Asking for a Pay Rise

Could asking for a pay rise be as difficult as public speaking? Surveys show that as many as 68% of people would rather be a public speaker than ask for a pay rise. Coupled with the knowledge that many people fear public speaking over death, are we left to conclude that we would prefer death to asking for a pay rise? How can this be?

Jonathan Barouch Entrepreneur and owner of told The Sydney Morning Herald ‘it is because people are not given any training in how to pitch for a pay rise. I think it’s something that’s not taught well at university. There’s no subject in ‘How to ask for a rise,” he says.

Whilst the course ‘Asking for a Pay Rise 101’ is unlikely to be offered to you by your current employer, Happening People has weighed in with our ‘TOP 5 on Asking for a Pay Rise.’

1. Keep a Record
The essential element to asking for a pay rise is for you to be able to show a broad picture of your contribution to the organisation; this includes financial contributions, cost cutting contributions, time savings and team contributions. Keep a record of your key achievements against each of your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and be prepared to back up each one.

2. Understand your worth
Many organisations are focused on making money not spending money, and whilst they are busy making money they are not nearly as interested in your remuneration figure as you are. You will need to know how much money you believe you are worth. For this you need to do some research! Look at similar jobs in the market, talk to your peers in similar roles in the industry you are in and seek out the advice of a Recruitment Specialist and your Human Resources Department.

3. Have ‘the conversation’
Now that you have armed yourself with the information you need, it’s time to set a meeting with your Manager and have ‘the conversation’. Be upfront and let your Manager know you would like to have a discussion about your remuneration. During the meeting be calm, assertive, list the reasons you would like your remuneration reviewed and why you believe you deserve it. Ask for clear timeframes to be set so the process is transparent to both of you. Remember the worst that can happen here is you get a ‘no’.

4. Escalation
In the event you do get a ‘no’ and you believe you are still justified in a review of your remuneration the most appropriate course of action is to escalate your request. This is a delicate process which needs to be handled with diplomacy. There is no point going on the attack. Accept that this is a negotiation and it might require a few more interactions than a single meeting with your manager. Discuss with your Human Resources department the reasons you believe you are justified in pursuing the remuneration review further and they may direct you to your manager’s boss where you need to prepare for further negotiations.

5. Be patient but know when to leave
Sometimes even the best business cases get knocked back, this can include your request for a pay rise. Sure it can be thoroughly disappointing and can seem like a major blow but you need to remember that there are always other options. It might mean waiting three to six months and trying again working on making further achievements to boost your chances or it might mean it is time to take yourself out to market and see which organisation is prepared to pay you the remuneration you are after for your skill set.

What’s your story?  We would love to hear your pay rise, hits or misses!

Call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to we’d be happy to discuss how we can help you and your organisation retain its people!


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