Salaries have stalled and workers are afraid to ask for a raise — many simply don’t know how. Turn your luck around with these simple tips.
Salaries have stalled and workers are afraid to ask for a raise — many simply don’t know how. Turn your luck around with these simple tips.

Shocking problem with Aussie workers’ pay

SALARIES have stalled and workers are too scared to ask for a raise, with almost half afraid the conversation could cost them their job.

Research from recruitment agency Adecco showed 50 per cent of workers had not received a pay increase within the past two years and 45 per cent thought asking for a pay rise could jeopardise job security.

Psychologist Sabina Read said these concerns were not typically valid.

"Initiating a salary-related conversation rarely correlates negatively with job security, as long as the topic is broached with sound preparation and factual information as opposed to emotional pleas or complaints," she said.

45 per cent of workers are too afraid to ask for a pay rise.
45 per cent of workers are too afraid to ask for a pay rise.

She said too many people believed it was others' responsibility to notice their behaviour or needs.

"This faulty thinking can apply when asking for a hug from a partner to a raise in the workplace, and often our hesitation is fear-based," she said.

"We don't want to be rejected, so we keep our unmet needs to ourselves.

"Leave the emotion at the door, and go for it. Even if the answer is no, you will have kickstarted a useful and valid conversation rather than stewing in unproductive and passive resentment juices."

Adecco managing director Marianna Mood believed more guidance was needed on how to discuss salary with a manager.

"We often see candidates coming in for new positions with their main motivation being to increase their salary, but often they haven't had that conversation with their current manager," she said.

"Leaving a position based on salary may not always be the best option."

Aussie workers need more guidance on how to discuss salary with their boss.
Aussie workers need more guidance on how to discuss salary with their boss.

Workers should have the pay rise conversation after 12 months in a role, and approach their employer with examples of their performance and an understanding of the current job market.

Career Development Association of Australia spokeswoman Rebecca Fraser recommended being prepared for an employer to turn down a pay rise request.

If the company could not afford to offer more money, she said workers could ask for extra annual leave or education opportunities instead.

Overall Australian salaries increased 2.3 per cent in the year to the September quarter, just ahead of CPI (consumer price index) at 1.9 per cent, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Rises ranged from 1.8 per cent in the mining and retail trade industries to 2.8 per cent in the health care and social assistance industry.

She said forecast shortages of highly-skilled talent in sectors such as IT and health could push up salaries in the future.

"We've had low wage growth for a very long time but it may be a trigger for wage growth to go up," he said.

 

Workers should have the pay rise conversation after 12 months in a role.
Workers should have the pay rise conversation after 12 months in a role.

 

 

HOW TO ASK FOR A PAY RISE

TIME IT RIGHT: A good rule of thumb is to schedule a meeting at the 12-month mark. Also consider the company's performance and whether they are likely to have money to spare at that time.

COMPILE A CASE: Look at your achievements in your current role and gather specific, measurable examples. This might include saving the company money as a result of increased efficiency or good customer feedback, through customer satisfaction scores.

KNOW YOUR VALUE: Research the market rate for your job. Salary guides are available online, such as the Adecco Australia 2018 Salary Guide.

REMOVE EMOTION: Be strategic, rather than taking a threatening approach. If you say "give me more money or I will leave", they will know you are not committed to the company and could end up leaving soon anyway.

BE CONFIDENT: Tell your manager the conversation needs to be had and schedule a meeting rather than have a casual conversation.

LOOK FORWARD: Talk about your future with the organisation and how your goals align with company goals.

CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES: If the company cannot afford to offer a pay rise, have alternative requests in mind, such as upskilling or personal development opportunities.

SOURCE: Adecco's Marianna Mood, CDAA's Rebecca Fraser.



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