How to ask for a pay rise

Want to ask for a pay rise? In this exclusive article from Go Zambia Jobs we outline 5 tips to help you when approaching the issue of asking for a pay rise.

1. Be prepared

There is little point preparing your case for a pay rise if your employer will refuse, or worse still – take offence. Think about how your employer may react to your request and whether the benefits of making your case for a pay rise will be greater than the potential costs. Once you have done this find out what is an appropriate amount of pay for someone of your skills and experience. If you can, find out what others in your organisation are paid or what people doing a similar job in other organisations are paid.

2. Find out who to approach

Who is the right person to ask about a pay rise within your organisation? Is it your line-manager, human resource manager or the owner of the company? The procedure can vary from organisation to organisation and it is important that you select the right person to approach so that (a) your approach is received by someone able to make this decision and (b) you do not offend anyone by not asking them. Once you have found out who to approach it is important to get your timing right. Try to avoid ambushing them in the office and demanding that they listen to your request. Instead, ask them for a meeting or raise the issue during your annual appraisal or review.

3. Show you are an asset to your organisation

Just because you think you are worth a pay rise it does not mean that your employer will instantly agree – you may have to convince them that you are worth the extra pay. Write down all the good things you have done this year, how you have helped your organisation make money, save money or improve quality. You can then use this information in your discussions with your employer.

4. Remove emotion 

Try to take emotion out of the issue. Rehearse what you want to say and practice how you will handle your employers responses – this will help you to stay calm. Avoid arguing or upsetting your employer as this could lead to problems in the future.

5. Be professional

If your request for a pay rise is refused stay calm and try to act professionally. There are many reasons why your request might have been refused and it is important for you to find out these reasons. Some of these reasons could include:

  • The company is struggling and insufficient funds to make pay awards at the current time
  • There are certain targets or performance indicators that you need to meet in order for them to justify the increase in pay
  • You are being considered for a promotion (!) rather than a pay rise

Whatever the reason(s) it is important for you to understand them so you know exactly what you need to demonstrate in the future to achieve your desired pay increase. Ask about what you can do in order to get a raise, and ask when you can talk about it again. Keep a record of the conversation, and then follow it up after the appropriate time. Even though your request for a pay rise may have been denied you may be able to negotiate other improvements to your employment package such as additional training or increased holiday entitlements.

Further Information

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