7 Answers to the Most Common Pay Rise Questions
In this post we are going to look at the answers to the 7 most common pay rise questions that people ask, so you can be prepared and confident in knowing how to ask for a raise.
1) Should I ask for a pay rise?
One word answer: YES.
If you have been thinking that you need a pay rise or deserve one, then you should definitely ask. You have nothing to lose by asking.
The only times the answer would ever be no to this question are: 1) if you have just received a pay rise and nothing has changed within your role since then; 2) you have made a big mistake which has cost the company time and money; or 3) your performance is atrocious and you’ve had a number of warnings.
2) When is the best time to ask for a raise?
Timing can be everything, and this certainly applies when asking for a raise. You want to make sure that your boss is in a good mood for the best possible result.
Some of the best times to ask for a raise are:
- After you’ve done something amazing for the company.
- After the company has had a big win.
- Performance review time.
- When you get a promotion.
3) Who should I ask for a pay rise?
Getting up the courage to ask for a pay rise in the first place can take some time, and you want to make sure that you speak to the right person so you only have to do it once. There is no point talking to someone that has no say whatsoever in your salary. The right person to ask will likely be the person that hired you, or the person that you report to. While some bosses will be able to make a decision right on the spot and agree on an amount, others will need to go away and speak to their boss or even to HR to confirm all the details. Exactly how this process works will depend on the size and structure of your company.
4) Can I send my boss an email or should I ask for a meeting?
Never, and I repeat, NEVER write an email to ask for a pay rise. Sure, you can send an email to your boss to request the meeting, but do not actually ask in an email.
The best way to represent yourself is in person, where you have the opportunity to discuss why you want a pay rise and explain what benefits you are bringing to the company. You will be able to get an answer then and there, or at least know that your boss is going to think about it.
Sending an email can lead to all sorts of problems. Your boss might be in meetings all day and doesn’t have time to look at his messages. This will leave you starting to worry and fret and build up unnecessary anxiety. There is a chance that your email could just get overlooked, or even deleted by a secretary by accident.
Your boss could reply, but imagine how you would feel if he just wrote back with a simple ‘No’. You won’t have the opportunity to discuss, to know the reasons why, and if there is anything you can do to improve for a chance in the future.
The same goes with sending a text. Don’t do it!
Always set up a one-on-one meeting and have the discussion face to face.
5) How much should I ask for?
This is a tough one, and it’s going to take some research on your behalf to find out what a reasonable figure is to ask for. Of course, we all want as much money as we can get but giving your boss a figure that is astronomical is going to get you laughed out of the office. There are a few things you can do to figure out a good number.
- Find out what the industry standards are for your position. You can check www.glassdoor.com for an idea or do a google search.
- How much was your last pay rise, if you have had one with this company? Was it a standard 5% or 10%? Do you remember if the company has a maximum percentage limit on pay increases?
- Talk to colleagues. While a lot of people don’t like to offer up their salary figure, you can always ask “I’m on this much, does that sound right to you?” If they laugh or snigger, then you’ll know its too low. They may kindly tell you what they are on or what salary you should be on. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a team mate, then ask someone else in the company who may have an idea. Don’t make a habit of going around asking everyone in the office though as this can get you in trouble with HR. Only discretely ask someone that you can trust.
6) How can I show that I deserve a raise?
Unfortunately, asking for a pay rise is not a two sentence discussion. Employers often don’t like to just automatically hand out pay rises whenever they are asked, so you need to show why you deserve one.
Before you meet with your boss, put a list together of things that you have done over the last quarter or half year that have brought value to the company. Have you brought on new clients? Have you saved the company money? Have you streamlined production processes? Great! Add these kinds of things to the list. If you’ve undertaken any external study and now have new skills to incorporate into your role, you can talk about that too.
Build a case so that your boss can clearly see your value and why you are worthy of a pay rise.
7) What should I do if they say no?
The worst thing that can happen when you ask for a pay rise is that your boss says no, but really you are no worse off than before so you shouldn’t be afraid of it happening.
If it does happen, try to find out if there is a reason for the refusal. Is your boss unhappy with your performance? Is the company going through some financial difficulty?
If it is about your performance, then take the feedback they give you on board so that you can improve. Make sure that you do everything that you can so that they have no reason to deny you in the future.
Don’t let rejection hold you back. Put in the hard yards, prove your worth and then you can ask for raise in another three months.
So, what are you waiting for?
Now that I’ve answered all of your common pay rise questions, it’s time to put your plan into action:
- Decide on who you need to speak to.
- Book in a meeting with them at a convenient time.
- Put a list together of your achievements and how you add value to the company.
- Research what is a fair amount to ask for.
- Have the meeting and get results!