This article covers:
- The ten-step approach for employees planning to ask management/HR for a pay rise
- Prepare and research
- Schedule a meeting
- Present your case
- Discuss your market value
- Describe your growth and development
- Request a specific pay rise
- Show flexibility
- What to avoid when asking for a pay rise
One of our directors, Rich Lesser, collaborated with ABC Finance and TruthGroupSpeaks LLC to create actionable tips on how to approach asking for a pay rise.
Rich shared that “the important thing here is not to make this a highly emotional or angry confrontation. Have open body language and a calm, controlled voice, and remember to smile. Clearly describe why you deserve a pay rise and the amount you are looking for”.
The ten-step approach for employees planning to ask management/HR for a pay rise
Prepare and Research
Marla from TruthGroupSpeaks explains, “Research industry standards and salary ranges for your role and experience level. Identify specific achievements, contributions, and additional responsibilities that justify your request. Prepare a compelling case for why you deserve a pay raise”.
Rich agreed that you should “research what the external market is paying and use that evidence too”.
Schedule a Meeting
“Request a meeting with your manager or HR to discuss your compensation. Use a professional and polite tone when making the request”.
Rich would “approach this with your line manager during a review or email asking for a meeting and then calmly sit down and discuss”. He recommends “maybe include HR, or alternatively see how you get on with your line manager before raising with HR”.
“Begin the conversation by expressing your appreciation for your opportunities and experiences with the company. State that you want to discuss your compensation and career growth within the organisation”.
Present Your Case
“Highlight your accomplishments, contributions, and any additional responsibilities you have taken on. Emphasise how your work has positively impacted the company’s success and objectives. Reference any positive feedback, recognition, or awards you have received”.
Rich added, “You need to be evidence-based and list achievements and deliverables you have met to back up your pay rise”.
Discuss Market Value
“Share your research on industry salary ranges for your role and experience level. Explain how your current salary may not align with the market value of your skills and expertise.
Describe Your Growth and Development
“Discuss your professional growth and any skills or qualifications you have acquired since your last salary review. Emphasise how your increased knowledge and experience bring added value to the organisation”.
Request a Specific Pay Raise
“Clearly state the specific pay raise you are seeking, using a reasonable and well-justified figure based on your research. Explain why this increase is appropriate and fair given your contributions and market value”.
“Demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to discuss alternative forms of compensation, such as additional benefits, professional development opportunities, or performance-based bonuses”.
Active Listening and Response
“Remain attentive and open to your manager or HR’s response. Listen carefully to their feedback and be prepared to address any concerns they may raise. Maintain a professional and respectful demeanour throughout the conversation”.
Rich added, “Don’t be afraid of silence and let your manager talk/consider the request. Remember that you have been thinking about this for a while, but your manager might not have, so be considerate and give them a chance to speak/respond”.
Follow-up and Next Steps
“Summarise the key points discussed during the meeting. If a decision cannot be reached immediately, inquire about the next steps and when you can expect a response or further discussion”.
What to avoid when asking management/HR for a pay rise
- Avoid an entitled or demanding tone: “Phrases to avoid: ‘I deserve a raise’ or ‘You need to give me a pay increase’. Instead, focus on presenting a well-justified case and discussing your value to the company”.
- Avoid being unprepared or uninformed: “Do not go into the meeting without researching industry standards or your own accomplishments. Instead, come prepared with relevant information and a clear case for why you deserve a pay raise”.
- Avoid comparing yourself negatively to others: “Phrases to avoid: ‘John makes more money than me, so I should get a raise too’. Instead, emphasise your own achievements and contributions without negatively referencing others.
- Avoid being confrontational or argumentative: “Maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout the conversation. Avoid becoming defensive or aggressive if met with questions or challenges”.
- Avoid making ultimatums or threats: “Phrases to avoid: ‘If I don’t get a raise, I’m going to quit’ or ‘I’ll start looking for another job if you don’t increase my pay’. Instead, focus on the value you bring to the organisation and the benefits of investing in your growth”. Rich agrees, “Do not threaten to leave unless you mean it and remember that begging is not a good look”.
- Avoid nonverbal cues that convey disinterest or disrespect: “Avoid slouching, crossing your arms, or displaying impatience during the conversation. Maintain eye contact and engage actively in the discussion”.
- Avoid oversharing personal financial difficulties: “While discussing financial goals or aspirations is okay, avoid disclosing personal financial struggles as the primary justification for a raise”.
- Avoid using emotional pleas without substantiating them with facts: “Instead of relying solely on emotions, present concrete examples of your achievements, responsibilities, and the value you bring to the organisation”.
- Avoid pressuring for an immediate decision: “Be open to a constructive dialogue and respect the decision-making process. Do not pressure or expect an immediate response during the meeting”.
- Avoid burning bridges or displaying a negative attitude: “Regardless of the outcome, maintain professionalism and a positive attitude. Accept the decision gracefully and consider discussing future opportunities for growth and development”.