How to Ask for a Pay Rise

Asking for a pay rise is not an easy task as many people are reluctant to ask out of fear of rejection or causing a rift with their boss. However, as the old saying goes “those who don’t ask, don’t receive”. It is highly unlikely your boss will randomly drop by your desk one day and subtly announce he is increasing your salary. Why not ask for it yourself?

We’ve spoken with employment experts in Servisource Workforce Solutions who have over 20 years’ experience in the recruitment industry to get their take on how best to ask for a pay rise.

How to ask a question

Do I Deserve a Pay Rise?

This is more down to gut instinct than anything else. Have you been consistently performing at a high level for a period of time? Have you recently upskilled with extra training? Are you outperforming members of your own team? Are you contributing to the success of your company to the best of your ability?

If the answer is yes to any of the questions above and you believe you deserve a pay rise, then don’t be afraid to ask for one.

The important thing is to take a step back and reflect on your performance over the past 12 months. While it is easy to get caught up in the things you’ve done well, it’s vital you focus on the things that haven’t gone so well.

As we will see, planning and carefully choosing the right moment to ask will increase the chances of success, however, you need to ensure that if there are any areas you drastically need to improve in, you must do so before asking for more money in your pocket at the end of each month.

The Planning Stage:

Salary calculators such as CPL’s Salary Guide for 2021, are very helpful tools that can assist you in finding out how much you should be getting paid for the work you do.

If your work directly affects sales for the company, it is also a good idea to get an estimate of how much the company benefits from having you on the team.

This should help you get a rough figure in terms of how much you wish to increase your salary by.

How Should I Ask for a Pay Rise?

The best way to ask for a pay rise is in person. You are far more likely to get a pay increase by having a face-to-face conversation than sending a half-hearted email or a text to your boss.

By meeting face-to-face with your manager, it allows you to witness their reaction but also negotiate and produce counterarguments.

Depending on the size of your company, you may need to approach your line manager first. Going over your line manager’s head, straight to your boss, bypassing the chain of command, is never a good idea.

Your line manager may even be able to assist your request and offer a recommendation to the boss for an increase of your salary.

Timing is Everything:

Your annual performance review offers a great opportunity to ask for a pay increase. A lot of the time it’ll coincide with the end of your company’s financial year, meaning salaries are finalised for the year ahead around then.

You don’t have to wait for your annual performance review though. While there is no perfect time, some moments are better than others. An example would be after an achievement, you may have completed a successful project, you may have clinched a deal, brought on a new client, increased monthly sales to record levels or maybe your manager asks you to take on more responsibilities.

disappointed man

Bad Times to Ask for a Pay Rise:

  • After a deal is lost.
  • Poor financial results.
  • A global pandemic.
  • Monday mornings.
  • Fridays.

What if Your Pay Rise is Turned Down?

Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, your boss may refuse to increase your pay. There could be many reasons for this such as not enough money in the budget to accommodate the pay rise or your manager does not believe you warrant a pay increase. Whatever you do, keep your cool. Losing your temper or turning the meeting into a war of words will achieve nothing.

Try discussing a timetable with your boss and some goals you need to achieve in order for them to grant you a pay rise. If management makes it clear that you will not be getting a pay rise anytime soon, you’ll have to decide whether your current employer values you enough and if it’s worth staying with them or if it’s time to seek somewhere new and somewhere better.


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Article Written By:

Peter Farrelly is part of the Digital Marketing team within Servisource Workforce Solutions.

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