Home Money & Career How to Get a Pay Rise at Your Workplace

How to Get a Pay Rise at Your Workplace

by Ola Malachi
Man and lady engaging in a formal conversation
Woman seeking to get a pay rise from her boss.

The recession of recent years has been a good excuse for employers to introduce pay freezes and pay cuts. However, with the economy picking up, companies are starting to feel more confident about the future. With that in mind, if you’ve got the nerve, this could be an excellent time to negotiate a pay rise.

So, if you feel like you deserve a pay rise, we provide you our tips that will at least increase your chances of boosting your pay.

Pay Rise Guidelines

Here are some practical guidelines that can actually help you in getting the pay rises you deserve.

Find Out When Your Company Grants Pay Rises

Most companies don’t grant pay raises to most employees except during annual pay reviews or employee review cycles. Also, many companies pay competitive, industry-standard salaries, which they adjust periodically to cover the cost of living and inflation. If your company does this and you ask for a random out-of-cycle pay rise or more than the going rate for your position, then you’ll reduce your chances of receiving a pay rise.

Check Your Company Policy On Pay Raises

Some companies may have a policy related to asking for a pay rise. For example, if the policy states how to go about it, then follow it. But if a policy clearly states that your employer will not consider an out-of-cycle pay rise, then it may be best to wait until your following annual pay review.

A man excited to read a document
Man happy over rise in pay

Set Up a Meeting With Your Boss

If there’s no set time for discussing pay raises, then arrange a meeting in advance and give your boss some idea about what you want to talk about. This is a much better approach than simply mentioning that you want a pay rise on the spur of the moment. It will also show that you’re serious about a pay rise. Try to time your meeting to coincide with the completion of a specific project, especially if you are closely involved. If not, it may be best to hold off until such a time.

It’s vital that you talk to your manager about getting a pay rise before they offer it. Be clear on what you want and why you deserve it; if they are able to give it to you straight away, great! If not, ask them when you can come back and talk about the issue again.

Don’t forget, if you do get a pay rise straight away, that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed another one next year. If your manager is busy with other projects or has more work than staff available, they may not be able to give it again so quickly.

Make sure you’re aware of how much money everyone in your role makes, and talk about ways you could help earn more through taking on extra projects or working overtime when there is available work. Your manager should be willing to discuss all options with you, but keep in mind that if they say no, it may have nothing to do with your performance.

Their hands might be tied because of budget constraints or other commitments from management above them – even if they would like to give you more money.

Follow the Chain of Command

When planning to get a pay rise and setting up a meeting, ensure that you speak to your immediate boss first. For example, if your immediate boss happens to be your supervisor, don’t go over your supervisor’s head to the department manager. Instead, speak to your supervisor first and let them tell you the next step.

Carry Out Your Research Well in Advance

Before you pursue a pay rise:

  • Do some research.
  • Try to find out what people in comparable positions earn or what rival companies offer.
  • Look at job adverts on websites.
  • Most tell you the average salary for your role or profession. Take into account your:
  • Job description
  • Your responsibilities, including any management or leadership tasks
  • Year of experience
  • Education
  • Location

List the Things You Do At Work

You need to be able to justify a pay rise. It would be best if you showed your boss that you’re exceeding your job requirements. Explain how you’ve taken on extra responsibility or how you’ve taken on additional tasks. Maybe you’ve brought in business or because of redundancies, and you’ve been doing the jobs of two people. Include impressive things like:

  • The revenue you’ve earned
  • The money you’ve saved
  • Client testimonials
  • Product or services you’ve improved
  • Solutions you’ve implemented
  • Tight deadlines you’ve met or beat
  • Extra hours you’ve worked voluntarily

Whatever your justifications are, go through them and make a note of all your accomplishments and the extra things you do now. You can then use this when negotiating and trying to get a pay rise with your boss.

Man and woman in a office
Man checking activities of a lady who considered a pay rise.

Offer To Take on More

If you’re not doing much more beyond your current job description, offer to do so. However, one way to get a pay rise at work is by defining what you are worth. 

Ask if you can take on more responsibility or train a junior staff member to justify a pay rise. Make a list of what you hope to achieve in the next 18 months and demonstrate how you’ll go about doing this. 

Not only will you be showing how being able to get a pay rise will help the company, but you’ll also indicate that you want to progress and improve your work. This will go down a lot better than simply asking for more money, especially if your current responsibilities don’t require you to do much above the call of duty and your employer thinks your pay is in line with your job role.

By understanding the value of your work, you can create an action plan for your boss that outlines what needs to be done in order for them to see the value in you.

Defining your value at work also means being able to set and manage expectations. While you might feel that taking on extra projects will ultimately get you a pay rise, it’s important not to overload yourself or take on more than you can reasonably handle. 

To do so is both unprofessional and unfair to your colleagues. If you’re prepared to give 110% of yourself at work, then remember that it doesn’t mean trying to do more than 100%. In fact, sometimes less is more! But don’t assume your boss knows all of these things about you, either.

Use Other Offers You’ve Had to Negotiate

Your boss will know that firms need talent, and talent costs money. If they don’t pay well, then people will go elsewhere. If you’ve been headhunted or have a job offer from a rival firm, don’t be afraid to use it as a bargaining tool. Depending on how much your company values you, they may match or even offer more money just to keep you.

Consider Other Perks 

Remember that pay is only one part of the job package. Be open-minded and ask for other benefits if your company can’t offer you more money. These could include more annual leave, pensions, private medical cover, life insurance, flexible working, bonuses, employee share plans, and share option schemes. Your employer may refuse to get you a pay rise but instead offer an improved job package.

Think Twice About Threatening to Quit

If you threaten to walk out if turned down, it’ll demonstrate a lack of commitment to the company. Don’t think that you’re indispensable. There will be plenty of employees below you willing to learn your job for less pay. If you do threaten to leave, you must be prepared to follow through with your threat.

Schedule in a Pay Review 

Don’t take the rejection personally if you don’t get a pay rise. There may be a number of reasons – there might be one or two others performing better than you, or the decision could be merely financial. If you allow rejection to sour your attitude or affect your work, your boss will feel like the right decision was made. 

The best way to handle rejection is to see it as an opportunity to learn and improve your skills. Ask for feedback from your boss, and use it as an opportunity to learn where you could improve. Also, ensure you ask if you can schedule another pay review in a few months and try to improve on any feedback you receive from your boss.

Other Tips For Getting a Pay Rise

A man congratulates a lady
Man accepts employee’s raise proposal at work.

Thank your boss for his or her time – always do this, no matter the outcome.

Improve Your Qualifications 

Better qualifications mean that you can offer more to your employer. If you can, take a class, get a certification or license, or show initiative to learn new skills on your own. Use these new skills to demonstrate that you’re worth more than you used to be.

Be Realistic

If you’re asking for more than your company is willing to pay, maybe it’ll be better to apply for a different position that has a higher salary, either in your company or another one.

In Summary

Getting a pay rise can sometimes be hard. But there are many things you can do to help get one! Make sure that your work is always up-to-date and always on time. If you’re in the workplace making sure everything is done correctly, you might find that this helps increase your chances of getting a pay rise.

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