Over this last year has your job increased in times of its remit and responsibilities? Have you found that you are taking on additional activities but yet your pay has not changed? Is the frustration of doing more for the same amount of pay beginning to wear on you and there is a sense of resentment creeping in? However, then you look around you and friends and family members are being furloughed or even made redundant and you start to feel ashamed for being ungrateful?

When it is ok to ask for a pay review and what should you consider when putting your request forward?

In order for a positive outcome to your request, there needs to be 1) a clear rationale showing your contribution warrants an increase in pay and 2) the organisation needs to be able to afford it. Do you really know how the organisation is performing and if not do you have access to this level of information? Even though you may have a strong argument for an increase, if there is no money available then you need to be realistic. In addition to understanding the organisation’s performance results, other signs that an organisation may be struggling financially is if they have made redundancies and/or recruitment has stopped, have other staff being placed on furlough and what has been the bonus payment in comparison to other years? Consider the wider context to understand how your pay increase request is likely to be received.

For a pay increase outside of any general cost of living changes your chances of success will increase if you can present evidence which demonstrates the following:

  • Your level of successful performance in the role.
  • How your role has evolved in terms of size, responsibilities and accountabilities.

Start to collate evidence which shows your level of contribution in the organisation, what are the key metrics that are used to assess your performance. What milestones, challenges have you personally achieved. When presenting your proposal consider what is important to the person receiving it, what is it that they value and would see as important. Are they a numbers person who will want statistical information, or are they all about anecdotal feedback, customer reviews and understanding the story? Present your evidence in a way that will get their attention.

In my personal as a Human Resource (HR) professional for over 20 years, the most successful individual pay review requests have been when a person could clearly articulate how their job had changed permanently. For example, if you have now found yourself picking up responsibility for another area of the business that previously sat elsewhere. Consider these questions to help you:

  • How has your job change in terms of new activities - If you wrote a list of your responsibilities previously and compared it to your job now what are the additional things you now are accountable for?
  • How has your job changed in terms of size – are there more people to manage, more customers to interact with, has the budget responsibilities increased, have you taken on the work of colleagues?
  • How has your job changed in terms of the level of difficulty – have changes in legislation, or new software or products added different complexities to your role? Does your job now entail greater risk on your part or further qualifications to be obtained?

If you can clearly show a before and after picture, it can help demonstrate the magnitude of the changes you role has undergone.

Lastly consider when the optimal time to present your request is. If your organisation has a specific time in the year when salaries are reviewed, this is your ideal time as this will be when the organisation has an allocated budget to work with. However, don’t leave it too late, I recommend you start to have these conversations at least 3 months before the actual review timeframe.

However, if this is too pressing or your organisation doesn’t operate in this way then think about when your case will be best received. Have you just completed something which supports your argument, are you being asked to take on additional tasks? If your department has experienced a high level of resignations this can also strengthen your case, as they may be fearful of losing more people.

If you feel the resentment kicking in because your job has changed and this hasn't be recognised, then it is time to take action.  Understanding the wider context can help you understand the perspective from which your manager is operating in and the likelihood of your success.  Requesting a salary review can be an uncomfortable and challenging conversation, but denying a request which has clearly been thought through and presented with facts is hard particularly if the business performance and your performance are strong.

If you need help presenting your case for a pay review then book yourself in for a Power Hour

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