Pay rise or not to pay rise – That is the question!

If I were to ask you what the words ‘pay rise’ mean to you, would your answer be different now, to say 12 months ago? 

It’s no surprise that the cost of living is impacting most of us and although wages for some are increasing, they’re not keeping up with the rises in basic costs such as food, energy & utility bills, travel costs and many other things that enable us to work. 

So, to ask for a pay rise from your employer especially if you feel you’re not being paid enough, well that can be tricky to approach, as we’ve seen in the increasing number of strikes across the UK for a range of different industries. 

Having been in HR what feels like forever, I’ve been involved in many pay negotiations in that time, so today I’d like to share some of my experiences, to help you achieve a successful outcome.

It’s all in the timing: Like most things in life, choosing the right moment is key. You should have time to prepare your case for the pay rise and give your employer that time too. By being upfront about what you want to chat about allows your employer to do their research, look at the numbers and work out if a deal can be made. 

Confidently does it: Prepare, prepare and prepare some more! Doing your research into industry salaries, benefits etc and turning up to the meeting with everything you need to help put your case across will support a successful outcome. Have an idea of what you want to come away with, and most of all know your worth!

Flexibility: It’s likely especially in today’s climate, that the outcome won’t result in a significant increase, if at all. Emotions can run high in these situations, especially if you think you’re not being paid your worth – try not to lose motivation. Look outside the box, there are other ways that you can negotiate such as additional benefits like working from home, additional flexibility in your role, investment in your development to advance your career etc. Think longer term benefits too. 

Discussions around pay is not something that comes easy to many of us, it’s not a very British ‘thing’ to do right!? Finding a way to approach it that feels comfortable to you is key. Do your due diligence and be prepared and most of all don’t give up! Although, you may not get the outcome you want first time, that’s not to say discussions should stay off the table. Don’t be afraid to ask for timescales to review the situation and get those discussions booked in the diary, so there’s a bit of a plan in place.

Remember, there are always opportunities out there. At the minute at least, it still is quite a candidate market. It can be emotionally and mentally draining doing a job where you feel underpaid and undervalued, if you’re not being listened to or motivated, perhaps its time to look elsewhere. Sometimes, knowing when it’s the right time to move on is just as important as trying to negotiate better terms and conditions where you are currently. 

Pay rise or not to pay rise – That is the question!