Thinking about talking to your boss about your salary but don’t know how to go about it? You’re not alone! In fact, a Total Jobs survey found that two-thirds of employees were not comfortable with asking for a pay rise or discussing their salary.
Your salary is possibly the most sensitive topic to discuss with your employer. Nobody enjoys having that conversation. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think.
There are many reasons why you might want a pay rise, perhaps you feel like you are being underpaid and undervalued (that tends to be the most common reason). Or you’re simply struggling to cope with the rising cost of living.
Either way, it isn’t going to be easy. So, we’ve put together our top tips for talking to your boss about your salary.
1. Do Your Research Before You Talk To Your Boss About Your Salary
Going into any meeting without doing your research beforehand is a bad idea. Going into a meeting about your salary without doing research is even worse! There are a few things that you need to be clear of before you talk to your manager or boss about your salary.
Firstly, you should look into your employer’ pay practices. Does your employer usually give pay rises once a year after your annual review? If so, it’s unlikely that they’ll be willing to give you another. If not, you might be in luck. Maybe have a read over the employee handbook, it might mention the company’s policy regarding salary increase.
Also, do some research on the market pay rate. Look at how much other companies in the area are paying their employees with the same job description as your own. If you are being underpaid and could get a higher salary in the same job role elsewhere, it could work in your favour.
2. Plan Out What You’re Going To Say
Simply asking for a pay rise isn’t going to cut it. You need to put some serious thought into why you deserve a salary increase and then plan out how you’re going to put it forward to your boss or manager.
Let’s face it, your employer is going to want a good reason to give you a pay rise. So, make a list of goals that you have accomplished within your job role. Maybe you have landed a big client, successfully completing a large project, gone above and beyond for your customers or invested your time into staff development. Explain how your accomplishments have benefited the company and how you as an employee bring something positive to the team.
Also, outline any additional responsibilities you have taken on. Perhaps you have helped to train employees or have taken on a project that you wouldn’t usually be responsible for. The aim is to determine exactly why you deserve a salary increase.
When you are planning out what you’re going to say, remember to make notes. They’ll come in handy when you’re in the meeting!
3. Choose The Best Time To Talk To Your Boss About Your Salary
Timing is an important factor when talking to your boss about your salary. Blurting it out after a few glasses of Champagne at the Christmas party is certainly not the way to go. Even if you have a good relationship with your boss and are comfortable talking about sensitive topics, it’s still important that you set up a meeting and go about asking for a pay rise professionally.
Avoid talking to your boss about your salary if they are stressed or under a lot of pressure. Similarly, if the company itself is in a bad place, it’s probably best to put your pay rise quest on hold for a while. Around the time of your annual review is usually a great starting point for discussing your salary.
4. Request A Proper Meeting To Talk To Your Boss About Your Salary
As tempting as it may be, hinting at a pay rise whilst having a coffee with your boss isn’t a good idea. And mentioning it whilst in a meeting regarding something completely unrelated is also a bad idea. You employer won’t appreciate having the topic sprung on them.
So instead, request a proper meeting between yourself and your boss. It may even be a good idea to specify why you want the meeting. This way, your boss will set some time aside and it’s less likely that your meeting will be interrupted.
5. Don’t Get Overly Stressed
We understand how challenging it can be to talk to your boss about your salary. But getting worked up and stressed won’t do you any favours. You should be in the right frame of mind when going into the meeting. Perhaps spend a few minutes practising mindful breathing before you head into the meeting.
Of course, stress can’t always be avoided. It can sneak up on us and impact our work life. You can find some great advice and tips on coping with stress here.
6. Have A Number In Mind And Be Willing To Negotiate
Once you have explained why you deserve a pay rise, your employer may ask what your expectations are. Instead of being put on the spot, go into the meeting with a figure already in mind.
Of course, your boss might simply shoot you down. Or they might offer you a pay rise that is slightly less than you want. But hey, it’s still a pay rise! Be willing to negotiate, you might be pleasantly surprised.
7. Stay Positive
Whether it goes well or not, your boss is still going to be your boss at the end of the meeting. No good will come from being negative or challenging towards your employer. Instead, try to stay upbeat, positive and polite from start to finish.
Get In Touch
If you’d like more advice on how to talk to your boss about your salary, then simply get in touch with Wellspace today.
Wellspace are the leading experts in workplace wellness, so we can help you improve your workplace wellbeing.