Sharmini Wainwright is managing director of Michael Page & Page Personnel Hong Kong. With over 13 years’ experience with PageGroup, she oversees specialist recruitment across finance, financial services, sales & marketing, legal and more.
Half yearly review
Due to poor market conditions, business has been bad. Performance appraisal is coming up. How can I justify a pay bump to my boss and good bonus as my monthly is way below market rates.
Sharmini Thomas - Career Doctor
Posted Monday 22nd July 2013 05:27:00 PM
Hi Yan, Every professional at some point in their career encounters this dilemma, including the question of whether they should even raise this request. It is unfortunate to hear that the performance of your business has been adversely affected by the market and general economy, but this obviously fluctuates from industry to industry. In such conditions, there are a number of points to take into consideration when requesting a pay rise or bonus. Firstly, what type of relationship do you have with your boss? I would encourage you to ensure that you have the conversation in a formal arena (i.e. in a meeting that you organise), rather than informally (i.e. at a team social event). This will ensure your boss knows that it is a serious and important matter for you to discuss. Secondly, will the organisation be paying bonuses at all? A number of companies are having a tough year and simply have not generated enough operating profit to create a bonus pool to pay to their employees. Bonuses tend to be discretionary and based on a combination of company performance and individual performance. Thirdly, what is your assessment of your individual performance and contribution? Have you achieved or met the objectives that were set for you in your role? This will be the part that is more necessary for you to justify; gather your thoughts and some information on this to prepare your response to this question as it will more than likely be raised in the discussion. Ensure you present an accurate and true reflection of your performance, rather than just highlighting your strengths. Also, gather relevant market data to benchmark what your market worth is, as simply stating you are being paid ‘below market rate’ without the relevant evidence may not be enough. Remember to be confident when you have the discussion, and ensure you have all the relevant facts. A positively geared conversation which highlights that you enjoy your role, are engaged in working for the company and are committed, are key points you should relay during the negotiation process. Try not to get emotional and keep the conversation rational. Best of luck for the conversation Yan, and also for your future endeavors. Sharmini.