How to put together your case for a salary increase


In tough economic times, it’s important to look at cutting back on your expenditure.  But it may also be possible to go to your employer and ask for a rise in salary.

Shaz Rashid explores how you could do this.Requesting for a salary increase or a pay rise can be difficult, but there are constructive ways to approach salary negotiation and to achieve a good outcome. There is never a standard method to ask for a salary increase and individuals use various approaches. You can write; discuss informally; discuss with a colleague and hope the boss gets to hear; drop hints; ask the boss politely or demand firmly; or maybe even go extreme and threaten to resign, secure another job offer, or simply resign.

Find out the market rates

Knowing your relative job-market rates helps, and you can find the prevailing salary structure in relevant newspapers, magazines and employment websites.

As an employee, at any grade, it is important to understand the employer’s position, and to understand your own properly. Ask yourself why, honestly, you want or need a salary increase. Some ask because they feel undervalued. Some people are genuinely underpaid. Are you being fair and realistic? Stepping back and taking a truly objective view is so important. Put yourself in your employer’s shoes.

Once you have your facts and figures and strongly believe that you deserve an increment, you should be ready to communicate with your employer. You can request a face-to-face meeting rather than try to present your case in a letter, which is just a one-way communication and does not allow you to develop a mutual understanding of the situation.

Present your case

Present your case unemotionally, and in the meeting ask your line manager about the opportunities by which you can improve your salary package. Follow the golden rule that this meeting needs to be a two-way discussion.

Approach it positively and constructively

  • Ask what flexibilities exist and what the organisation’s rationale for setting and increasing staff pay levels is.
  • What commitments would the company want from you in return? It is a healthy discussion and not a demand?
  • Explain with examples of similar jobs outside as well as inside the company and compare them to your own responsibilities and rewards.
  • Stay positive and constructive in the meeting and look for opportunities to make your boss’s task in dealing with your approach as easy as possible, especially given that resolving salary raise requests is difficult for your boss too.
  • You should at times remind your manager of all those extra miles you have put in on your job and all those extra benefits and contributions you have made to the organisation!

Perhaps at times, managers or even employers can forget your laurels as you are not the only one on the company’s pay-roll! So on such occasions it is necessary to spell it out and make it clear that you are an asset and not a liability and truly deserve a better salary that will encourage you to excel further in your professional endeavours.

Retain your dignity

Integrity has an immense value and you never know whose paths from your past you will cross in the future. Falling out with a boss or employer over salary rarely profits anyone. So keep your case professionally crisp, firm and composed throughout the discussions.

If you are unhappy about your salary, and you feel underpaid and undervalued, you will do your reputation and future a lot of good by approaching the matter in a professional, well-prepared and objective way.

People who can handle their own difficult situations are seen by their employers as people who can handle other difficult situations well too, and as such your value and potential increases.

If done properly, the meeting could reap a reward, and a good line manager would convey your case to the senior management and end up standing firmly in your support, because every manager needs an excellent and highly motivated team member!

If this process does not take a positive shape in your favour and you get NO as an answer (and YES this happens sometimes), then always remember that it is not the end of the world, and this may be the time to think seriously about moving on!!!


shazaan message pad

Shaz Rashid is Contact Centre Operations Manager at The Message Pad Limited

Published On: 18th Feb 2009 - Last modified: 6th Jul 2018
Read more about - Call Centre Life,


5 Comments
  1. So, what do you do if you are paid at Market value or above?

    simon 19 Feb at 8:35 am
  2. Hi Simon,
    If one is paid above the market value, then is surely amongst the luckier ones! So, the pressure will be on the individual to consistently perform exceeding well and keep at par with the high salary returns. In a nutshell, there should be all measures taken to keep the job secure and keep giving excellent results at work so that one remains worthy of the high salary and prove to be an asset on the Company’s balance sheet rather than a liability! Possibly, a thank you note to the boss/employer for all the support and encouragement provided shall do no harm…
    If one is paid at par with the market value and the individual has added consistently those necessary extra miles in their job, that have finally benefitted the Oganisation, then it is a good time to pursue the process of asking for a salary increase. But, remember to keep on hand all the relevant facts and details of one’s extra inputs and accomplishments. If one becomes a reason for growth and profitability to their employer, then there should be no reason to shy away in requesting for an increment in perks/salary! After all, employers do need proactive and profitable staff members and do understand that a salary increment can act as a catalyst in retaining a good staff member and could also motivate an individual to provide consistently a fantastic work/service in return…
    All the Best!
    Shaz

    Shaz Rashid 19 Feb at 10:38 pm
  3. is there a specific percentage that one should consider while salary negotiation? And incase a no, should one opt for leaving the organisation?

    Devender 26 Jul at 7:50 pm
  4. Hi Devender,
    The percentage increase whilst salary negotiation should be realistic and reasonable. Depending on one’s base salary, it can vary from as low as a 2.5% raise to a higher raise of 10% and beyond. It should be at par with the current market rate and with salaries on offer for the job role. In the current economic climate, one should try and avoid leaving the organization unless one is offered a career progression with a higher salary elsewhere. One should also compare the overall remuneration and employee benefits received in the current job before opting to leave or change jobs. Other aspects like future career progression, stability of the business and job satisfaction should also play a significant part in one’ decision to opt for leaving the organization.
    Best wishes,
    Shaz

    Anonymous 29 Aug at 1:24 pm
  5. Could you please with a case study to be sent to senior management for hike in salary of associates in call centre.. They are under minimum wages.

    uday 5 Apr at 10:46 am
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