Here’s the deal, we are in full employment, and as a result, good people are hard to find, so if you are a good person, delivering good work and feel underpaid, then simply ask for a pay rise. But wait, before you go running into your manager’s office you need to prepare.
Firstly, put yourself in your manager’s shoes. Think what does your manager need from you for them to feel you are a valued employee? If it’s sales – are you hitting your numbers; if it’s customer service – are you getting good feedback; if it’s accounting – are your reports accurate and on time? You get the picture. So get your facts together; create evidence that you are a valued employee and one they do not want to lose.
Secondly, research how much your role is paying, there are hundreds of sites on Google that give you this information. Most roles have bands, if you are at the lower or middle of the band, you have more ammo to work with.
Thirdly, prepare for the conversation. Know what you are going to say. If you are fearful or anxious about this, practice and practice until you feel more relaxed. Anticipate objections and prepare answers for these. When you speak, breathe and slow down your voice and lower your tone. Often when people are nervous they speed up and speak in a higher tone, which makes them appear nervous and you want to appear cool, in control and relaxed.
Whatever you do, don’t threaten to leave if you don’t get the pay rise you want, (unless of course you want to leave) and similarly, don’t give in too easily. It’s a manager’s job to keep their budget as low as possible, it’s yours to get as much as you can. Don’t wrap your self-worth in how much you are paid, it’s just a fiscal game!
If your manager flat out refuses, then think what else might you be able to have that is of value to you such as paid study, access to a mentor, extra time off etc. It’s not just a yes or no answer to your request.
If your manager were to replace you, it would cost them a lot of money in advertising, interviewing, training, maybe recruitment agency fees, opportunity cost, plus the person they hire may not be as good as you. So go ahead – Ask. If you want to know what actual words to use, I’ll put together a script you can use in the next blog if it will help.
All the best.
June Parker, career coach.