How To Ask For A Pay Rise Amid The Cost Of Living Crisis

How To Ask For A Pay Rise Amid The Cost Of Living Crisis

As if the cost of living crisis couldn’t get any worse, the Bank of England suggested on May 5 that inflation is “likely to rise to around 10%” by the end of 2022. As reported by BBC News, prices have already risen to the highest rate in 40 years, with an annual inflation rate of 9%. “It’s not easy out there right now and many individuals and small businesses are struggling with rising energy costs and food prices,” Natalie Hall, Managing Director and Accredited Executive Coach at career coaching service Elevate Her notes.

But as inflation continues to rise, most salaries “are failing to keep pace” with the cost of living according to The Telegraph, leaving millions of Britons in financial difficulty. If you are one of the many people in this situation, there is a (rather daunting) option — asking for a pay rise. “For many, the prospect of negotiating a pay rise is an experience often weighed down by fears of unsettling their current work situation,” Simon Wingate, Managing Director of job recruiting site Reed says. “This fear can paralyse employees and lead them to avoid exploring the idea of a formal meeting.”

This is especially the case for women. A recent YouGov survey published by The Guardian in April showed that 1 in 5 women who ask for pay rises are less successful than men. So what can you do to increase your chances of successfully achieving a salary increase? Below, we reached out to six experts for advice on how to confidently ask for a pay rise in the current climate.

Knowing & comparing your salary

Being aware of how your salary compares to others in your company and the industry average “may strengthen your position when it comes to bargaining and also help prevent your employer from taking advantage of you,” James Andrews, Senior Personal Advisor at online comparison service money.co.uk indicates. By searching on job sites like Indeed and LinkedIn, you can research what’s being offered for similar roles. Andrews recommends that if you find “it’s less than what you’re currently on”, you can “use that information as an asset in your negotiations.”

Indeed, Totaljobs, and Reed also offer salary checkers, which will “show your employer that your request is fully reasonable and in line with market expectations,” Wingate advises. Indeed highlights that “knowing regional and national salary bands will really help set the bar at the right level and manage expectations for both you and your employer”, adding that “with inflation at a record high, also make sure you understand the percentage increase needed for your pay to keep pace.”

Naming a figure

Once you’ve settled on a figure, Andrews emphasizes that you must “choose [the amount] carefully” before presenting it to your employer. “It’s important to name a figure that will result in a noticeable difference in your take-home pay, but doesn’t appear arrogant or outrageous,” he says. Hall emphasises that “it’s better to present a business case for a salary you think you deserve and negotiate from there.”

Ellie Green, Resident Job Expert at hiring platform Totaljobs, adds that “while it’s important to be ambitious, make sure your expectations are realistic.”

Consider the timing

Even if you’re confident with the figure you want to present, timing is key. “Many businesses and industries are recovering from the impacts of COVID-19,” Andrews says, “so your request for a pay rise needs to be backed up by hard evidence or recent achievements.”

Being aware of your employer’s performance is also imperative. “Don’t just assume that because you are feeling the pinch that your employer is too,” Hall stresses. She recommends staying up to date with your company’s financial position and to touch base with your bosses about the performance of your sector. “Referencing the financial context for the company will give weight to your conversations,” she says.

Arrange a face-to-face meeting

Firstly, it’s important to get in touch with the right person. “Going above [your manager] will play out badly politically in the vast majority of cases,” Green warns. The next step is to consider your relationship with your manager. While “raising the subject informally may prove to be more successful for some,” Green continues, “managers typically prefer a formal approach.”

Both Green and James recommend organising something that’s face-to-face rather than over email. “Giving someone a video call or pulling them to one side in the office also shows your confidence and how important it is,” Green says. Having the discussion in person also saves the risk of being perceived the wrong way. Andrews adds that face-to-face meetings can make “it harder for your boss to say no or ignore, and lets you show you have the confidence in yourself and in your work, even in these trying times.”

Remember to document your discussion after the meeting, and “make sure any conversations you have are followed up on email so there’s a clear paper trail of your requests and your achievements are well documented,” Green notes.

Sell yourself

Any decision your manager makes “will be a balance between their bottom line and the value you bring,” Green acknowledges, “so make sure you come with a comprehensive overview of what you’ve achieved over the last year.” As Hall asserts, “you need to demonstrate the business need for paying you more”. You can do this by “sharing your accomplishments and achievements” as this will illustrate “why the company needs to retain you” and exemplifies “the value that you bring.”

And if the company or business you work for is “experiencing a period of growth”, Wingate stresses to “highlight the value-adding role you are playing and how your efforts have contributed to this broader success.” Above all else, Green advises to “always remember to tie this back to business results. Money talks!”

Work with the answer

As Indeed notes, “not all employers will be able to match salary expectations but they may be able to offer other forms of compensation, such as travel subsidies or the option to work from home.” That’s why it’s beneficial “to weigh up the total package and how that will impact your outgoings” in the long run.

Wingate emphasises that even if you’re not happy with the outcome, try to “leave the door open to future conversations”. You can also broach other schemes and ideas like “new projects or responsibilities that may result in future progression or additional pay,” as Hall notes. “Try and be positive thinking and forward-looking.”

Don’t be afraid to walk away

If you find a better offer elsewhere by comparing salaries with other companies, don’t worry about switching jobs. Indeed says that because “average pay growth in the UK remains so low […] often the best way of securing a raise is by switching jobs.” They note that it’s important to remember to “not be afraid to walk away if the offer does not fairly meet your expectations or financial needs.”

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Last Update: Thu, 02 Jun 22 09:31:46