t look for excuses to put it off (ladies, this one is for you). A 2006 survey found that while 80% of women felt underpaid, two-thirds had never asked for more money.
Your choice of day could also impact your success rate. You want to speak to your manager when they’re clear-headed and productive. Experts suggest aiming for Tuesday – Mondays are often too busy catching up, and if it’s later in the week it’s easier for your manager to defer the request.
Approach the conversation professionally. Try not to let your emotions get in the way. Start by asking for feedback on how you're going in your role. When you receive positive feedback, it is then easy for you to lead into your request: “I’m glad you think I’ve been doing well. I thought so too, which is why I was surprised to find that I am being paid 'X' % less than others who do the same job. How can we fix this?”
When you ask a question like the one above, stop talking. Give your boss time to think and answer (insert awkward silence here.) You won’t be doing yourself any favours by filling the void with chatter. You already know your point of view – you set up this meeting to hear what they have to say.
Know what you want to get out of this. There’s no room for wishy washy in this negotiation. Have a dollar figure in mind. Aim high – it’s much easier to come down than to go up. And remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Be ready with Plan B
Have a Plan B just in case the answer to your pay rise request is 'no'. This is where you ask for other benefits instead – a bigger bonus, more flexible hours, training or mentoring. Be prepared with a list of things that could help you achieve what you want in your career.
If the answer is no, make sure you ask for clear reasons why so that you know what to work on. Ask your boss to help you map out a goal for your raise. You’ll soon get a feel for whether there is potential for the future. If not, you can now make an informed decision on whether to stay or go.