When we asked employers who took part in our recent annual Salary Survey what were the three primary motivations to give a pay rise, 45% said it was when an employee exceeded their expectations, 40% focused on the contribution the employee had made to the company – the value of the work they had done, and 15% wanted to see the employee willing to take on more responsibility in order to earn an uplift.
1. Hit your targets
In a competitive market, your employer wants a lean mean productivity machine. Our survey showed that employees are motivated to stay in their current jobs by, among other things, opportunities for career progression, a good work culture and having ownership of their roles. However this is only when money is ‘off the table’ so if employees are feeling the pinch, their productivity falls which is bad news for employers.
If giving a pay rise will ensure increased productivity for the business, an employer is likely to show willing so make sure you’re hitting your targets, meeting goals and if you’re not – talk about how you can turn it around so that you are. Showing that you have the drive to better yourself will earn you brownie points!
2. Keep track of your achievements
Employees should keep careful records of how their actions helped the bottom line of their company, or helped other team members improve the bottom line of the company. No one is going to hold your hand and remind you of the great things you did all year so keep track and share them with your manager at the appropriate time.
Reminders of your worth need to be rooted in evidence so identify which targets you have exceeded and which problems you have solved – you need evidence that is quantitative to make your case. You may go home every day exhausted but comforted that you’ve put in another sterling performance at the office, but your boss won’t be monitoring your every move. If you're working all hours, increasing profits and averting disasters, prove it.
3. Create your own value
When employees take on responsibilities that weren’t originally in the scope of their work, an employer is going to sit up and take notice. It’s possible to create a position for yourself by making a suggestion, implementing it and taking ownership of it. In doing so, you add value to the business and it’s only fair that you are compensated for that. Remember that simply doing what is asked of you in your role isn’t going to make an overwhelmingly convincing case for a pay rise. Instead you want to demonstrate that you have delivered more than you’ve been asked for.
4. Remember that you are expensive to replace
Your organisation has invested time and money in you. Savvy bosses understand that unhappy and underpaid employees are under-performing employees, which helps no one. It’s a drain on their time to have to re-hire and train a replacement that fits the corporate culture. So if you have a legitimate request and have performed well, you do have a certain amount of leverage. Just remember, you can’t expect your employer to give you a pay rise in response to a threat to quit. The cost of replacing you is a significant out-of-pocket expense, not to mention a major hassle, but it isn’t the one and only reason you’re worth hanging on to.
5. Play fair
We are hard-wired for fairness so mere mention of disproportionate salary differentials is probably enough to kick in an employer’s desire to operate a fair system of reward. If you have supportive evidence your salary is at sub-market levels, you should speak up. But do your homework. Look at salary surveys, cost-of-living comparisons, and rates of compensation within your organisation, if possible. If you are aware that colleagues are earning more than you, tread carefully. You don’t want to put others in a negative light or violate a corporate written or unwritten rule about knowing what others earn. Simply present what the field generally pays, and why you believe your performance is at the top of your game.
To read the full survey and download your own copy just click here.
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