5 Steps for Negotiating a Pay Rise

Knowing how to ask for a pay rise can be crucial for any employee.

After years spent proving your value to your employer, you might find that you’re no longer being compensated properly for the talent and skills you deliver. Negotiating a pay raise ensures you can continue to thrive in your role and achieve your financial goals.

You are entirely within your rights to advocate for fair compensation that aligns with your skills, contributions and experience. However, requesting extra money from your manager can be challenging.

Here, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to improve your chances of successfully getting the salary and remuneration you deserve.

Step 1: Research and Understand Your Market Value

Currently, around half of all workers feel as though they’re underpaid. However, many people don’t know how much they should earn. Before you start asking your employer for a specific salary level, you should be able to explain why you chose that figure.

Research your industry and learn as much as possible about the average salaries offered to people in your niche with the same skills and experience. Benchmarking your salary against other professionals in your field will help you choose a reasonable number to request.

It’s also worth considering the factors that could mean you’re worth more than the average employee. If you’ve accomplished many things in recent years or received industry recognition and awards, this could mean you deserve a higher income.

Collect as much data as you can about salary data and market trends in your sector and your various accomplishments so that you can validate your request.

Step 2: Highlight Your Accomplishments and Contributions

Effectively negotiating a pay raise means knowing how to make a case and “sell yourself” as a valuable employee. Your manager needs to understand how your value as a staff member should influence your remuneration.

Throughout your time with any business, it’s worth ensuring you constantly record and document your achievements with measurable results, statistics and evidence. This will make presenting your case to your boss easier when you want a promotion or a raise.

Highlight tangible and intangible benefits of your work, such as increased revenue, customer satisfaction, or client retention.

It may also be worth collecting statements from colleagues who can support your claims and promote your value.

Step 3: Develop a Well-Structured Proposal

Negotiating a pay rise is about making a well-structured request rather than a demand. When approaching your boss, it’s worth taking a “sales” approach, drawing attention to the clear value you bring to your role and the broader company and your reasons for requesting a raise.

Make sure you’re ready to outline exactly what kind of payrise you’re looking for and why you’re asking for a specific number, with insights into market data. Highlight what you’ve done to earn the increased remuneration with case studies, presentations and examples of your work.

For instance, if you’re requesting a raise because you believe you’ve helped the company to make more money in the last year, draw attention to financial figures. If you think you’re contributing well as a leader, express your accomplishments when leading projects and other teams with comments from your colleagues.

Establish a timeline for when you’d like your company to increase your salary and ask what you can do to ensure they feel confident in their decision to give you a raise.

Step 4: Practice Effective Negotiation Techniques

Even with an excellent proposal, there’s always a chance your line manager will say no to your request. This means you’ll need to leverage your negotiation techniques.

For instance, if your boss says they can’t afford to give you a raise right now, ask them when you can arrange to meet again once the budget has changed. See things from the company’s perspective and actively listen to your employer’s feedback.

When negotiating your raise:

  • Know where you’re willing to compromise: It’s okay to compromise on your raise, but you should know what you’re ready to accept. If your boss refuses to compromise with you, you may need to consider a different role.
  • Ask how you can earn the raise: Ask your employer what you can do to improve your chances of getting a raise in the short-term future. Create an action plan together and arrange a follow-up meeting in a few months.
  • Highlight the benefits to the business: Draw attention to how a raise will benefit you and the business. Explain how it will help you to be more productive by improving your financial and mental wellbeing. Show your employer how updating their remuneration strategy can help them to improve their employer branding.

Step 5: Explore Alternative Compensation and Benefits

Sometimes, there are valid reasons why a employer might not be able to accommodate a raise. The company you’re working with might not have enough money to facilitate a raise initially. However, they may still be willing to work with you to improve your overall satisfaction before they can increase your salary.

This may or may not be what you want to hear and could be a deal breaker; only you can decide.

If an increase to your salary isn’t an option and you are willing to be flexible, ask whether you can access any other benefits or rewards as a valuable employee. You might be able to request additional holiday days, performance bonuses, or flexible working.

These benefits can all be valuable to your work-life balance and wellbeing. Plus, opportunities to work from home or access free training from your employer can save you money and further advance your career.

Earn the Raise You Deserve

Securing a pay increase requires a strategic approach to effective communication and negotiation. Researching your market value, highlighting your accomplishments and developing a well-structured proposal will help you to make a compelling case for your manager.

At the same time, knowing how to negotiate, when to compromise and whether to explore other benefits and compensation options can boost your chances of success.

If you still can’t get the raise you deserve, the next step may be to consider looking for an alternative role.

Neil Scarborough

Managing Director

At The Recruiting Office, we have been helping firms with their talent acquisition, and a wide range of job seekers find their ideal roles for almost a decade and have successfully placed hundreds of top tier candidates.

If you want to find out how we can help you – call us on 01603 964816 or email neil@therecruitingoffice.co.uk

Further reading:

Why Developing a Growth Mindset Might Get You That New Role

How the right body language can ensure interview success