How to negotiate a pay rise
Do you feel like you deserve a pay rise? Here’s how you can deal with a tricky situation in the right way.
Negotiating a pay rise can be a nerve-wracking experience, as you don’t want to come across as opportunistic or a money grabber with senior management.
But at the same time if you’re a valued member of staff who has been contributing to the success of a business, you’re entitled to be paid accordingly. The key to successfully negotiating a pay rise is all in the approach, so follow our top tips for boosting your bottom line.
Know your value
There’s no point going into these negotiations without a clear idea of what you’re worth. Use salary checkers to benchmark the typical salary for someone with your experience and knowledge, and find out whether you are actually being under or overpaid. This will allow you to get an idea of how big a pay rise you should be asking for and means you will not be unprepared when you meet your boss.
Time it right
Senior management are not going to approve a pay rise on a Monday morning when they are busy catching up with emails and calls they received over the weekend. Similarly, 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon is unlikely to be the time when your boss wants to have a conversation about pay. This underlines the need to time these things correctly and make sure there’s enough time set aside for the meeting. On top of this, it’s a good idea to tie it into yearly or six-monthly reviews.
Keep it professional
Your manner, demeanour and appearance will play a role in getting a pay rise, so remember to be professional in all of your dealings with senior management. The last thing you want to do is bring emotions into the negotiations, as they should be conducted strictly on the business case for paying you more. If you come across as petulant or childish, you’ll never succeed.
Fight your corner
Even if your boss is in total agreement with you, they will probably still want to debate the merits of any pay rise. This is your chance to shine, so make sure you have thought about your key skills and achievements – it’s best to use quantifiable data such as figures and timeframes, rather than simply talking more generally. A well-drilled business case will make the whole process run much smoother.
Play the long game
Just because you have been offered a pay rise doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Remember this is a negotiation, so accepting the first offer you receive is unlikely to be financially beneficial in the long term. Instead, tell your boss you’ll get back to them after you’ve had time to consider it, and then come up with a reasonable counter-offer. The most important thing is to stay in control of the situation.
Think about other benefits
While the primary objective is to secure a pay rise, there are a number of other perks you can consider that will benefit you. For example, you could improve your bonus and how it is paid, ask for extra holidays or get access to employer-funded qualifications. These will all improve your work-life balance.