Few things are as nerve-racking as asking for a pay rise. But with the right words, you can make sure you’re putting your best foot forward when asking for more money. Once you’ve done all the prep work required to have the conversation, you can use this script for guidance on what to say in your pay rise meeting.
- Start with the positives about your role and what you are proud of
“Thank you for making the time to meet with me today. As you know I have been working here for [amount of time] and have recently been focusing on [quick summary of what you’ve been doing].
I have really enjoyed being part of [project or team] and am proud of the role I played in this organisation.”
- Talk about your achievements
“Over the past 12 months I have [talk about your achievements that have benefited the organisation].”
“If you are able to include a dollar figure or percentage improvements do that,” says Jane Jackson, a career management coach and author of Navigating Career Crossroads. “If you are not able to provide numbers then talk about the perceived benefit – such as how you streamlined a process or improved team morale. Tangible and intangible benefits are what you must bring to the attention of your manager.”
- Get to the point
“With my achievements over the past 12 months and bearing in mind the benefits I’ve brought to the organisation recently, I would appreciate it if you would consider a review of my current salary.
I’ve also had a look at current compensation levels for roles similar to mine in companies of the same size and believe I have a clear view of the industry standard salary.”
At this point, your manager will likely require time to think over your request and have the idea approved by other stakeholders involved in salary increases. It’s likely the exact dollar value discussion will be revisited in a later conversation, should your request be fulfilled.
The next steps
After the meeting, Jackson suggests sending an email thanking your manager and include the points you discussed. “If there is another conversation to be had, confirm the day and time this will happen,” she advises.
“If the answer to your request is no, you can ask if there is another way to acknowledge your achievements, such as bonuses, time off in lieu, extra paid leave,” says Jackson. “If there is no leeway whatsoever, your manager will still have gained an awareness of your value. You can ask them for another discussion in three to six months time.”
If your manager agrees to a pay rise, ensure you ask for this in writing (email is fine), clarify when the raise will be paid from and suggest that you meet in another year to review your progress and salary again.
While asking for a pay rise can be daunting, it is a great opportunity to highlight the value you bring to your role. As Jackson says, “Be well armed with the knowledge and reasons your manager needs to say yes!”