How to negotiate a pay rise

Dan’s recently taken on more responsibility at work. He thinks he deserves a pay rise but is nervous about asking his boss.

Here’s how we’d help Dan deal with this problem. You can use the same strategies to present an effective case for a pay rise to your own employer.

Act as though your boss will say ‘yes’

Dan’s worried he’ll offend his boss. He also thinks his boss won’t hear him out and will look for reasons to say no.

Like Dan, you might not feel comfortable asking for a pay rise. But don’t assume your request will be turned down. If you do, your negative outlook will probably come across. Have conviction in the merits of your request. Confidence can be convincing.

Demonstrate value

Show that serving your interests is also in your boss’s best interests.

Dan can highlight how his extra responsibilities have benefited his employer. You could do the same. Have you taken on extra work? How have you brought extra value (increased profits/sales, a successful project, great customer feedback)? Your request will be more persuasive if you back it up with evidence and concrete examples.

Maybe you’re not being paid market value or a coworker is being paid more for the same job. Again, get the evidence that supports your case.

Evaluate the risks

Dan’s boss can be difficult to approach. Dan needs to analyse the risks before his meeting.

Take a similar approach and assess the risks. What is the risk of conflict arising? What are the risks (and alternatives) if you don’t get what you’d like? What are the risks of aiming high?

Ultimatums can be dangerous – use with caution! However, would backing down be a realistic option? Bear in mind that your boss may have valid reasons for saying no.

Keep emotions in check

Dan knows to control his emotions. An emotional outburst is likely to cause conflict.

You don’t have to suppress your emotions. It’s okay to acknowledge that you’re upset, disappointed or angry. But try to do this rationally and without blame. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you.

Book a personal coaching session with Eleanor. Contact us now.

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