A guide to getting promoted
Trying to land yourself a promotion in the current climate is a tricky business. Whilst many companies will be more than happy for you to take on extra responsibility, they are not always so keen on upping your pay to reflect your new role. But in fact whilst not easy it is certainly achievable with the correct approach. Here's a five-step guide...
Step 1: Reality check
The first step in the process is to be realistic. Retailers and larger hospitality businesses tend to determine pay grades on a company-wide scale, so there is less room for an employee to negotiate salary on an individual basis. What you might want to consider is to demonstrate the reasons why you are ready for a promotion. Employers love energetic, ambitious employees, so letting them know you're hungry for greater responsibility might be enough to land you a fulfilling new position and the money to go with it.
Step 2: Build your case
This is important - you have to be able to make a business case for why you deserve a pay rise. Think about all of the important tasks you carry out, responsibilities you bear and benefits you bring to the company. Think about any initiatives you have undertaken that might have saved the company money, new policies you helped implement or new staff with whose training you have become involved.
Think hard about how your role may have evolved: the most persuasive arguments you are going to be able to muster will be in highlighting areas in which you are now doing far more than was in your original remit. If you can establish a business case that shows you are doing more than the job you're being paid for, you'll have a much greater chance of success in persuading your manager. Alternatively, if you are struggling with a business plan that truly shows your worth, you can simply ask your boss, "Is there any way I can take on more responsibilities here?" This shows your employers that you you're not expecting more cash for no extra input on your part and they may appreciate you showing initiative.
Step 3: Speak up
Don't wait and hope that your performance will be noticed - talk to your manager. If you have an issue that won't wait, do your boss and yourself a favour; don't skulk about feeling resentful. Talk to them in a positive, professional and non-confrontational manner. Ask your manager if they could set aside some time for a chat or alternatively if you have regular performance reviews bring up the subject then.
Step 4: The meeting
Practical preparation is a good notion - make a list of the key elements of your business case for a pay rise and take the list into the meeting in case you lose your thread.
Go into the meeting with realistic expectations - you're unlikely to come out with a decision, your boss will want some time to consider the discussion and maybe discuss it with their superiors. It might also be a good idea to reaffirm your commitment to the company, to talk in positive terms about your intended future with them. This is because, however carefully handled, wage negotiations can sometimes carry with them an unspoken ultimatum - "give me some more money or I'm off".
Once you're done, demonstrate your empathy by acknowledging they'll need some time to think things over then thank them for their time.
Step 5: The result
Having had the courage to speak up about your salary, there may be a huge temptation to pester your employer about their decision. Don't. Go about your normal business and leave them be.
With any luck your reasoned, positive arguments will sway your employer and the pay rise or promotion will be forthcoming. You should however, be prepared for the possibility that - particularly at the moment under current economic conditions - this may not happen.
If this should occur it is perfectly OK to find out what the deciding factors against you were, but be friendly. Ask if there's anything you might do to make a similar salary discussion more successful next time.
The period following an unsuccessful salary negotiation is key; your performance in the workplace will inevitably receive greater scrutiny so don't let it deteriorate. Maintaining your effort and professionalism will speak volumes to your manager both now and in the future.
Pay rises are achievable, even in the age of austerity. It is certainly a harder, or rather smarter, sell right now but unarguably achievable. The secret lies in the structure and tone of your pitch. In any event, the fact that you are pushing for greater heights will mark you out as one to watch within your company