Published On: Sun, Mar 4th, 2018

How to Ask Employer for Pay Rise

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Many employees find themselves in a position at some point during their professional careers where they find it necessary to negotiate a salary increase from their manager. Many attempts at obtaining a salary increase fail due to lack of planning. Those who are applying for a pay rise must thoroughly research their position and understand all factors involved if they wish to have any chance of being successful.

pay rise

There is a lot to be said for the phrase “overworked and underpaid.” The Health & Safety Executive in the UK state in their statistics on “Stress-related and psychological disorders” that “in 2008/9 an estimated 415,000 individuals in Britain…believed that they were experiencing work-related stress at a level that was making them ill.”

As a result of this, many employees will seek enhanced remuneration for their efforts, and approach their manager requesting a salary increase. However, many of these attempts fail, because a few key factors were overlooked and – in many cases – emotions overtake professionalism. This article will explain how an employee can prepare their request for a salary increase, and how to conduct themselves in the ensuing meeting.

Preparing to Ask for a Pay Rise

– Understand the company’s pay structure. Does the company give out performance-related bonuses? Are employees promoted based on their personal development or on other factors? Knowing this information will give any employee a good basis upon which to present their case.
– Consider the reason for salary negotiation.There are a range of reasons why a worker or employee may feel that they deserve a salary increase: they may feel overworked due to increased responsibilities, or unhappy if they are earning less than the market average for the industry they work in.
– Know market rates. Those preparing to ask for a pay rise must do some research on what salaries are currently being offered for the same roles and responsibilities in similar companies. Having some statistical backup in the meeting will show that the employee is serious about the request.
– Prepare the case. A list should be compiled detailing the reasons why employees feels they deserve an increase in salary. This should show a catalogue of achievements that have recently been accomplished, and any additional elements to the job role that is brought to the company. Doing this will help structure the argument during the meeting.
– Request a meeting. A private word to discuss the job role and development should be requested. At this point it is advisable to refrain from detailing the core reason for the meeting, to prevent the risk of an outright “no.” A lengthy face-to-face discussion is needed to review one’s position properly.

When Requesting a Raise From an Employer

It is imperative that employees conducts themselves with professionalism, integrity and dignity throughout the meeting. They are far more likely to receive a positive response if an argument is put forward articulately and in a coherent manner, rather than stubbornly demanding an increase.

– Talk face-to-face. Whilst this may be a nerve-wracking time for employees, and the temptation of writing via email why they feel they should have a salary increase, it is always best to carry out any discussions face-to-face. This will prompt a mutual understanding between the employee and their manager, and allow them to present an argument articulately.
– Discuss the request openly. Nothing will be achieved from screaming and shouting. This, coupled with continued threats to resign or reduce effort, is almost certain to provoke and anger the employer and the company, and minimise any chances of obtaining the desired goal.
– Offer increased responsibilities to provoke a positive reaction. Some managers may see a request as a demand for more money whilst carrying out the same roles. Many employers react positively to a request for an increase in salary in exchange for an increase in responsibilities. They may offer a bonus on the condition that various objectives are achieved. Employees must be prepared to negotiate for their pay rise.

If a Salary Increase Request is Unsuccessful

It is important that following the meeting, employees continues to work with the same enthusiasm and productivity that they did prior to the meeting. It is also good etiquette to refrain from discussing the position and request with colleagues, to maintain utmost privacy.

– An answer may not be received immediately. Unless the company is relatively small, many direct managers will not have the authority to grant a salary increase there and then. Often, they will need to clear the request through the hierarchy above them – which could take some time.
– Acknowledge that the final answer may be “No.” If this is the case, then the conclusion can be reached that the company does not value the employee in question as highly as they value themselves, or that budgetary restraints are preventing them from providing a pay increase. In this instance, it may be time to consider further options with regards to resignation and moving on from the company.
– Integrity matters. If the decision is made to resign, this should not be done with bitterness. Often within industries, paths cross again even when an employee leaves the company, and there is seldom benefit gained from acting petulantly.
– Give any resignation in writing. It may be that when a resignation letter is submitted, a salary increase and/or promotion is offered. It will cost a company far more to search for, recruit and train a replacement employee than it would for them to provide a salary increase. If this happens, the employee would be wise to consider the offer carefully and do not be too proud to reject it. Similarly, if employees decide to continue with their resignation, they should take care not to accept the first job offer that is received in order to prove that they have “moved on.”

A salary increase is not a right, but instead depends on a number of variable factors, such as the rate of inflation, and the current financial status of the company. It may be the case that the company does value the employee in question very highly, they just simply do not have the funds to provide an increase at that time. An honest, open, face-to-face meeting will provide the perfect opportunity to discuss the situation, and provide the opportunity to prove to the employer in a dignified and professional manner that the employee is an asset worth retaining.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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