Well, we all made it to 2013, shame on you Mayans. But this is the time where everyone looks at what they want to achieve, and what they want to change in the new year. I thought my first post for 2013 would be how to ask for a pay increase. You’ve just spent your pennies on Christmas and New Years, nothing better than asking for a pay increase right? Well, read on…

We are struggling in today’s world to ask for a pay rise. How can we justify that we are worth an extra 2-4% pay increase considering the world economy is falling apart around us. I don’t believe that woman should be shy about asking for a pay rise; to me it doesn’t matter if you are male or female. If you feel you have achieved what is required to get you a pay rise, then you should ask for it. The thing that catches people however is the ability to ask for one, what should they say? What should they ask?

What I have done in the past is sit down and think about what I have done over the past 6-12 months that will help my argument, I listed my achievements and specified why they were achievements, this included feedback, success outcomes, progress reports etc. I then set a meeting with myself and my manager with a brief overview of what I wanted to discuss – I suggest doing this because it allows your manager to get some feedback and some analysis of the work that you have done from their managerial perspective. I wrote up my little “speech” if you would like to call it that and really prepared myself. What I also did was; I looked at what my employment agreement says in regards to out of cycle pay increase requests, what the requirements are for a performance based pay increase request, and the possibilities that could come up. I had a conversation with one of my colleagues within my team and just wanted to get some backgrounds on what has happened in the past with them, or others that they knew, and what they thought my likeliness was to actually get a pay increase.

So walking into the meeting, daunting, nerve-racking and worry some, you just have to let that go and back yourself with some confidence. The worst things you can do when trying to convince your boss you deserve a pay rise is ineffectively sell yourself to them. You should trust that you deserve pay rise regardless of whether you actually get one or not. Having the courage to ask for a raise when you can prove your worth is the best way to open a door in that space in the future. After starting the conversation with my achievements and points to why I believe I deserve a pay increase, the value I have added in my time there, and how my role and responsibilities have increased over time, I then asked for what I thought was a reasonable increase amount. At this point my manager didn’t actually have the sign off to make that call, but I had provided enough information to form a solid case to the General Manager to make a fair and informed decision. A week later, I received a pay increase, not the amount I originally asked for, but understanding the market and the fiscal pressure that companies are under at the moment made me feel lucky that I received an increase out of cycle anyway.

So, the learning I had from asking for a pay increase and what I would like to pass on are:

  • Make your case – list achievements, changes, successes, feedback
  • Research – similar roles to you, market increases, what has been approved
  • Provide enough information for an informed decision
  • Ask for more than what you want, you can always negotiate
  • Be prepared for no pay increase

Good luck to those who ask for pay increases, remember, 2013 is the new year to sharpen some skills, everyone can be a negotiator, you just need to be prepared.

Here are the five factors influencing pay decisions for the new year:

  1. Performance;
  2. Market competitiveness of pay;
  3. Availability of budgets;
  4. Internal equity; and
  5. Scope and size of role
  6. Skill shortage

Bear these in mind when looking for your pay increase evidence, and ensure you consider and touch base with each of the points above.

Good luck!

HR Workaholic