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Tuesday 23 February 2010

10 Easy steps to secure a pay rise this year!

There are very few of us who would turn our noses up at a salary increase and whilst on average you can expect a pay rise of about 3.5% in the year ahead you may feel that your efforts and achievements warrant a bigger increase. Here’s how to approach your boss when you feel it’s time to bring the issue to the forefront:

Unfortunately the majority of companies still view salaries as an expense (some of the more business savvy people view this as an investment) and therefore tend to keep a tight grip on spending which means they are selective about increasing salaries.

The key to securing a pay rise is to demonstrate that you have been adding significant value that impacts positively on the company’s business performance and profits. In essence they need to know that you are a valuable asset to their business.

1. Research; Think about what you want to get out of the meeting and what you are willing to accept. Research what the company’s position on salary increases is in terms of salary scales, headcount, retention,

2. Don’t make it too personal: Whilst sales employers do generally know that big events such as a wedding or a holiday can provide a great incentive for their employees to reach their targets, using such events as the sole reason for a salary increase can prove difficult to justify to your boss. Focus on how you are over-delivering for them and give examples that justify your request. Your up and coming outgoings should be communicated as an added incentive for you to continue adding value to the company; It is likely you’ll find the request is better received.

3. Provide a concrete and recent example of how you are adding value to the company. Give examples and explain thoroughly what this has meant for the business. Don’t assume that your boss knows every achievement you have made, make it obvious and spell it out to them.

4. Timing can prove crucial in ensuring you get a positive result from the conversation with your boss- Approach him/her straight after completing a big project and know that most companies plan salary increases two or three months prior to the end of their financial year, so think about your timing.

5. Rehearse in your mind or even with a family member how you will approach the subject with your boss and practice how you will communicate with him/her.

6. See it from their perspective. How are they likely to respond? Prepare for how you will counteract the argument.

7. Although it may seem obvious, ensure your boss is not under any stress when you approach him or her. Make sure he or she is in a good mood and therefore that there aren’t any other factors that could produce a negative outcome for you and your salary increase request.

8. Have a back-up plan. If your boss makes it clear that they are unwilling or unable to offer you a salary increase ensure you are able to suggest an alternative instead of just giving up. Alternative can include bonuses, vouchers and working from home

9. Work out exactly what justifies you receiving a salary increase. If you are just doing your job you only deserve an average pay rise but if you feel you are going ‘above and beyond’ your daily routine write down how you are doing this so your boss is aware.

10. Be prepared to consider looking for another role if you feel you are being undervalued financially or otherwise in your role. If you really feel you are being underpaid for your work it may be time to be time to carry out some discreet job hunting.

Importantly it is vital to get the first step in negotiation right- your research. Here are some key areas you may wish to research before moving onto steps 2 to 10:

· How well paid are you compared to market rate? Talk to the experts in your industry.

· Rate of inflation

· Location and cost of living associated with that

· Company trading performance

· Available budget for pay rises

· When was last company-wide salary review, range of % increases awarded?

· When is the next company-wide salary review and likely % increases

· What precedents would be set by giving you a rise?

· How valued are you to your boss and company- Link to KPIs, new customers acquired, retained

However you decide to approach your salary negotiation it is important to remember that we would not recommend threatening to quit. Your boss may simply accept your resignation then and there. Don’t be tempted to let emotion over rule sense- the repercussions of such a move could prove disastrous....

Remember, keep it positive and have your preparation carried out in advance, you’ll be able to put your case across more effectively and could secure yourself exactly what you think you deserve!!

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