Negotiating a pay rise is awkward at the best of times but even COVID-19 shouldn’t stop you asking for one if you deserve it. Here’s how to go about it.
Approaching the halfway mark of 2022, even as we transition to a ‘new normal’, the global pandemic of the past two years will continue floating somewhere in the background of our lives for some time yet. This means that it will still be factored in when making personal and professional decisions, especially when and how to negotiate for a pay rise.
Should you negotiate for a pay rise?
Many of us struggle with negotiating a pay rise at the best of times, even though we potentially deserve it.
During the last few years, we’ve all been keenly aware of how the pandemic affected our professional lives and the organisations we work for, with healthcare workers especially having to stand up and do their bit to guide us through difficult times.
Taking on greater responsibilities and workload during the pandemic will have raised the question for some: ‘Is it time for a pay rise?’
The answer to this, pandemic or not, comes down to assessing a few main factors, namely:
Company performance: How is the company weathering the pandemic storm? Is the balance sheet strong? Have there been layoffs, pay cuts or a restructure? Is the business sustainable?
Advocate in the business: Do you feel your direct report, manager or the business owner will support you in your bid?
Your role/responsibilities: Has your role changed/expanded? Have you managed this well? What have you achieved?
Your financial /personal state: Is the timing right – do you need the pay rise right now?
Negotiating the pay rise: Three main steps
Once you’ve done your own assessment of whether the timing is right and decided it is, there are three main steps to follow when trying to reel in that pay rise.
1. Be prepared
Having been through the checklist above, you’ve effectively already begun preparing to negotiate the pay rise. First and foremost, be across the value you bring to the organisation. Put together a thorough analysis of what you do in your role, outlining how this helps achieve the organisation’s objectives and successes, particularly during the pandemic.
Outline any major personal wins and look back over past performance evaluations you may have had to act as indicators of your professional progress and ability to hit targets or grow in the role.
Next, do some research about other roles similar to yours across the sector and what the market is prepared to pay so you can go in with a range across which you’re prepared to negotiate.
Finally, put together your pay rise negotiation pitch – even go as far as scripting it so you know exactly what you want to say – and practice how you will approach it when the day comes to ‘have the chat’.
2. Timing is everything
Being mindful of what point in the work week your direct report or manager is best placed for this pay rise discussion, and therefore hopefully most open to your request, could be the difference between getting the pay rise and not.
Once you’ve identified the optimum day and time, write a short polite email asking for a discussion on your role and its remuneration. No need for more detail than this – save it for the meeting itself.
3. The negotiation
When the moment for the pay rise negotiation chat comes, start positive, even if part of the discussion may involve discussing a higher workload you’ve taken on during the pandemic that hasn’t been recognised with greater remuneration.
Express how much you enjoy working for the organisation and with your team before pulling out that pre-negotiation research that outlines your performance pre and during the pandemic and the increased workload or change in responsibilities that have come with it.
After building the case for the pay rise, be upfront about the kind of increase you’re hoping for and why it’s appropriate, framing it in terms of how it will also benefit the organisation. You’ll potentially be asked some questions after this that you haven’t prepared for and, just as with a job interview, take a moment to carefully consider each before answering.
What comes next?
If the answer comes back ‘yes’, well done! But remember, it could come with conditions around future performance or a change in your role, which could, in turn, lead to more negotiations, so be prepared for this.
If the answer is ‘no’, try not to lose heart and instead have a discussion about what the circumstances need to be for the pay rise to be reconsidered. Or this could be the moment where you do consider your options, something Gorilla Jobs is ready to help you with!
Gorilla Jobs Can Help You
We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!