Resource Centre Career Development 10 Ways To Successfully Ask For A Pay Rise

10 Ways To Successfully Ask For A 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 […]

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
Notification Bell