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How To Ask For A Pay Rise

Two people shake hands over a table covered with pieces of paper

Asking for a pay rise can be a nerve-wracking experience, but don’t let that deter you. If you feel that your salary could do with an update then you are well within your rights to discuss this with your boss. We’ve put together some handy tips to help you have a successful salary negotiation – check them out below.

Know Your Value

The first thing you need to know is the figure you’re going to ask for. It’s important to make sure that you go in with a realistic number so that you don’t undervalue yourself, but also to make sure that you don’t get laughed out of the door. Check out job sites to see what your competitors are offering, use online salary-checking tools like Glassdoor or Great Place To Work, and see if your colleagues are willing to disclose what they are being paid. Knowing this information will help you to benchmark yourself and give you added confidence while negotiating the raise you want. If it turns out that you are already being paid above the typical salary for your job it could be harder to negotiate a raise, but not impossible. Have a clear figure in mind of what to ask for but, as with all negotiations, aim a little higher than you are hoping for.

Build Your Case with Evidence

Now you know the figure you want, it’s time you need to prove that you deserve it. You’ll need to prove that you have added value to the company above and beyond your day to day responsibilities, or have excelled beyond expectations. Read carefully through your job description to identify additional duties and responsibilities that you have taken on, and collate a list of all of the goals you have achieved for the company. You should note any accomplishments that benefit the company through saving costs, boosting productivity or implementing new processes, along with any contribution that was more than your job demanded. Actions speak louder than words, so make sure you have solid evidence to back up your claims.

Ask at the Right Time

The usual times to discuss a pay rise are at an annual performance review or at the end of a financial year, but you can raise the issue at any time – you just need to be mindful of when. If your employer has just announced good financial results or a successful project has been completed, they are likely to be a lot more receptive than if they have just lost a major contract. When arranging the meeting to discuss your wage with your manager, let them know in advance what it’s regarding so that they also have time to prepare. You should also take into account how long it has been since your last raise – your employer is less likely to be open to negotiating a new pay rise if you have already had one within the past year. Of course, there are exceptions to this, particularly if you have taken on extra responsibility in the meantime.

Be Confident

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge you need, it’s important to conduct yourself well during the negotiation meeting. Treat the meeting like a job interview: dress smartly, have a clear idea of what you are going to say and speak with conviction. Make sure to keep it objective rather than emotional – your boss doesn’t need to know that you’re trying to save for a holiday or that your rent has gone up – and avoid ‘soft’ phrases like “I was hoping to…” which could undermine your point. Keep the focus on being rational and calm, consistently demonstrating your value to the company to highlight to your manager why you are worth investing more in. As with anything in life, it might not go the way you’d hoped. If your request is turned down, don’t be disheartened. Ask your employer to set you some objectives to reach over the course of a few months to allow you to further prove your contribution to the workplace. You should also try to arrange a follow-up meeting with a set date to discuss these objectives later down the line, which will give you a second opportunity to ask for the raise you want.

A negotiation should leave both parties feeling happy in the aftermath. Use it as an opportunity to show your employer just how successful you’ve been and how this has impacted their bottom line. But you should also be prepared to compromise if necessary. Ultimately, if you can prove your worth beyond doubt then there is little reason for them not to accommodate your request to some degree. 

Top Tips for Asking for a Pay Rise:

  • Know your value
  • Build your case with evidence
  • Ask at the right time
  • Be confident

To learn more about Mitrefinch’s software for time and attendance, for workforce management or for HR, contact us today.

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