Wages have been increasing at a faster rate than inflation since 2018. According to statistics released by the Office of National Statistics, the average weekly income for full-time workers has seen a year-on-year increase of 2.9%, rising from £568 to £585.
Delving into the salary expectations vs reality, research by Instant Offices reveals that in 2019 UK wages saw the fastest rise in just over a decade, increasing by 3.9% in just three months.
Despite this, research found more than half of women (55%) avoid talking about a pay rise with their boss. It also show women are still less likely to ask for a pay rise as less than half (43%) often feel ‘uncomfortable’ doing so.
Gender difference regarding salary negotiations
One-third of women state they believe they are over qualified for their current role, regardless, data shows that women seem less likely to approach or instigate a conversation around money in the workplace. In fact, growing number of women priorities work-life balance, flexible working options and better hours over money.
|Feel comfortable asking for an increase||64%||43%|
|Have never negotiated their salary||40%||55%|
|Are more likely to negotiate working hours than pay||41%||56%|
|Are more likely to negotiate on specific parts of a job||55%||42%|
Breaking down the stigma around the topic of money in the workplace Instant Offices have provided tips on how employees can start an effective discussion around a pay rise with their boss:
Take a diplomatic approach to our reasoning and remove a sense of entitlement. The hardest part of stating you want a pay rise is doing so without using the words “I want a pay rise”. Phrases such as “I want” or “I deserve” will have no merit, especially if you can’t prove your worth to your employer. Have a list of reasons justifying why it would be in your manager’s best interest to pay you more with emphasis always on your ability and what you can bring to the department and company.
Meet in person, but get in touch with you manager in advance to warn them. It is advisable to prepare your manager for the upcoming discussion to allow them to also prepare; they may need to talk to the finance team, or even promote you to a more senior role. Send an email outlining your request and a suggested date for a face-to-face meeting to sit and discuss things in full.
Don’t threaten to leave, unless you’re actually prepared to. If you’re wanting a pay rise, unless you have another job offer lined up, it is not sensible to threaten to quit. Worst case scenario your employer says no and you have no other card to play, resulting in long-term doubt about your loyalty to the company. However, your best case you current employer tries to match the offer.
Do some research and be realistic. Having a look at the average wage within your industry and field can set a realistic benchmark. Remember though, that this is just an average and roles and responsibilities always differ and will effect salary, as will experience.
Think about the timing. If your company has just announced their budgets, restructuring or cuts then factor that in accordingly. You don’t have to wait for your annual review, or even a pay review, just choose a suitable time when there isn’t significant pressure on your manager or the business as a whole.
Have confidence. Although it is a conversation about a pay rise can be unnerving planning ahead and possibly even writing a script, or running through it with a friend, can help prepare you for the conversation to come. This can also alleviate feelings of anxiety allowing you to have confidence, make eye contact and present your points clearly.
Make it more than just money. Although it is a conversation about pay, try and make it a discussion that is more just salary. Focus on career progression, training and other possible perks, which can show you’re invested in your role at the company, and looking to develop in your role rather than simply looking for more cash.