What’s the best way to ask for a pay rise?

Asking your employer for a raise is arguably one of the most nerve-racking conversations for many. But more often than not, companies don’t just hand out pay rises without being asked. So, the conversation must be had. Here are the best ways to go about asking for a pay rise that may help settle your nerves.

Choose your time wisely

It’s EOFY, which means that performance reviews are your best opportunity to introduce this conversation! Keep this time in mind and work to your best ability leading up to it. Avoid negative feedback if you can so that there is a more positive backing behind you to ask for a higher salary. When it comes to performance reviews, conversations become more honest and open, so it will be a more comfortable setting to ask for a pay rise.

Check protocol

For one thing, you have to ask around and see how pay rises have previously been established and requested within your company. For another thing, you have to make sure you are deserving of a pay rise. What is the market range? Are you just performing within your job description?  Have you met your KPI’s (or gone above them)? What value are you adding?

These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself before requesting a pay rise.

Have your reasoning prepared

If you figure, ‘yes, I definitely deserve a pay rise’ then you have to prepare your reasoning. Some examples include; if you went above and beyond your KPI’s or have taken on a larger workload or earned the company an impactful amount of money since you started. There can be several reasons or one strong reason, but mostly you have to show how much value you’ve added. You have to convince your boss of the great job you are doing. If it helps, write out how you would like the conversation to go, and list the reasons out so you can clearly dissect them if necessary. And if you can, having stats or numbers on your side is a major advantage.

Prepare your boss for talk about pay

When setting up the meeting for your performance review, discuss the topics you’d like to talk about including a salary view. If you aren’t bringing this conversation up in your performance review, then send your manager a meeting invite and mention in the message and subject that the topic of discussion will be a salary review. You don’t want to blindside your boss, they also need to be prepared for this discussion so that it as comfortable as possible. It’s also a polite courtesy.

Don’t be greedy, be realistic

Most of the time during a good negotiation we always leave room to be wiggled down. However, don’t go too high. Think realistically about what kind of pay rise you want and ask for $5,000 above it. This leaves room for your employer to say, ‘what about this?’ and you to say, ‘okay, what about we meet halfway?’ or something like this. Be ready and confident in negotiations, because if your employer is willing to, it means they know you deserve a pay rise too.

Listen, and be prepared for a ‘no’

Sometimes, there are reasons why we may get rejected for a pay rise. These reasons aren’t always to do with our performance, however, if they are, sit and listen and take the feedback on board. Work harder so that you can earn your pay rise next year. Other reasons could include company resources and funds, or lack of a qualification just to mention a couple. Don’t leave the conversation without understanding why they said no. But accept it and work on it if the reasoning is just and fair. If the answer is no, you can use this opportunity to ask for different work benefits such as flexible work or extra training. Have other work benefits in mind before heading into this meeting so you can be prepared to ask for an alternative. 

In this article: