In the world of employment, getting a raise is the one thing that can increase motivation and satisfaction. Simultaneously reducing the likelihood of looking elsewhere. There’s a reason Maslow included wages within his hierarchy of needs.
Unfortunately, most companies are not proactive enough to ensure all employees receive regular raises. However, from a profitability standpoint, it does make sense. The longer an employee can produce outstanding work at a lower cost, the better it is for business. However, this is not good from an employee’s view.
As a result, time and time again, employees may be found asking themselves when to ask for a pay raise. Whether they’ve asked previously or haven’t yet mustered up the courage. It’s a question that definitely needs addressing.
In this article, we’ll attempt to answer this age-old question of how often you should ask for a raise. We’ll do this by considering a range of factors to help prepare you to ask for a raise.
Understanding your value
Before you can ask for a raise, it makes sense to become familiar with the reasons why you’re entitled to a raise. Truly understanding this means becoming aware of exactly what value and benefits you bring to the business through your role.
There can be a range of reasons, and your particular role will be the deciding factor. For example, you may save the company money or save them time. Or, you may bring them additional revenue in a faster amount of time. This value is what needs to be quantified.
As employees become more experienced, they usually get better at what they do. It stands to reason, then, that the value you bring will continue to grow. As a result, you should be rewarded for this additional value.
If you’re struggling to think of the value principle, consider the following factors. It should give you an indication that you bring more value than you realize.
Additional job responsibilities
Often, employees begin a role and are tasked with a set of duties. However, as time goes on, employees may start to receive more responsibility. Sometimes, this may even fall out of the initial job specification. Regardless, these additional responsibilities will have been successfully completed at no extra cost to the business.
However, managing multiple responsibilities is a benefit for the business. They do not need to hire an additional employee to handle those tasks. Instead, they’re being managed by an employee who simultaneously carries out other duties.
This saves the business in hiring and salary costs that another employee would require. So calculate how much time and money is saved for the company and use that as a bargaining chip during your request.
Employees may work on specific tasks and projects where the results are directly correlated with the hard work of the said employee. An employee on a fixed salary will receive the same compensation regardless of the project’s success.
Therefore, additional hard work and dedication to tasks doesn’t receive any other recognition. A good business may, of course, provide some momentary reward such as time off or a gift. However, in the grand scheme of things, an employee may desire monetary compensation.
Additionally, employees who have recognized qualifications through the form of additional study or certification are usually entitled to higher pay. However, if an employee has started a job on a lower salary due to lack of formal qualification, they may then need to inform their employer of their worth once they are qualified.
Especially when other jobs on the market may provide higher salaries. If you are unaware of what wages qualified employees may be receiving, use our site to find the average pay to see how well your current salary aligns.
Therefore, taking stock of achievements and qualifications is good practice. Especially if they are a recent significant achievement, calculate the overall value and attempt to quantify it to determine what your worth should be. If it is higher than your current salary, then it is time to ask for a raise!
Many businesses will regularly carry out a performance review. As a form of encouragement, it should enable employees and employers to identify room for improvement and progression.
However, these performance reviews can also be used to determine if it is time for a salary raise. If an employee has continuously performed better than expected, then surely a reward is necessary.
So, the next time a performance review is scheduled, be sure to use this as an opportunity and not just time off from work. Make sure to ask questions on how specifically you can achieve higher scores so that it can translate to more money for you. Performing well can then be used to bring up the topic of requesting a raise.
Some roles in companies will have a fixed salary. Every member of the team or department will be on the same salary at that level. Requesting a raise while working in that position is unlikely to go well. Instead, identify which positions receive a higher raise. Demonstrate your ability and apply for positions as they come about.
Unfortunately, residing at lower level roles will unlikely result in raises. As mentioned earlier, providing higher value and benefit to the company can result in a successful raise request. One way to do this is by applying for higher-salaried roles.
Therefore, seek out progression opportunities. You may begin this conversation by approaching your employer to ask for a raise. If they say no, then request progression opportunities. This will at least identify what your chances of securing higher pay will be.
Year(s) of Service
Often, having many years of service can be reason enough to request a raise. How soon, I hear you ask? Once the one-year mark arrives, it may be time to request a raise. This will, of course, be dependent on other factors mentioned on this list. But through demonstrating added benefit through your work, added with loyalty, you can almost certainly command a higher salary.
Another way of identifying whether it is right to ask for a raise is to analyze job descriptions from competitor companies. Don’t be afraid to carry out a regular job search to keep up with market trends,
Some jobs will specify how many years of experience are required, along with the salary package. If that is higher than your current salary, this can be used to request a raise.
Job offers from elsewhere.
Following on from the point made above, job offers are another way to request a raise. Now, this isn’t just showing a job advert and requesting a raise. Instead, if a company approaches you and offers you a competitive salary, showing that to your employer can inspire them to increase your salary.
Even if you were to interview for a role at another company, this would add additional emphasis on your worth on the market. At the very least, if your current employer refuses the raise request, you’ll have another avenue of getting paid more for what you do.
Market rate/Industry Standard
As mentioned throughout some of the factors above to consider when asking for a raise, understanding market value is important. Knowing your value and being able to prove it can improve your chances of getting a raise request approved.
If you are still unsure of how much you should be earning, have a browse on our site for your current job role. You’ll find the average salary for the position along with lower and upper bounds. Use this information to your advantage and get that raise approved!
Preparing for the Raise Request Conversation
Before you can officially request a raise, ensure that you are well-prepared for the conversation. You can begin by researching and gathering the support for your information. Whether that’s a job offer from elsewhere, average salary indicators, or a list of your achievements – ensure it’s up-to-date and accessible.
Next, ensure that a meeting is scheduled with the decision maker and they’re well aware of why you’ve requested the meeting. Keep it formal and professional throughout. Even if they say no to your request, there’s no harm in asking for more information.
So, how often should you ask?
At the very minimum, you should ask for a raise once a year. Why? Well, every year, the cost of living changes. Whether it’s interest rates or inflation, everything seems to be increasing at the moment. So, it stands to reason your salary should increase in line with inflation elsewhere. For example, if the inflation rate is 3%, you should expect a raise of at least 3%.
So, if you’ve been working for more than a year and are yet to receive a pay increase on your annual salary- it’s time to ask!
You should ask for a raise as often as possible until you’re paid with your worth. Ensure that your worth is also backed by quantifiable facts and figures.
Additionally, as a special mention for any women reading this, don’t be afraid to bring up the gender pay gap. Statistics indicate that in 2020, women were still being paid 83 cents for every dollar a man was. That in itself is reason enough to request higher pay.
If you do request a raise but are unsuccessful, don’t be disheartened. Statistics indicate that less than half of workers request higher salaries—and less than half of those requests are successful. However, if you don’t ask, you won’t get. And who knows, perhaps you’ll be in the smaller statistic of those who actually do get a raise on request.
If you’re ready to ask for a raise but not sure how to go about it, consider reading our article on the topic of salary negotiation for some tips and tricks.