Chris Aukland is the managing director of specialist recruitment agency Ambition and is responsible for the growth and management of the Hong Kong business. He has 15 years’ consulting experience in the UK and Asia.
You’ve worked hard and got results but feel unappreciated and now you want to ask for a pay rise
I have been working at my company for the past two years and have so far received fair and positive appraisal reports. I’ve met most of my boss’s expectations with regards to general and individual KPIs and feel I am an asset to the company. Although I think my superiors are happy with my performance, there have been minimal rewards for my continued dedication. I would like to request a salary increase, but am concerned I will adversely affect my relationship with senior management. How do I best approach a request for an increase, while maintaining good rapport?
The key to any successful negotiation where you are trying to negotiate a high salary or increase benefits is preparation and practice. Here are some tips for negotiating a successful pay rise.
First, know your worth. Find the market value of your role by doing in-depth research on what your role is paying. Read market research reports to determine the typical salary level based on your industry, profession and level of experience. Also, look at job boards to see what similar roles are paying, then speak to professionals in the industry, as well as recruitment consultants, to gauge your value.
Your best chance of negotiating a pay rise lies in proving to your employer over a period of time your value and worth to the business. Ideally, any negotiation should start months before you want to receive the pay rise so you can set targets and then highlight key achievements and benefits you have delivered to the business over that period.
Try to negotiate from a position of strength. In any discussion, share with your manager your research on industry salary rates for your role and highlight the value you add to the company by pointing out your length of tenure and the key achievements and benefits you have delivered.
Position yourself as a high-performing, valuable employee who would be difficult to replace. If you have recently completed additional training or have gained new qualifications, then highlight them. Furthermore, you can state examples of responsibilities you have taken on that are outside your day-to-day role.
But before you go into any discussion about your salary, ensure that you are very clear about how you want to present your arguments. Rehearsing a convincing argument for your request will increase your chances of success, so have in mind an ideal figure you are looking to achieve as well as a minimum you would be willing to accept. Then practice your arguments – again and again!
Finally, be open-minded. Negotiating a pay rise depends on a number of factors, many of which are outside the influence of your manager. Be prepared to discuss alternative incentives or benefits, or perhaps set targets to ensure a future pay rise related to improved performance. In any meeting it is important to remain calm and professional and not expect a quick answer. Always thank your manager for their time and show your appreciation for their efforts on your behalf. Good luck!
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as How do I get on target for a better salary?