8 Tips on asking for a Pay Rise

Increasingly money is tight these day and so it is quite understandable why you might wish to ask for a pay increase at work.

Ideally, however, there is one question you should ask yourself first:

“When it comes down to it…. Should I have to ask?

Is this a company/organisation I want to be with if they can’t pay a fair wage and increase my pay annually?”

Granted, it is very difficult in the public services where pay increases are linked to government budgets. More commonly the people working in public services have chosen vocations and so are thought to be not as motivated by money. However, the lack of increases and acknowledgement for their work in the last 10 years is why we are increasingly seeing more strikes related to pay in the public services.

However, if your employer is not in the public sector and you are not unionised, consider these few tips on how you might request a pay review and/or rise:-

  1. Firstly decide and be clear on what you will do if an increase is refused.
    1. If the answer is no to an increase, are you prepared to suck it up?
    2. Or will you leave? If it is the latter make that clear in your request, not as a threat, and thus pick your language very carefully, but be clear that you feel you will have no other choice but to consider alternative jobs.
  2. Speak to your mentor or someone senior in the organisation who you trust. Sound them out on the best way to get any increase approved. Don’t make it a moaning or menacing session, just be clear and honest that you feel that an increase is warranted and why. Also assure them that you are not asking for them to ask on your behalf, rather that you are seeking advice and coaching on the best way to achieve your objective based on their experience in the organisation.
  3. Put it in writing. Consider your language and tone and ask someone you trust who has a way with words to review any email or written request.
  4. Ask at an optimum time. Perhaps when a new large client has been won by your company or improved profits have been announced.
  5. Ask when you have had a great appraisal, been promoted or a customer has sent a nice email recognising your efforts.
  6. Quantify it for your boss. Calculate how much revenue you bring to the business and what by comparison you are then asking for in terms of an increase. For example, I manage and retain £100,000 of revenue per month and I am asking for a 1% increase or a monthly gross increase of £300. The last time my salary was increased was four years ago where I received £80 net more a month.
  7. Refer to any contractual term related to pay reviews and pay increases and remind your boss or HR of the last time your pay was reviewed or increased.
  8. There are a number of websites such as Payscale where you can benchmark the median pay for your role in your industry in your company’s location. Use that information to make your case, in particular if you feel you are underpaid in your industry.