How To Ask For A Pay Rise

Talking openly about money has always been a complicated subject that many people shy away from. To some, asking your employer for a pay rise is considered cheeky; the idea is unfathomable; how could you ever ask for MORE money?! Asking for a pay rise is 100% acceptable in most work environments. As an employee, you should be compensated fairly for your hard work, primarily if you have worked the same role for many years without a pay increase.

Be prepared to plead your case.

Before you consider setting up any meeting with your manager or supervisor, you must prepare your reasoning for the pay rise. Think of why you deserve a higher salary. Have you completed a big project? Doing the job of more than one person? or maybe you have done something so well within your role that it has brought more money into the businesses or positively impacted similarly. 

Make sure when you do this that you bring actual evidence of your accomplishments with you, whether it’s data proving you’ve helped the business grow or copies of projects you have completed since your time at the business.

What is considered a reasonable salary increase?

A reasonable salary increase lies at about 10-20% of your current salary; the percentage of increase should reflect the reasonings for your pay rise, as well as how long you have been with the business and your experience within the role. Asking for more than a 20% increase in your current salary can be slightly unrealistic, especially if you’re new to the business/your industry.

Time it right

Don’t ask for a pay rise on a hectic Monday morning when your boss is stressed and in between meetings; the result with more than likely not be positive. Your manager will feel bombarded and pressured, which is not the mood you’re looking for when asking for more money.

Use your initiative and time it right; schedule a formal meeting with your boss. This gives you time to prepare effectively and creates a more relaxed atmosphere. Even if you usually are chatty and informal when talking to your manager, use this time to get your formal head-on. Not only will it be easier to get your points across, but it will also display confidence and seriousness, which will take you seriously.

What if they say no?

Sometimes a pay rise isn’t always possible for justified reasons, such as the business struggling financially; if this is the case, it’s time to explore some other options for the time being. If a pay rise isn’t possible, always ask why and when one may be possible; always ask for a time frame for this, as it lets your employer know that the possibility of a pay rise will still be on your mind.

Alternatively, if a cash pay rise isn’t possible- explore other options and perks your employer might offer you, for example, a few days extra holidays or flexible working options for a greater work/life balance.

If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of your pay rise meeting, you must think about your career prospects. Maybe a new role may be your only option for you if a salary increase is the only option for you right now.

Even though it’s difficult and a little awkward, asking for a pay rise shouldn’t be shameful; the topic of money should be more transparent within the workplace, especially with the UK’s financial struggle as a result of the pandemic as well as the ongoing energy crisis.

Don’t be hesitant to raise the possibility of a pay rise if you believe your efforts at work warrant one.