Do you see your colleagues getting a pay increase when you don’t?
Do you feel like you’ve been overlooked regarding your pay and you don’t know why?
Have you been given extra duties without a change in remuneration? Or Do you purely lack the skills to ask for a pay rise?
Often employees commence with their employer and all is well. Time goes on and work anniversaries come and go. Lots of aspects change when you’re with your employer for some time however you may find one thing remains constant; your salary.
It’s time to get that long awaited increase. Here’s how.
- Speak up
Often it’s the “steady/compliant” employee that gets overlooked. Why? Because you’ve never spoken up about your benefits package and you feel highly uncomfortable doing so. Less assertive personalities see it as their Manager’s responsibility to present a pay rise to their staff. If the topic is not highlighted in discussions then these employees continue going about their business.
For the most part (unless an automatic increase is part of your award or EBA) pay is not high or may not even factor on your manager’s radar. Most managers look at output, activity and team dynamics on a regular basis. Even annual reviews may overlook the $ discussion. Larger employers often have performance and salary reviews annually however the majority of Australian employers are now SMEs and salary discussions rarely present themselves on a manager’s agenda.
As uncomfortable as you feel, it’s time to ask. “Are salary increases accessible in this company? If so, what can I do to be considered for a pay increase?”
- Ask around
You see Tom in the next cubicle bragging about his raise. You see your job and his job are identical. You’re confident that your performance is equal to, if not better than Tom’s yet you find there is now a marked differential between your salaries.
What to do?
You can ask other colleagues if they’ve gained a pay rise recently. You don’t need to know how much, you are just determining if pay rises are on the table and that Tom was not just an anomaly. The situation with Tom may be enough to take your case to your manager, however it adds more credence to your request when you know others have also received increases.
With this information go to your manager and comment on what you have observed. Don’t demand but simply ask “Would I be able to access a pay rise also?” You are well within your right to seek equity if colleagues doing the same tasks at the same level are receiving a higher income.
- Track your performance
Performance and pay are often intertwined. If you are performing or overachieving on your KPIs then you have a good case to ask for an increase.
In your next meeting (don’t wait for the formal review) ask your manager how they think you’re going? If you are getting the “warm fuzzies” that they are happy with you and your performance, then this lays the foundation to ask for a raise.
I had a consultant who was over performing in her role and significantly improving our bottom line. Consideration towards a pay increase was instinctive.
If you are delivering in your role, adding value to the team or positively impacting profit for your company, your manager values you. The time is now to ask for a raise. On the flip side if your manager is less than satisfied with performance ask what they are seeking from you? Work towards achieving the deliverables of your role before broaching the topic.
- Apply the BOOT
For many employees who are on EBAs or negotiated salary terms outside an award structure their remuneration should be higher than that outlined in their award.
However, it is worth your time doing the BOOT test. This is the “Better Off Overall Test”. Check your pay and conditions on your current arrangement with that of your award. If your current arrangement fails the BOOT, you have an argument for a wage rise plus back pay.
This is exactly what transpired with Coles Worker, Duncan Hart, when his current scenario failed the BOOT.
In addition to covering your bases internally it is imperative you qualify your salary externally. This is the conscience vote to determine the salary that is paid to the equivalent role in the industry or in other companies. There are two ways to achieve this. Either look up salary surveys conducted recently or do a job search.
An Internet search using keywords such as “Australia Salary Survey 2016” should yield results of formal salary surveys conducted recently. Many are capital city based surveys so you may need to take into account your geography and whether salaries are generally higher or lower in your location. The other, highly affective salary benchmarking exercise, is to look up your job on a job board. Once you’ve found your position, a similar company and equivalent responsibilities you can start playing with the salary fields. In seek.com.au all employers must nominate a salary range for roles they advertise and they simply choose whether to display or hide the salary for that role.
Once you’ve found an equivalent role, input a $20K salary band into the salary search engine on the job board (starting at your salary minus $20K through to your current salary). If the role continues to be displayed it means the role pays less than or equal to your salary. If that particular job no longer appears then it is likely the role is paying more.
Next, choose a $20K salary band starting at your current salary and going up by $20K. If the job ad comes up it means this role is paying at least your salary range and probably more. If the ad still doesn’t display increase the band to $50K until you find the role and continue to refine the salary band until, within a $20K band, the job displays.
With similar roles and responsibilities and their salary bands courtesy of job boards you now have an objective salary measure for your job to take to management.
This is particularly true for changes to titles and/or responsibilities. As you accept a new role or growth in your day to day duties you can request a salary increase to match.
- Follow a Formula
The above 5 steps outline the framework for asking for a pay rise. To recap:
- Speak up – ask if salary rises are on offer and if you could access these.
- Find out if colleagues have received increases in pay.
- Have the performance discussion with your manager. Are you achieving over, at or below your required outcomes and respond accordingly.
- Do the BOOT test, if applicable
- Research market rates outside your company
Now that you know how, ensure you diarise follow up discussions. That way you remember and, your manager learns of your intentions. It could be immediate or it could take a little while, however your remuneration is now clearly on your manager’s radar.
If you need help with any of the above steps contact Harvest Recruitment on 1300 363 128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Article written by Maree Herath, Author of “Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry” and Director of Geelong Recruitment Agency, Harvest Recruitment