How to ask for a pay rise

By Alex Jones, Senior Regional Director of Hays Office Support

Asking for a pay rise can be nerve-racking. Many people avoid it altogether because they find it too difficult to broach this topic, while others prepare incorrectly and so fail to maximise their worth.

But with the overall value of pay rises falling, office support professionals are increasingly prepared to have this tricky conversation with their boss in order to improve their earnings. In fact, more than half (57%) of the professionals we spoke to for our latest Hays Salary Guide say a salary increase is their number one career priority, with 46% intending to ask their manager for a raise.

To help you successfully prepare for your pay rise request, here’s our five-point plan:

  1. Gather your supporting evidence

For your salary increase request to be successful, you need to show why you deserve a raise. Ask yourself, “What have I achieved since the last time my pay was increased that warrants a raise today?”

To answer this question, prepare a list of your recent achievements and any changed or rising work volumes or duties. For each, list the resulting benefit to your executive or organisation. The aim here is to provide strong evidence to justify a pay rise, so focus on outcomes.

  1. Research typical market salaries

Next, review a recent Salary Guide so you can demonstrate that the salary you are asking for is in line with current market rates.

  1. Set the meeting and remain professional throughout

Ask your executive for a meeting to review your salary. During the meeting, professionally present the evidence you’ve gathered. Don’t expect an answer straight away though – your executive may need to review their budget and talk to HR.

  1. Be prepared to negotiate

Your executive may want to negotiate the value of your salary increase. Be prepared to discuss, at length if necessary, the salary you feel your results are worth. It can help to have an ideal figure in mind as well as the minimum increase you feel your results are worth.

  1. Have a fall-back position

You should also have a contingency plan. For example, can you agree a date for another review in three or six months? Or could your executive offer additional benefits?

Remember, use your accomplishments and the value you add as the basis of your request. In this way, you’ll clearly demonstrate your worth.

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