Hi! And how are you all? It has been a great start to the year for me. I just came back from a long deserved holiday in Sydney where I stayed with two of the nicest people I know in this world, Angie and William Khoo. They were gracious hosts who thought of every little thing to ensure that I and my wife had a great time. And yes, we had a great time from buying R2E2 mangoes in Flemington market, to eating a humungous lunch at Lowenbrau, to playing pokey at the clubs. It’s now back to ‘reality’ and I must admit I am surprised that I have been very busy as January is usually a very ‘slow’ month. Training has taken me from Pangkor to Kuching to Kota Kinabalu. But no complaints, as work is always good news.
This month I want to talk to you about a dilemma we all face in the work environment and that is about asking for a pay raise. The problem about asking for a pay raise is that we usually feel awkward about it as firstly we are embarrassed about doing it and secondly we worry that it could antagonize management. I am no expert in this, but from my work experience in the HR line, I can offer some guidelines.
ASKING FOR A PAY RAISE
1. The first rule in asking for a pay rise is yes, ‘ASK’. Don’t think or hope that your boss will or should know that you deserve a raise. He/she has got lots of operational matters to attend to and pay raises would be very low in his/her priority list. Sometimes superiors also tend to overlook things like these and it is your duty to tell them about it. Look for a moment when he/she is in a good mood and go see him/her armed with facts and figures.
2. When asking for a pay raise the worst kinds of justifications would be:
a. You have been working very hard.
b. You are a loyal worker who has worked in the company for a long time.
c. Mr X gets more than me.
d. I just had another baby or I just bought a new house and will have to pay high monthly installments.
e. That you are a good worker (prove it!)
These may get you sympathy but not the pay raise. It also shows that you are using emotions to justify the raise rather than facts. Management must justify pay increases, so help them by giving credible justifications.
Good and valid justifications could be as follows:
a. You have got new responsibilities or your responsibilities have been increased slowly over the past two years for example (provide facts and figures where possible)
b. You have saved the company X amount of money in the past due to your diligence and good work.
c. You have consistently exceeded your work targets and objectives.
d. You have attained extra qualifications and this is a sign that you are a self developer which has made the quality of your work better and you are now ready for more responsibilities.
In a nut shell, justify by speaking of your work achievements. A rule of thumb is you have to convince management to accept that you are an asset and that your presence in the company contributes to the bottom line. In all of the above, provide facts and figures where possible.
3. Do not threaten to leave unless you are very good at what you do. If you are good the threat may be taken seriously and a pay raise given. If you are not good, then management may challenge you to make good on your threat. Please remember that it is not important what you think, more important is what the boss thinks of you. Don’t make assumptions that he/she thinks you are good.
4. Finally when all else fails, put in your resignation letter. If the company feels that you are good then they will most certainly be willing to discuss a salary review with you to make you stay (provided that is the root cause of your resignation). If they don’t, it means that they think you are not worth keeping and it may perhaps be better for you to take your talents elsewhere where it will be recognized.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I do hope I have added to your day. Happy Chinese New Year to all and have fun during the festive period. Until my next mail, please do take care and do share this with your friends.