What not to say when asking for a payrise

2021 sparked the great resignation where 1 in 4 people within the UK left their current workplace.

According to Google trend data, the search term how to ask for a pay rise, has seen a 225.57% uplift within the last month alone (Jan 22). Such data indicates that the events of the past 18 months, along with the typical tendency to re-evaluate personal circumstances at the end of the year, has sparked the UK to take action to develop their career.

Salary is often at the centre of any career progression.

Here, Oliver Atikinson a Atkinson Chartered Accountants presents 7 things what not to say when asking for a pay rise.

‘My rent has gone up; I hold personal debt and I’m trying to save’

Personal finances are often the biggest motivator when asking for a rise. Covid 19 has impacted much of the nation’s funds, making it appealing to ask your workplace for a pay rise. However, the health of your personal finances and the salary you receive are two separate entities. When initiating the discussion of a pay rise, do not bring up the subject of your personal finances. It’s unlikely that the decision maker will justify a pay rise with the reasoning of, ‘the employee requires additional income to accommodate their increase in rent’. Instead, ensure that the discussion is solely focussed on your contribution to the workplace and your responsibilities.

‘If my request is denied, I will leave’

Ultimately, its wise not to present ultimatums unless you’re willing to execute them. Ultimatums can not only be perceived as aggressive but may come back to haunt you if you are forced to see them through. Of course, make plans that outline the actions you will take for the potential outcomes of the meeting, however, keep them to yourself as they may change.

‘I’ve been here a few years now’

Often, a hard fact to except is that the amount of time accumulated in a workplace is irrelevant to the amount of salary you receive. This is because the time accrued doesn’t represent what you have contributed towards the business itself. For instance, a person who receives the same salary but has only been within the workplace for half the time that you have may have brought more of a financial benefit, amassed a higher workload, and made double the connections. Instead of suggesting a raise based on your years of service, present all of the ‘wins’ that you have obtained throughout your employment and how these have benefited the business. Make it clear that you are loyal to the workplace with suggestions on how you can progress.

‘I know what they earn’

If you learn that the salaries of your colleagues are higher than yours, it’s best to refrain from comparing your skills directly to theirs. Its likely that this will be interpreted as a passive aggressive move to belittle your colleagues to elevate yourself within the business.

Of course, if you feel that your colleagues are receiving a higher wage as the result of the likes of discrimination, then discuss the matter with HR.

‘Here’s my job spec, here’s examples of me doing the job’

Evidence is a vital asset when negotiating a pay rise. Collecting stats and data on how you have surpassed what is expected of you within your role is a great way of presenting why you are deserving of a pay rise. If your actions align with your job spec only, it can be harder to negotiate a role unless you truly feel that your current salary is not a representation of the work it takes to execute your role.

‘Despite the atmosphere…’

Its no secret that the past 18 months have been difficult for UK businesses in every sector. Several may be experiencing the impact of covid for years to come. Remember to read the room before asking for a raise. If redundancies have been made, clients lost or sales scarce, really evaluate the position of the business before you ask of a raise.

‘It’s annoying, the workload is high, I always work late, I help them all the time’

It’s important that the conversation of a pay rise is always kept positive. If you enter talks that consist of consistent moaning, its likely to create a negative atmosphere that leads to the prospect of resigning rather than how to progress.

Ever talk of a pay rise should be positive with tangible evidence that is relevant to your role and an outline of where you see yourself within the company going forward.



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