10 Ways To Successfully Ask For A Pay Rise

  | 7 min read
Pay rise

Get The Raise You Deserve

Asking for a pay rise is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in the workplace. The thought of presenting a case of your value to your boss can be intimidating. Most people argue “My boss has been seeing my progress and achievements, why do I need to point out such factors for a pay rise?” They forget that their bosses are also busy trying to hit their own targets and key performance indicators and may actually need reminding. Most of the time, your reasons are justified and worthy of consideration, but you have to consider your employer’s position and the fact that they need convincing to include your name in the list of staff to get a raise in the next fiscal year’s budget. This article will help you develop strategies that will help make the process less nerve-wracking.

Company Policy

Company policy

You have to take into consideration the prevailing company policy about salary raise. Some companies follow a set principle of a certain percentage raise annually, others grant raises on merit, while others follow no particular code. You have to understand the history of pay rises in your company and follow the right procedure. Even if everyone knows you deserve a raise, if there is an existing policy, your efforts to negotiate for one will likely hit a wall. It might also be interpreted as a lack of discernment on your part.


The old adage of timing being everything applies squarely in your pay rise efforts. If raises are implemented annually, do not wait until you are seated across your boss during a performance review to bring up the salary increase topic. At the same time, do not ask for a raise when colleagues are getting laid off or the company has suffered a loss. Even if you are currently handling the workload of two or three people, your boss will think you are inconsiderate and ungrateful.

The best time to ask for a raise is well before your annual review and when the economic atmosphere is what you would consider optimal in the company. Usually, after a commendable achievement, request for a meeting with your boss and discuss the salary review.

Mind Your Language


Even when you feel unfairly compensated, be careful not to appear ungrateful and worse still, to the wrong people. You giving the sordid details about how your insufficient pay is barely sustaining your lifestyle to a colleague during tea break doesn’t help your case. Pick it up with someone who can actually make a difference in your situation – your boss. Carefully prepare a case and politely request for a meeting. Do not ambush them with complaints about your pay. You booking a meeting for discussion makes the whole affair look very official and presents you as being a professional. Your boss will most likely take you seriously depending on how you approach them.

Create a Strategic Plan


A salary increase is not a right in most companies, it is based on merit after performance reviews. This means that each day at the office is an opportunity to earn your positive salary review. You need to set the stage ahead by working hard, conducting yourself well in the office and exceeding your key performance indicators. A pay increase is different from your initial salary agreements when you signed the contract. This means that you have to do more to earn more. Take on more responsibilities that go beyond your current job description, identify a mentor within the management and soak in their wisdom and experience, and dutifully record each milestone and achievement. With this, you will build your own personal brand and reputation that will be worth a pay rise and no one will have the grounds to reject your case.

Prepare For The Discussion

Be prepared

A pay rise may not be a right and this means that you need to justify why you are asking for it. Your boss will not be inclined to give you a raise just because you have asked for it or because the company is performing well. Know why exactly you think you deserve the pay rise and present this case when asking for a raise. For example, you can say that your performance has improved over time and this has benefited the company in terms of more business and thus, more revenue. This way, you show your value, which your employer should pay for. You may also say that your duties have increased over time and for that reason, your salary should reflect the increase in responsibilities. Whatever the case, have a concrete reason for wanting a raise.

Set A Time and Date With An Agenda

if your boss is not ready, their first instinct is to say no. Thus, set a time and date and let your boss know in advance what the agenda of the meeting is. This way, you both come to the meeting prepared.

In such a situation, your boss is more likely to also have an offer for you and this makes it easy for you to negotiate. If you want a fruitful discussion, ensure that you set the stage right.

Be Flexible


Even as you plan to approach your boss with the suggestion of a pay raise, remember to maintain a flexible mindset. Do not assume the rigid ideology that you must get an X percentage raise. Rigidity always leaves people disappointed and frustrated. You may present a strong case, but the company may not be in a position to support your wish at that particular time. Alternatively, they may not be able to give you an X percentage, but they are willing to give a Y percentage for now. Take it in good faith and keep your emotions in check. Show gratitude for the opportunity to present your case and hope for better next time.

On the other hand, be open to other forms of compensation such as allowances and benefits. As much as you may not manage to get the raise at the moment because it is not possible at the moment, you still get a benefit which can go a long way in helping you.

Do A Research on Market Rates

Research on rates

Every job has prevailing market rates that cut across different fields and prevailing market conditions. Before asking for a raise, do your homework and ensure that what you ask for is not above market rates and that you are being paid below your worth based on market conditions.

If you earn way above market rates, it is very unlikely that you will get any deal but if your pay is below market rates, then you ought to negotiate for a raise. This is because your employer should pay you fair and competitive wage for your skills.

Have A Clear Figure in Mind

When asking for a raise, do not just ask for a raise with no clear figure in mind. This leaves the raise to the prerogative of the employer and you may not get a fair amount in the end. Go into the meeting with a workable figure so that you have a starting point for negotiation. Remember to back up what you are asking for with facts on why you deserve the raise.

Do Not Threaten Your Employer


If you have an offer from another employer, do not use this as a bargaining chip. It will not work and you will lose your credibility. This also lets your employer know that you are looking and you can leave at any time. As such, your employer is likely to ask you to please go to whoever is offering you a better pay.

Additionally, do not threaten to quit as this might not work in your favour. A threat shows the employer that you are not satisfied and even if you are offered the raise, you are unlikely to stay.

Asking for a pay rise may not be the easiest thing to do but it may be the necessary thing to do. When considering this step, make sure you are familiar with company policy, time, market rates, your achievements, be flexible and above all, be sure of how much raise you want. This way, you are able to have a candid discussion that is likely to yield desirable results.


Njeri Karanja
Njeri is a reading and creative writing enthusiast who is neck-deep in research writing. She is well versed in researching and writing on various topics.


  1. Hi
    Please how is I am 27 old nw ..my level of education is degree level so may you help me to connect with the different employers
    Contact me
    piloblogspot.simple site.com

    • Hi Kristomus,

      Thank you for contacting us. Please tell us what you specialized in to assist you better. ^AN

  2. Am also specialised in ICT Diploma, now as a tutor in an upcoming college. Kindly help me get an experience in practical work in the field. I’m ready for either internship, placement or even volunteer to build my career work. Kindly help.
    Email kendieki@gmail.com
    Contact on 0728719022.

  3. good article. Am an intern in an IT company and my salary is rising each much. Employers are so secretive of their salary. I look forward to being employed but don’t know how to go about negotiating a salary since I don’t have a figure to start with. Do I just leave it up for the boss to decide or I ask? I don’t like discussions about my pay my main aim is getting a job and maintaining it.

      • Hi Jojy,
        Thank you for reading however we need more clarity so that we know how best to assist you.


    • Hi Jojy
      Its not right to leave it all to your boss, wait for the appropriate time and more importantly be well equipped. The below steps will guide you.
      Make sure that you do a thorough research and one of the most important factors of getting what you want out of your internship is knowing you’re worth. Your worth can be determined by researching what other employers are paying interns in a similar position as you.
      When negotiating , you must be honest with yourself as well as the employer. If you truly believe you are worth more than what the employer is offering, and you have the evidence to back it up, then you should definitely go into the negotiation with full force.
      We hope it goes well when that day comes and if you need more advice on this, feel free to write to us.


  4. Please,am looking forward for a better paying job,I have worked as sales man in Kenya and Uganda, I have valid passport for East Africa and am Kenyan ready to work any part of the world,am a Diploma holder in sales and marketing who have worked FMCGS Companies with experience of 21 years,please do assist!,

    • Hi Michael,
      We do have latest jobs advertised on our website in that category which you can apply. Kindly click the link here https://www.brightermonday.co.ke/search/jobs-in-sales
      Make sure that you update your CV and profile before applying. By doing this you will increase your chances of getting feedback. Let us know if you need more advice on this.


  5. Am a trained p1 teacher specialised in Maths,Science and kiswahili am looking for a teaching vacancy please help

  6. thank you for this article, am currently seeking a meeting with my boss concerning salary increment i have had several meeting with no positive result kindly tell me what should i do more to get an increment since 90 % of this article i have applied

    • Hi Eddy,
      This time round make sure that you are well equipped. Ensure that you have a list of your achievements within the department and instances of times you have gone out of your way to bring in results also know the existing policies on review for the company because if reviews are done yearly you will only be asked to wait for the time to lapse. If all the conditions are favourable, then go for it. All the best.


  7. Hi, am Benedict, a graduate of Science in Microbiology having graduated in 2015 n yet to get a job. How can you hook me up to any microbiology lab job plz

    • Hi Benedict,
      We have latest jobs we have advertised that matches your profession that you can apply. Kindly click here http://bit.ly/2syi75D . In addition to that you can apply latest jobs we have posted under internship. Kindly search the category of internship and volunteering. If you need further assistance feel free to get back to us.


  8. in my case, asking for a salary increment has not worked. kindly help me secure another job.
    am a CPA-k with 3 years experience and have worked with sap. 0708710316, THATS MY NO. THANKS

  9. Hi
    this is a good approach procedure. I have worked for 12 years now in 11 companies. My salary increments depended on new job. Am tired of moving from company to company. My present company annual increment is too small that to move from one level to another may take along time. I need a better pay than what am getting what should I do.

    • Hi Joshua,
      You need to settle down and avoid moving from one company to another. Where you are if your income is not sufficient as you have put it the annual salary is little, then you can search for another job and if you are successful to secure one then make sure this time round you prolong your stay. Our site http://bit.ly/2qzY17w has many opportunities so search and make sure that the jobs you apply matches skills. All the best and if you need further advice, feel free to write to us.


  10. What happens where employers have grading systems and surpassing that is almost like milking blood from a moss?

    • Hi Mg,
      Thank you for reading, however regarding your question, we need more clarity so that we are able to assit you.


  11. For me a salary increament is unheard off and no benefits. am 2nd Class Honors Finance Degree holder, with 4 1/2 years experience in Lending Cycles in Microfinance sector. need a new working environment at least with a sustaining remuneration.

  12. What is the market range for Accountants:
    1. CPA K, MBA, & 5 years plus experience.
    2. CPA K, Degree, & 2-4 years experience.
    3. An assistant accountant CPA 4, Degree, 1- 2 years experience.

    Where is the line drawn between exploitation and market rate. Because if you also stay under paid for a long period a potential employers tend to question your abilities on the assumption that probably you’re not good enough.

    • Hi,
      With regards to your question, anyone who has experience of five years regardless which field, the salary should range between 50 to 100ksh and experience below that should be between 20 -50ksh.
      Being under paid comes as a result of eg, if one is not a performer or the opposite..one is a performer but when it fits for one to ask for a raise like during appraisal but fails then one is stuck in earning the same salary year in year out so being not good enough is not always the case. Kindly read here http://bit.ly/2u8Rk1S to know more on how ask for a raise.


  13. I have worked for 6yrs but when I asked for increment HR and immediate boss to have me switched frm one dept to another.


    • Hi Andy,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      Leaving your current post just because you were switched to a different department does not justify you to leave. Being switched could pave way to your increment because how you perform in that department could be the determining factor. Another important point to note is that you need to be very keen on how you ask for your increment because, if at all you didn’t have facts to back you up or your approach was not timely like during appraisals then the request can be denied or postponed. Here http://bit.ly/2uokLxm is an article we have written that will help you on the same and if you have more questions let us know.


  14. Hello, what if your employer does not want to listen to anything related to pay raise. This has made me start hunting for a new job. I have a special needs education degree and have worked as a special needs classroom teacher and head of department.

    • Hi Jecinta,
      In that case, you should build a case of why you deserve a pay raise because no employer will give you a raise just because you have worked with them for so long. If this is not possible, then you can look for another job that pays what you deserve.
      All the best.

Comments are closed.