There is hardly an employee you will find who is not scheming to get a better pay cheque whether by directly demanding for a pay rise or doing something that warrants one.
Unfortunately, according to James Opio, a human resource consultant, most employees get it wrong when they act or speak out of desperation. Opio advises that when pursuing a pay rise, it is wise to avoid engaging in altercations with colleagues and bosses in a bid to stand out as this will leave you with bad reviews that might not help your case.
“Threatening to quit just to get a pay rise may get you into trouble, especially if your threat deadline expires and you stay,” he says, noting that this may instead earn you a fine or pay cut as punishment. Demanding an outrageous figure that is out of tune with people doing similar work to yours will only make you look unserious, according to Opio, especially if there is no justification in terms of output. He adds that wrong timing can compromise your chances of landing that pay rise.
“For example, coming up with a pay rise demand when the company has just posted poor results will make you look insensitive.” Recruitment consultant Joan Nakaye also says naming a figure before you are asked as a condition for your stay may end up getting you a raw deal, especially if your employer thinks you are worth much more. So, letting them go first is smarter. Basing your demand on rumours of what your colleagues are earning will also not help, Nakaye says.
She says citing your personal expenses rising, for example, having a bigger car that needs more fuel or needing more money to pay fees for your children, is a wrong place to start.
What you need to do
To make your case better, Nakaye advises that bringing on board new customers to the company at a time when extra revenue is much-needed will open doors for that pay rise. She adds that exceeding expectations at work and taking on extra assignments will put you on the pedestal for that raise.
Contribute to the team in such a way that the role you are playing improves the company’s performance and makes your boss shine. “When your boss is appreciated, you are also likely to get rewarded as a payback,” Nakaye says. She adds that taking on that task no one else wants to do with no extra pay usually will get you noticed and put you on course to a better pay.
Business coach Isaac Lukwago says getting as much exposure as possible to key decision makers in the course of work moves you closer to that pay rise. “It is hard to get a raise if you only stop at interacting with middle managers who don’t make the final decisions on money,” he says.
Lukwago advises that this may start with you getting yourself onto that highly visible assignment or project and making sure you execute it well so that your name is known in the corridors of power. This will make it easy to justify the raise. “Get good corporate coaching so that every project, presentation and report you touch you will add extra value and have a great impact.”
Lukwago points out that before you get that pay rise, you may be asked to make a business case, detailing why you deserve it. “This should have a background which includes your current salary, growth in position and performance history, which includes reviews, awards and accolades. It should also show and compare your performance and responsibilities against that of others mainly in similar positions. In conclusion, your business case for a pay raise should show why you feel it is justified and what figure you are expecting as a new salary,” he says.