Have you ever asked for a payrise?

I know I haven’t as I’ve been lucky enough to spend most of my career at companies which treated their staff with fairness and respect.

Did you know that Dave thinks you’re worth it?

Dave as in Cameron, our Prime Minister has told the British Chambers of Commerce that “It’s time Britain had a pay rise” based on the fact that falling costs are making it cheaper to do business and those savings should be passed onto us, the put upon British worker.

So, leaving aside the fact that a lot of companies undertake an annual pay review which is probably going on about now, how are you going to tackle this thorny subject?

With typical Brit embarrassment about mentioning money at all?

That wouldn’t be my top tip.

These, however, are worth a try:

Research the job market for the job you do now.
There are salary checkers on the internet, these are free tools so use them!
Look for job adverts to see what your company would have to offer to get your replacement in if you decided to move. Print details and keep them to hand.
Don’t ask colleagues, it’s a little on the crass side and may make both of you feel uncomfortable.

Know when to ask.
Scheduling a meeting is always the best way to proceed as you don’t want to catch your boss when they are about to rush off, when they have other concerns or at 4.30 on a Friday afternoon.

Make sure you are relaxed.
And by this I mean be prepared so you can state your case clearly and concisely. Have a think about taking the meeting offsite.

Dressed down Friday might not be the best day.
Dressing smartly still makes a difference, regardless of how talented or hardworking you are. There is a saying that goes “dress for the job you want, not the job you already have” – live by that mantra in the workplace.   

Have clear and justifable reasons.
Having been in the position where I had to justify why someone didn’t get the sparklingly amazing annual review they think they deserved my advice is this:
Have clear examples of where you have gone above and beyond expectations.
Demonstrate where you have been proactive, shown initiative, gone that extra mile, made life easy for your boss as they know they can trust you to steer the ship on a safe course when they aren’t there. Illustrate your worth with examples.
Understand that “Because I think I have done a good job this year” won’t cut it with anyone unless it is backed up with facts where you highlight your added value to the business.

Know when to keep quiet.
Make your pitch then let your message sink in and above all do not undo any good you have done your cause by arguing back or getting confrontational.

Remember your boss has an ego.
If the conversation isn’t going your way ask them for advice, “what would you do in my situation” or “how can I improve in readiness for next year” are invaluable tools as you are not questioning what they are saying, you are asking advice and showing that you want that pay rise (as long as you then act on it consistently).

Be cool, calm and collected.
Don’t bring any financial difficulty into your conversation or your need for a new car, a new house or a holiday. It isn’t a justification to anyone as to why you need more cash.  You justify your request via your actions in being a valued employee.

Make sure you follow up with an email so you have an audit trail for your conversation remembering to thank your boss for their time.
Listen to why the answer may not be a happy one for you and ask for and act upon any feedback. Remember there is another payround on the way and you just might be positioning yourself ideally for the following year.

What to do if the answer is no.
Easy for me to say but how about having a think about your alternative options as this is something I may just be able to help with.