Written by: Steven Petter
Recent economic downturn has seen more and more people finding it hard to spread their wages far enough to support all the components of their lives, especially those with children who get older and more demanding as money gets tighter. For some lucky people you may in a position where you really love your job and don’t want to leave it to seek out a better paid position, usually because the hours are just right and the job is the right distance from home. Your only option then is to ask your employer for a more money which in itself can be a very daunting move, how do you ask for a pay rise? With a lot of research and a small measure of charm then you can be lucky.
Do your research
First thing’s first, do your research. Firstly, does your employer offer different pay rates for employees and are they flexible in the way they manage them? What I mean by this is, for example large supermarkets have pay bands that have set hourly rates and each job roles is slotted into a band which is then paid to each employee on that department, therefore everyone in that company gets paid a set wage and it doesn’t increase until the new financial year. If you fall into this category then you are unlikely to get a pay rise without changing jobs however these large companies do have occasional schemes that can be just as useful as a pay rise, such as a car allowance, childcare vouchers or even a small change in hours to put you into a higher paying time slot such as nights or Sundays.
If you work for a smaller firm and you know that different pay rates for employees exist then the next task is to research how the company is performing on the market, these financial records are usually a matter of public record and can be search online, but any financial indication would suit your cause. The reason you need to know is because if your company is not seeing the kind of financial growth they predicted at the beginning of the year or they have seen any kind of financial pressure then they are unlikely to put further pressure on themselves by paying someone more money. This is particularly true the smaller the company gets so make sure you do the leg work before you waste time on a request that they can’t possibly agree to.
Assuming you’ve done your research and you are happy your employer is able to give pay rises and financially successful enough to do so, then it’s time to start thinking about how much you want and why you want it. If you sit down and work out your finances before you start then you will know how much more a month you need to cover all the bases, break this figure down into a rate your employer will understand such as hourly rate or weekly take home before tax and then give yourself room for negotiations. Make sure you have all this on paper ready to talk about in your meeting so you can show exactly why you are asking.
Ask yourself why are you are worth this extra money
It’s also important to start thinking about what you bring to the company that is so valuable, why are you such a good employee and why are you worth the extra money. For a start if your absence is above 1% of your working arrangement over a 26 week period then you’re unlikely to get what you want. The same goes if you regularly fail to achieve targets or are subject to any form of disciplinary action. You should be able to sell yourself; tell your boss why you love your job and what you love about the company, tell them why you don’t want to leave and why it’s so important for them to keep you on. For many, this will be the hard part, as talking positively about yourself in great detail is a skill few possess. Be smart, be professional and be courteous, remember you are asking them for help so show them you really appreciate the time they’ve taken to talk to you.
If you’re going to go for it then good luck – keep a strong and positive outlook and that will shine through during your meeting, remember that if you can’t convince yourself you are worth it then you will have little chance convincing anyone else.