How to ask for a pay rise
Do you know your worth but are unsure how to approach asking for a salary increase?
Asking your employer for a pay rise is a process that requires thorough planning and preparation. Read on to find out what you can do to maximise your chance of a successful conversation when negotiating a salary increase
There can be many motivators when it comes to choosing your workplace, salary certainly being one of them. In times of increasing living expenses, compensation is as important as ever to guarantee your quality of life. With hard work, dedication and experience at your workplace, it’s only natural to want to advance in earnings.
However, for various reasons, many employees feel reluctant to initiate the conversation with their boss. James Winfield, Practice Director at RED’s explains: “Asking for a pay rise can be quite challenging for people; often they feel that the question will reflect badly on them or perhaps they just lack the confidence to ask.”
James believes that from a career development perspective, it is pivotal for employees to know their worth and tie in any discussion for increased earnings with compensation for their efforts and contribution: “Salary discussions are vital for both the employee and the business. It aids engagement with staff and can avoid sudden departures. It also opens up a dialogue about performance and career goals.”
Any conversation of this nature must be a well-planned process and we highly recommend you address the topic of a pay rise sooner rather than later. Too often, employees will wait until they are already fed up or unhappy with their current pay before tackling the issue. It’s best to ask for the pay rise when you can still see yourself in the future of the business. It’s also advisable to start salary negotiations prior to beginning a new job search because it may trigger other opportunities, that are in development and may be worth waiting for.
RED has put together a guide to help you prove your worth and successfully approach salary negotiations.
1. Know your worth
Take advantage of modern tools to compare your salary with others in your jobs market. For insight into compensation in the SAP industry, register on RED’s Salary Hub – simply add your details to find out how your salary stacks up against your peers. If you fall below the market average, it could indicate that you are not getting the compensation aligned with your skills and experience.
It is also useful to identify how your role has changed over time. Since the beginning of your employment, have you taken on more responsibility? If you’ve answered yes, it might be time to ask for a pay rise.
2. Build your case
Always do your homework and build a compelling case for your pay rise. Have you recently completed a project where you went beyond expectations? Leading the conversation with concrete achievements is a perfect way to demonstrate your added value and proactively communicate wins.
Be sure to have a number in mind. RED’s Salary Hub (link) can give you a great indication of what salaries are standard in the SAP industry. If your job involves more responsibility than other jobs with a similar title, you might consider asking for a salary above the industry average.
It’s important to keep the focus on your success by demonstrating accomplishments to justify why the salary rise is deserved, and not why you need additional income.
3. Cool & confident
Practice makes perfect and a pay rise discussion is no exception. If you have prepared well, you will be able to justify your pay rise with confidence. Remember to be clear and specific about your recent achievements and show personal commitment to the company to present yourself as a long-term asset to your company. To maximise your chances of getting a positive answer, it is important to refrain from talking about your personal life, focussing solely on your professional achievements.
At all times, conduct yourself in a professional manner during this discussion. Furthermore, be upbeat and enthusiastic about your future at the company as that shows your investment in your job and the business. Keep your emotions in check. This is a professional discussion and it’s important to remember that this communication is not personal.
You are likely to get questions from your employer, so be sure to prepare for them. You might be asked direct questions about the accomplishments and wins you’re using to justify your raise so be sure to know your examples inside and out. Questions may include classics, such as ‘Why should I give you a raise?’ or ‘What are your plans for the future?’
Hot tip: Don’t schedule a pay rise negotiation meeting on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon.
4. Be prepared to hear a ‘No’
Sometimes, no matter how well you present your value to the company, providing you with the raise you deserve might simply not be possible, be it anything from budget restraints to bad timing. If your company cannot accommodate your request, it is important to understand the reasons behind their decision and accept it with an open mind. There might always be other things you could negotiate, such as additional holiday time, more flexible work hours, title change and many more.
If you feel like the only way for you to get your career to a satisfactory level is to earn more for your work, the it may be time to look for new opportunities. If you’re in this position and are in the SAP market, get in touch with RED to discuss your future.
To take your career further and find your new dream job in the SAP industry, please visit our job search page.
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