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7 Ways to Start a Discussion on Pay Rise

In 2019, UK wages saw the fastest rise in just over a decade, increasing by 3.9% in just three months according to research by Instant Offices.

With wages increasing at a faster rate than inflation since 2018, statistics released by the Office of National Statistics show the average weekly income for full-time workers has seen a year-on-year increase of 2.9%, rising from £568 to £585.  

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However, discussing money in the workplace has often been considered a sensitive topic and with this in mind, Instant Offices gives a break down on gender differences regarding salary negotiations and the top seven ways workers can start an effective discussion on pay rise in the workplace.

The research found more than half of women (55%) avoid talking about a pay rise with their boss. It also shows women are still less likely to ask for a pay rise as less than half (43%) often feel ‘uncomfortable’ doing so.

One-third of women state they believe they are overqualified for their current role, regardless, data shows that women seem less likely to approach or instigate a conversation around money in the workplace. In fact, a growing number of women priorities work-life balance, flexible working options and better hours over money. 

Take a diplomatic approach to our reasoning and remove a sense of entitlement.

The hardest part of stating you want a pay rise is doing so without using the words “I want a pay rise”. Phrases such as “I want” or “I deserve” will have no merit, especially if you can’t prove your worth to your employer. Have a list of reasons justifying why it would be in your manager’s best interest to pay you more with the emphasis always on your ability and what you can bring to the department and company.

Meet in person, but get in touch with your manager in advance to warn them.

It is advisable to prepare your manager for the upcoming discussion to allow them to also prepare; they may need to talk to the finance team, or even promote you to a more senior role. Send an email outlining your request and a suggested date for a face-to-face meeting to sit and discuss things in full.

Don’t threaten to leave, unless you’re actually prepared to.

If you’re wanting a pay rise, unless you have another job offer lined up, it is not sensible to threaten to quit. Worst case scenario your employer says no and you have no other card to play, resulting in long-term doubt about your loyalty to the company. However, your best case you current employer tries to match the offer.

Do some research and be realistic.

Having a look at the average wage within your industry and field can set a realistic benchmark. Remember though, that this is just an average and roles and responsibilities always differ and will affect salary, as will experience.

Think about the timing.

If your company has just announced its budgets, restructuring or cuts then factor that in accordingly. You don’t have to wait for your annual review, or even a pay review, just choose a suitable time when there isn’t significant pressure on your manager or the business as a whole.

Have confidence.

Although it is a conversation about a pay rise that can be unnerving planning ahead and possibly even writing a script, or running through it with a friend, can help prepare you for the conversation to come. This can also alleviate feelings of anxiety allowing you to have confidence, make eye contact and present your points clearly.

Make it more than just money.

Although it is a conversation about pay, try and make it a discussion that is more just a salary. Focus on career progression, training and other possible perks, which can show you’re invested in your role at the company, and looking to develop in your role rather than simply looking for more cash.

About the author: Established in 1999, The Instant Group is a global flexible workspace specialist. Underpinned by unrivaled expertise, Instant tailors unique solutions to help businesses of all sizes to grow, drive savings or gain invaluable insight.  With offices in London, Berlin, Dallas, New York, Hong Kong, and Sydney, The Instant Group employs more than 100 experts and has clients in 113 countries

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