How to get a salary increase: What you need to know!

Getting an increase in salary is not always the easiest task. The trick here is to get clear about a number of key factors. Any or all of these could provide enough ‘leverage’ to make you persuasive. You will need to be convincing and you will need evidence and back up data. Here are some key factors in getting a salary increase:


Research the System

Equality: What are the industry averages for your job role/level? How about others in your company – are you on the same pay as others doing what you do?

Influence: Who is the decision maker? Who has the power to say ‘yes’? If this is not your manager, is it possible to get to the decision maker via your manager? If not, consider how you might set up a meeting with the decision maker to make enquiries about salary.

Precedent: How does a pay rise happen in your company? Who do you know that has done it? Offer to buy them a coffee and then ask them how they did it!


Think About What You Bring to the Party

Experience: You need to demonstrate that you are a ‘safe pair of hands’ and that you are useful to the organisation. Perhaps you have been with the organisation for a long time and so have greater knowledge of ‘how things work’. Remember however, that no-one is truly un-expendable, so don’t overstate your case (and do not rely on experience alone). Also, don’t expect a pay rise after a couple of months of starting a job (unless that was part of your original contract).

Responsibility: Can you take on tasks and activities that are at a higher level of responsibility than your current job role? If a significant percentage of your job shifts to higher responsibility, you could make this part of your case. However, do not expect a pay rise if you are simply doing more work at the same level. Long hours doing more of ‘what you do anyway’ are rarely rewarded with pay rises.

Proactive Progression: Seek progression in the company to take on a higher-level role. Success tends to come when we are in the right place at the right time… and prepared to take advantage of the opportunity. Get ready for opportunities (i.e. get yourself skilled for the next level, volunteer for projects and presentations, network, get seen by the right people). Ask your manager (and/or the decision makers): “When an opportunity arises, what do I need to do to be ready?” Then do what they suggest and let them know you have!

Value: Demonstrate your worth to the organisation by showing where you add value. Think about your job (particularly any extra activities you have undertaken) and ideas for improvement you have had (and perhaps implemented). Where might you have saved or made the company money because of your ideas, input and skill? Think beyond simply what you do (action)… what are the results of your action (what have you delivered?)… and what are the bigger picture impacts of those results (i.e. what does it mean to your department/company – what are the organisational benefits of improvements you have made?).


By Joe Cheal