How to ask for a payrise

by | 24.05.24

As the cost of living soars, it may seem like a good time to approach your boss for a pay rise.  With businesses under increasing cost pressures, persuading your boss that you deserve a salary increase probably won’t be easy. Going the right way about asking for a rise can make all the difference.  Following these simple tips can really help you to successfully negotiate with your boss and get the pay rise you deserve.

Don’t just use the cost of living argument

Everyone is affected by the current rising cost of living so basing your argument for a pay rise on this is unlikely to succeed.  Businesses are also suffering from rising costs and won’t automatically increase staff wages.  If you want to succeed make an individual case for why you are worth more based on your work contribution.

Don’t compare your salary with colleagues

It’s tempting to use this as a basis for asking for an increase but making it personal is a mistake and can have a negative effect on how your boss reacts to your request.  Doing your research and knowing what the going market rate is for your job is a far more professional approach and makes a more persuasive argument.

Don’t make emotional arguments

Base your negotiations on facts and go in well prepared.  Present clear evidence to your boss of what you have done in the last year that has positively impacted on the business.  Your boss may not always know all the things you have delivered on.  Don’t be modest and make sure your boss knows all your achievements.

Be realistic

It’s no good asking for an unrealistic sum as your boss won’t take you seriously if you appear to have plucked a figure out of the air.  Make sure you have the evidence to back up your request such as salary survey data or job adverts and descriptions for similar roles.

Timing is the key

Asking for a raise when you have just delivered a really good piece of work or had some positive feedback from a customer is always a good time.  Also be aware of the Company’s financial position.  If things are really tight you may be better to wait and make your request at a later date.

Put your request for a meeting in writing

This not only gives your Manager a chance to prepare but also makes your request more formal and therefore harder to ignore.  You don’t need to go into full details in the letter, just simply outline the reason for wanting the meeting and the broad reasons why you think a salary increase is appropriate.  You can then share your supporting evidence when you meet.

Confidence is key

It’s natural to be a bit nervous when asking for a pay rise but you need to display confidence to show that you really believe you deserve the increase.  Fidgeting or not making eye contact when you speak undermines your authority, so it’s important to focus on your delivery.  Sitting up straight and maintaining a friendly and calm tone of voice will make you appear in control.  Remember to speak clearly and slowly as it’s tempting to try to say your piece as quickly as possible.

Be prepared to consider benefits outside of hard cash

Your employer may genuinely not be in a position to give you a salary increase, but they may be able to improve your benefits package in some other way.  If you think this may be the case be prepared to ask for alternatives such as more holiday, an increased car allowance or perhaps new training and development opportunities.

Try keeping it simple

Above all it’s essential that you remain professional and don’t get emotional when asking for a raise.  Managers are human too and they won’t like feeling like they have been pushed into agreeing to something.  If things become heated, you’re not only unlikely to get a raise, you may also find it damages your further prospects too.  So make sure you conduct yourself in such a way that even if you don’t achieve the increase that you wanted, you will still have enhanced your Manager’s opinion of your value to the organisation.

Never threaten to leave over pay

However strongly you feel that you deserve a pay rise, threatening to leave if you don’t get one is a highly risky strategy.  Even if you succeed in getting the raise you are likely to have permanently damaged your professional reputation as you will be seen as difficult and potentially manipulative.  If your current salary really is a deal breaker, then give your employers every chance to address this, but if they can’t then maybe it is the time to look for another job.

So there you go, be careful when asking for a pay raise and have a good reason to ask, ie: you are underpaid, you have taken on more responsibility etc.  Don’t think you are just going to get one for achieving nothing. 

Good Luck