Need a pay rise
The average expected pay increase in the 12 months to September 2011 is 1.5%, similar to 2010, with the private sector slightly higher at 2.3% (Source = CIPD). These are averages, however, and 43% of companies had pay freezes in 2010 and this is predicted to continue this year, with some pay cuts too. With the cost of living increasing and inflation predicted to rise, even a small increase in pay can help your finances.
How to get to the top of the pile when it comes to pay rises
'Pay progression' once in an organisation is typically calculated on individual performance and competency and the most common way that companies set pay rates are three factors; ability to pay, market rates and inflation. An individual approach is taken by many companies with pay, which is worth remembering.
Since only a third of companies have a reward strategy in place, (Source = CIPD) this would imply that there is scope for discussion and influencing with stakeholders. Three out of four people have never asked for a pay rise and men tend to be more assertive than women, which contributes to their earning more than women doing similar work. If you don't ask, you don't get, so while pay rises are thin on the ground, there is no harm in asking the question, as long as you have prepared your case carefully and choose the right moment.
Five tips about pay discussions:
- Find out when your organisations have discussions about pay rises and who is involved in the decision.
- Keep track of your achievements and initiatives and quantify them as much as possible.
- Keep up to speed with market rates for your role - look at recruitment adverts and source data from headhunters and the association for your profession or industry.
- Make sure that during the year you focus on the performance objectives in your annual appraisal and your development goals and monitor progress regularly, rather than putting the document to one side, as well as other proactive initiatives.
- Prepare a business case to justify the value you bring and how you have helped your team and organisation achieve its objectives.