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West Australian — An expert’s six-step guide to getting the pay rise you deserve

The West Australian
As our labour market tightens and skill shortages increase across the nation, an employee's bargaining power has never been greater, when retention is crucial in this climate. Asking for a pay rise can be incredibly nerve racking, however preparing yourself beforehand can help calm your nerves and feel more confident.

Below are six steps in asking for a pay rise which could make the difference being your boss saying yes to your request for more money or it getting knocked back.

Tip 1: Outline your achievements and prepare evidence
This is hugely important. You need to show your boss why you deserve a salary increase and you need to have all the evidence prepared. Prove your value to the organisation with examples of great work; it’s not enough to say that inflation is rising so you need a pay rise. We all face that. Have the evidence ready to prove your productivity.

Tip 2: Know your worth
You should research salaries being paid for comparable roles in the marketplace; if you’re being paid less than that, that’s good evidence that you’re being underpaid for the job you’re doing, as long as you are doing it well. This can add a lot of weight to your request as it is evidence of what you are worth in the job market. Speak to a recruitment consultant that specialises in your field. You could also search up current salary surveys for your position.

Tip 3: Don’t get emotional
Use clear and calm language when asking for more money and try not to don’t be embarrassed. You’ve done your research, so you know what you are worth. If your boss immediately says you don’t deserve a pay rise or they can’t afford it, keep your cool and keep going. State why you are valuable to the organisation and give examples of your achievements. Now is not the time to be shy.

Tip 4: Practice to improve your negotiation skills
Asking for a pay rise can be nerve-wracking, so It’s important to practise. The more prepared and confident you appear, the more likely you will be the get your boss’s ear when you ask for a pay rise. If you haven’t prepared well, your employer might think you aren’t serious about going elsewhere if they say no. So, practise in front of the mirror and if you can, practice with another manager who manages staff so they can assess how compelling your arguments are and give feedback.

Tip 5: If you can’t get more money, ask for flexibility or other perks
With inflation and interest rates quickly rising, costs are ballooning for employers. So, even if you ask, some employers may not have the funds to grant your request. If this is the case, it could be worthwhile asking for greater flexibility. Workers who feel their employers offer enough flexible options are 2.6 times more likely to be happy in their jobs, according to LinkedIn. Other perks such as flexibility when hours are worked, assistance with further education, gym memberships free stuff lunches can all lead to happier employees if more money isn’t possible. Know what your options are in the workplace if there are other things you need, other than more money.

Tip 6: Prepare for a Plan B if the answer is a definite no
Just because your employer says no this time, even after hearing all of your arguments, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask again. Don’t get discouraged because all employers will have to fight harder to keep staff on their books as 2022 rolls into 2023 and the labour market likely tightens even further. If your boss says no now, ask again for a pay rise try again in six months’ time, just before 2023 begins. In the meantime, arm yourself with evidence on your productivity and value to the organisation so you are even better prepared next time.

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