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Time for a pay rise

Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 15:44

By AIM Facilitator Peter Cullen

A national HR manager relayed a recent event to me involving a staff member going into their manager’s office, sitting down and blurting out they were worth more money and wanted a salary increase. They were that straightforward with the request. That was also the end of the meeting.

It can take a great deal of courage to have a conversation about your financial worth to a company. It also requires solid planning and research, a healthy dose of confidence, a dash of persuasiveness and your best negotiation skills. Interestingly, a recent survey revealed 80 per cent of managers expect to negotiate with people when considering a salary review.

Before any meeting takes place you will need to be honest and realistic with yourself. ‘Do I have a solid project in mind the company really needs that will form the basis for my salary review?’ Depending on your work environment a project may include the realignment of resources and tasks, upgrading efficiencies through technology, streamlining processes, development of a new revenue stream or instigating a targeted cost-saving campaign across the company.

Having determined your project there is a need to consider a few more self-reflection questions. Who can I connect with in my sphere of influence for advice and support for my project? Have I established realistic expectations of what I can achieve and in what time frame? Do I really want the additional pressure that may accompany the additional workload of implementing my project? Are my skills in persuasion and negotiation up to speed?

Now it is time to place yourself in the shoes of the person you are going to have this meeting with.

What might be their expectations?

  • Is your project something the company really needs?
  • What experience do you have with this type of project?
  • Is there evidence that implementing your project will add clear economic value to the company?
  • What does your plan look like?
  • What support do you already have for your project?
  • What do you need to implement the project?

When the opportunity arises for you to discuss your needs to implement the project it will also be a great opportunity to open the door on salary negotiation.

When negotiating your salary it is important to remember the outcome must be beneficial for you and the company. It is not a one-way street. If the company is unable to meet your salary expectations you may wish to consider alternative benefits or trade-off s that are mutually beneficial. These may be to work part-time from home, flexible start and finish times, course attendance or a variety of fringe benefits. These alternative benefits or trade-offs should be considered seriously as the actual percentage increase in dollar terms of salaries has been slowly declining for several years.

Now you know the secret of getting management to listen and take action, make it work for you.

AIM’s Negotiating Skills short course explores a variety of proven techniques that you can use in your negotiations with others. It equips you with practical tools for managing negotiations and achieving win/win solutions.

Peter Cullen is an AIM facilitator who facilitates AIM’s Manage People Effectively course. This is a three-day program that engages in self-reflection activities where people develop their capabilities as managers and leaders. Peter has been facilitating programmes, workshops, forums and meetings with people ranging from front line staff through to senior executives for many years. He demonstrates the knowledge and expertise gained from his 31 year career in international aviation which covered customer service, business development and 10 years in senior management.