5 Ways To Negotiate A Pay Rise Or Promotion

7th April 2015

Posted In: WMB Advice | WMB Careers
Rosemary Delaney

It has been my experience that women don’t ask for pay increases as readily as men. This point is borne through in many research findings. For example, last year’s report, Career Capital published by management consulting services company Accenture, indicated that fewer women asked for pay rises – 40% of women, against 58% of men. The good news though is that of those who did, 70% were successful!

Words: Rosemary Delaney

This year, Accenture released new global research, listen-learn-lead, which indicated that on the subject of pay and promotions, 68% of millennials were most likely to ask for a pay rise as compared to 64% of Generations Xers and 59% of baby boomers which perhaps demonstrates a more confident working pool. The research also showed an increase in those seeking promotion – in fact, at 54%, an equal number of women and men want to advance in their careers.  This figure sat at 40% of women and 47% of men last year, so positive signs indeed.

However, as women, we do seem to think that employers (of which I am one) will volunteer an increase or promotion and this is rarely the case.

In an environment where there is an oversupply of human talent in many sectors against a short supply of jobs, it is even less likely that there will be an offer of any kind coming your way.  If we are going to take the bull by the horns and put a value on our heads, we, as women, need to be far more strategic in our approach and far less emotional.

I’ve put together some suggestions, which you should consider before you go into the lion’s lair looking for more loot or a step up the ladder. They’re backed up by years of experience in negotiation on both sides of the fence – that of employee and of employer.

– Put yourself in your employer’s shoes. Look at how the company is performing overall. Although your department may be meeting targets, the company could be hemorrhaging elsewhere. A company in the red is looking to cut to the bone, not add to the fat. Research trends within your industry to find out if there is much mobility.

– Review your own performance. Can you put a monetary value on a recent project or initiative, which you have successfully completed and can take ownership of? Is this a one-off occurrence or of sustainable benefit to the company?

– Identify the motives behind wanting your increase or promotion. Is it for recognition of your hard work? Is it to meet increased personal financial commitments? Is it to put you ‘on par’ with your colleagues?

– If you are unsuccessful in your endeavours, what is your next move? Rejection can be a bitter pill to swallow and there’s nothing worse than a disgruntled employee, especially if it’s you!

– Have a Plan B. If you don’t get exactly what you want, is there another way to achieve your desired objective. Perhaps consider a phased approach to promotion or pay. Suggest goals to work to which add real value to the company and will guarantee you your desires within a pre-agreed time frame. If money is out of the question, is job flexibility an option, or perhaps an increase in your annual leave, health insurance, training or other benefits?

Finally, if you feel you have exhausted all avenues, take some time to reflect on your career to date and your goals for the next 3 to 5 years. Can you realise those goals in your current employment? If the fit is no longer ‘right’, seek out alternative opportunities and don’t be afraid to make the next move!