How to persuade your boss for a pay rise


Obtaining a fair pay rise is all about demonstrating your worth, not only from what you’ve already delivered, but what you’ll be delivering in the future. Some managers manager a lot of employees, so it’s imperative that you’re armed with facts to stand out from the crowd.

The day of the week matters

According to American author and psychologist Shannon Kolakowski, you should avoid pay rise discussions on a Monday, which as the first working day of the week means people are tenser and stressed. Shannon goes on to state that Friday mornings are the best, as it’s when people are at their most relaxed and also gives both parties time to think over the weekend if any proposals are made.

Show your (objective) value

Most bosses are data driven so any empirical data available that demonstrates your performance, especially that in comparison to your peers is extremely powerful. Caroline Ceniza-Levine, career expert and co-founder at SixFigureStart, states that if your ability is higher than the average amongst your peers, you can demonstrate this by listing out specific examples and projects where you’ve comparatively over-achieved. It’s important to also make it clear that you have helped the company achieve their goals.

Understand the market

It’s essential that you go into any negotiation with a realistic idea of what’s reasonable salary growth for someone of your experience. Your ability, potential and track record can then help support your negotiations for any increase above the average. There are various online studies that show average salaries for given industries, roles and experience levels. This annual study carried out by ECA International shows labor force pay rises in Hongkong for 2018 for example. Understanding what a reasonable increase looks like and the difference between your salary and the current market salary should serve as the foundation of your discussions and provide you with confidence when negotiating.

Rehearse your lines first

Salary discussions can be stressful and tense for both parties so it’s best to avoid directive and commanding language such as “you should” or “you have to”. Stay calm, collected and present your facts as concisely as possible. Ideally practice with friends or family members beforehand and remember to remain calm!

Ewan Cheuk

Columnist writes about lift-style, work , sports in Hong Kong, China,Taiwan. Worked in the media, advertising industry for years.

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