Tips for Navigating Conversations About Pay in the Workplace

Tips for Navigating Conversations About Pay in the Workplace

When it comes to your career, knowing how to ask your supervisor for a raise is an important but challenging task. Breaking the taboo associated with conversations about pay is crucial to progress!

Research from a YouGov poll found that a higher proportion of women (60%) have never asked for a pay rise, compared to just 48% of men. This comes as further evidence from Indeed found that a staggering 52% of British workers feel they are underpaid.

One in four of us shy away from difficult conversations at work and, if having these conversations wasn’t stressful enough, the present economic climate, where inflation is at its highest since 1982, makes it difficult for companies to offer a raise, placing another obstacle to overcome.

Here are some things that can help you confront and tackle these difficult conversations to try and achieve the outcome you want – and deserve!

How to Navigate Conversations About Pay

Preparation is Key & Practice Makes Perfect

Include a script of what you’re going to say and your arguments for why you believe you should be given a raise, then practice saying it aloud. As a previous study has demonstrated, communication and emotion are intertwined, thus maintaining composure and confidence is vital.

When speaking with superiors, fear and worry are common emotions. This study has also shown that these negative feelings have an adverse effect on both the speaker’s message and how the listener interprets it. Due to its ability to make you more comfortable with the subject of what you are trying to say, practice helps you control nervousness and project confidence.

Know Your Worth & Value

You should be able to ascertain how your present salary compares to the market average by looking up how much people in similar occupations and sectors are making at that level. With this knowledge, initiating the conversation should be easier because you have done adequate research and compiled sufficient evidence to support your argument.

Consider if you have taken on additional duties or projects, as well as how the projects have benefited your business. With these in mind, you can offer convincing justifications for why you are also worthy of the pay increase. Having strong examples of success is a key component in persuasive communication as it boosts the credibility of the message you are attempting to express.

Approach in the Right Place, At the Right Time

The timing of the chat is a crucial element, so make sure to ask at a time when your supervisor is open to suggestions and isn’t overly busy. If other high priority projects are on their mind, your request is likely to get lost or pushed to the back of their mind.

You can improve the likelihood that your message will be well-received and effectively understood by communicating when people are more open, receptive, or in a favourable emotional state. According to neuropsychological studies, our brains are less able to process rational information when we are under a lot of emotional stress. Therefore, think about bringing up the subject once a project or assignment has been done satisfactorily or when your superior doesn’t seem unduly pressured.

Based in the UK, Rethinkly is helping organisations to build the skills and cultures needed in today’s dynamic business environments.