How to ask for a pay rise

We’ve all been there. You’re stood outside your manager’s door, palms sweating, hands shaking, waiting to ask if you can get a pay rise.

Given today’s economic climate, we understand it is a very daunting task. However, it is a necessary evil you should perform correctly in order to ensure that your wage is in line with the effort you are putting into your work.

This post aims to assist you in how to prepare to ask for a pay rise before the meeting, during the meeting and after the meeting.

Before the meeting

The first step is to arrange a meeting with your manager some time in advance, indicating to them what you plan on talking about. It’s important to make them aware of what you want to talk about as the last thing you want to do is randomly bring up the topic when they are having a bad day.

The timing of the meeting is vital as, for example, if you have recently been heavily involved in a project, it would be the perfect time to explain why you would like a healthier wage, rather than if the organisation had just issued a profit warning.

Make sure you have researched fully. Find out what people in a similar job role are earning at your company’s competitors organisations and check job descriptions online as they will often feature salaries. This will give you a clear indicator of what you want.

You could also collate a small report of your past achievements and some testimonials from customers, colleagues or senior management. However, make sure to keep it short and sweet as you don’t want to bore your boss!

Finally, make sure you are being noticed and seen before the meeting. You want your manager to know you as a person rather than just a number. You won’t be recognised if you are hiding in the shadows.

The meeting

You always need to see things from the perspective of your manager when discussing the possibility of a pay rise.

Here’s some questions to focus on:

  • Why do you deserve a pay rise?
  • How will an extra wage help the company?
  • What financial benefits have you bought to the firm?
  • How well have you helped towards the functioning of your department?
  • Have you brought new ideas to the table?

Remember to avoid things like sob stories, emotional breakdowns and threats that you are going to walk out if things don’t go your way. It’s important to stay calm.

If you feel that your manager is being difficult, you should suggest that a pay review should be arranged at a later date.

After the meeting

Remember, miracles don’t happen overnight, it will take time.

Generally, you need to be quite realistic, and understand that instead of a pay rise, you may be offered other perks such as medical cover, a bonus, employee share plans or an addition to your pension.

Don’t expect too much, your company will have a standard procedure in which it deals with promotions and pay rises. At the same time, avoid being a pushover.

If there is no hope that a pay rise could happen in the near future, and you think you are being taken advantage of, it may be time to consider moving on.

Asking for a pay rise in hospitality jobs is ultimately a balancing act, but if done correctly, it may not be long before you begin to reap the rewards.


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