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