How to... get the pay rise you deserve
Sick of being undervalued by your company? Here’s how to get the salary you deserve.November 9, 2014
Who wouldn't appreciate a pay rise? Some extra funds finding their way into your bank account each month would make the prospect of getting out of bed for work every morning seem a little sweeter.
But getting a salary increase isn't quite as simple as barging into your boss's office and making demands. Although the economy is on the rise and good employees are in higher demand than ever, getting the pay rise you deserve still takes a certain amount of craft and knowhow. Here's how it's done:
Some companies have a very strict salary review system, where employees are assessed regularly and, if their performance merits it, recommended for a salary increase. If you're at an organisation such as this, the hardest part - broaching the subject - has been done for you. However, not all companies run this way. Some have a much less regimented approach - perhaps an annual review - and some don't have any review structure in place at all.
No matter how well the company is doing, it's extremely unlikely that your boss is going to be the person to suggest giving you a pay rise, so it's almost certainly going to be up to you to bring it up.
Once you've managed to arrange a meeting, it's no use charging in there like a bull in a china shop without so much as a moment's planning or preparation.
It's vital that you set the objective of the session - in this case, getting a pay rise - and look at how you can best achieve that goal. When entering into a discussion about your performance for the company, it's important to have all the relevant facts and figures to hand so you have all the ammunition you need to present a compelling case that you deserve a pay rise.
Know the market
We can't stress how important it is to be aware of what the going rate is for someone at a similar level to you in your field. In most companies, there'll be a budget for each position, and if your demands exceed that, you'll have to be doing something pretty special to get the company to make an exception to its wage structure. However, if you can present the fact to your boss that the average wage for someone in your position is actually above what you're currently getting, then the company will be under pressure to give you the wage rise if they want to keep you.
See it from their point of view
Yes, it's true that a stuttering economy certainly isn't an excuse not to give you a pay rise any more. However, the current booming market isn't a reason why you should get one either. Just because you have to pay more to live nowadays, it doesn't necessarily mean that your company should be the one to foot the bill.
In order to get a salary increase, you must show hard work, dedication and, when it comes down to it, the ability to add value to your organisation. If you can prove that you're worth more money to the company than you're currently being paid, then you stand a chance.
Be honest with yourself
It might be the case that your boss genuinely thinks you don't deserve a pay rise and during the meeting he lets you know that. At this point it's important to be honest with yourself and assess whether you could be doing more to earn that increase. If you're coasting along without putting in too much effort, perhaps it's time to take things up a notch? But by the same token, if you feel you really are giving good value to the company then it's important to stand your ground and not be taken advantage of.
What if they say no?
Even if you follow all this advice to the letter, there's never a guarantee that you'll be able to convince the company to give you the pay rise you want. In some cases, even if your boss would like to give you what you want, he simply can't break the bank for you. This could put you in an awkward position.
After all, your boss now knows you're not happy with your current situation but there's nothing he can do about it, so he may be expecting your performance to drop or even for you to hand in your resignation. Irrespective of what you intend to do next, the first thing should be to reassure your boss that you still intend to give your all for the company, despite being knocked back for the pay rise.
This way you can keep the dialogue open and discuss the potential for a pay rise in the future, or if all else fails, you'll maintain a good relationship and therefore be able to ask for a reference should you decide to move on in the pursuit of more money.
At the end of the day, if you can't get a pay rise in your current company, you must weigh up all the factors before you decide to look elsewhere, and whatever you do, if you're going to quit, make sure you have another job offer in the bag already!