Recent research by Randstad has found that 78 per cent of workers expect to receive a pay rise in the next 12 months and 39 per cent remain hopeful of taking home a bonus. With a new financial year and the global economic crisis forcing organisations to look at their wages and cost cutting strategies, how can you pocket a bigger pay packet without rocking the corporate boat?
The most important thing to remember when asking for a pay rise is that it’s a business conversation about facts and figures.
Rather than relying on emotion, concentrate on justifying why you deserve a pay rise. This means demonstrating your professional value by providing concrete examples of your achievements.
This is especially relevant when selling yourself on the back of your performance, with the documentation you choose to emphasise your success requiring careful consideration.
Positive business contributions can strengthen your hand, so if you managed a project that increased your employer’s business revenue, make sure you highlight by exactly how much. Likewise, glowing reports, performance appraisals and testimonials can all add weight to your request – especially if they demonstrate you’ve exceeded the expectations of your role.
Also remember that preparation is key, so where possible, find out how much you, your position and your level of experience are worth before you ask for that extra cash. Or better still; demonstrate your star style with information backed by reputable industry associations.
Timing is critically important for anyone asking for a payrise and with a new financial year combined with the economic downturn which is having an impact on business, this has never been more important. If your organisation has just made people redundant, is asking people to work longer hours or requesting staff take annual leave, they could be signs that it might not be the best time to ask for a salary increase. However, this shouldn’t stop you if you feel strongly that you deserve a raise, but you should consider the wider consequences of any request.
If you do decide to ask your manager for a rise, pitch it at a realistic level by exploring salary data that shows the range for your position and years of experience. Also speak with your ex-colleagues, friends and family, particularly those who work in your field, to avoid making an unreasonable request.
There will, of course, come that dreaded moment when you step into your manager’s office hoping to increase your wallet. Yes, there will be sweaty palms and ‘butterflies’, but you can make the negotiation a lot less traumatic by ensuring that you’ve requested a private word at the right time.
You need to pick your moment, for example, you can increase your chances of success by asking for a pay rise on or before your anniversary of employment, at the end or beginning of a financial or calendar year, or before your company’s next budget sign-off.
Similarly, asking for a pay rise when you’re able to prove that your productivity, duties, or responsibilities have expanded, or when company goals have been achieved, can mean the difference between increasing your hip pocket or not.
Once in the meeting, remember not to talk too much – you could end up talking yourself right out of a pay rise. Instead, stick confidently to the facts, use active language, and have a figure in mind just in case you’re asked what you think you’re worth.
Finally, a word on ultimatums. Issuing your manager with a non-negotiable demand is the most common blunder you can make when asking for a pay rise. In 99 per cent of cases, threatening to quit unless your manger lines your pockets is guaranteed to backfire.
A two-way conversation is always going to be more valuable than an aggressive ultimatum, and much more likely to get you the pay rise you deserve.
Jane Adams is the Group Director of leading specialist recruitment and HR services company, Randstad.
Randstad specialises in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources services. Randstad’s services range from regular temporary staffing and permanent placement to inhouse, professionals, executive, and HR Solutions. Since acquiring Vedior in 2008, the Randstad Group is the second largest HR services provider in the world with over 34,000 employees working from 5,200 branches and inhouse locations in 52 countries around the world. For more information see www.randstad.com.au