Wages are growing, just maybe not yours

Wages are growing, but just maybe not yours. Here's some help in asking for a payrise.

2029 0

Wages data is out this week and we expect to see a pick up in growth, but whether you’re feeling it is another issue entirely.

This Wednesday there will be a focus on Australian’s wages growth and we’re likely to see an acceleration in wages, to 0.7 per cent quarter on quarter or 2.2 per cent year on year, according to AMP Capital chief economists Dr Shane Oliver.

Dr Oliver says this reflects the 3.3 per cent increase in the minimum wage – which affects more women and younger Australian workers.

Beyond that, it’s apparently harder to get a payrise, unless of course you’re considered a key staff member.

Research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half reveals that 94 per cent of Australian managers plan to attribute salary increases to an average of 25 per cent of their staff in the next 12 months, with the average salary increase for those Australian office workers expected to be 7.9 per cent – which is significantly higher than the national wage growth average.

“Even though national wage growth is at an all-time low in Australia, many employers realise that attributing a pay increase to their top performers is an efficient retention measure,” said Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half Australia.

“Professionals in today’s market know their market value and top talent whose skills are highly sought-after are more receptive to leaving the organisation if they are offered a more attractive remuneration package elsewhere.”

Of those Australian managers who are not planning to award salary increases, 52 per cent say the main reason is their staff’s salaries are already at market rate, 45 per cent refer to a lack of financial resources or cost reduction and 24 per cent cite previous salary increases were attributed too recently as the main reason.

Here are four tips for asking for a pay rise:

  1. Know the best time to ask

Timing is everything when it comes to asking for a raise. Often a good time to broach the subject is just after your annual performance review.

Sitting down with your manager and reviewing all your recent accomplishments will reinforce the value you bring to the company and help justify your request for a raise.

  1. Have solid reasons for requesting a raise

The reasons for asking for a pay raise need to go beyond purely lifestyle motivators, such as wanting more money so you can travel, buying new clothes or paying off student loans.

“Make sure you give your boss concrete examples of why you deserve a higher salary, such as how your actions have benefitted the company and what the results of your efforts are,” said Mr Morris.

  1. Know what you’re worth

Your skills and experience have value in the employment market. To find out what common salary ranges are for your position, read industry publications such as the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide, or consult recruiters and colleagues in your field.

“Measuring your salary against industry standards will help you gauge how much extra pay you might be entitled to.”

  1. Consider asking for benefits

Sometimes, companies may not be in a financial position to raise salaries and even after all your best attempts, your manager may still say, “We don’t have the money right now.”

“Don’t be disheartened if you receive a ‘no’ – the conversation doesn’t necessarily need to end if you have a back-up plan. Consider asking for additional benefits that don’t require a budget, such as flexible working arrangements, additional annual leave or professional development opportunities,” said Mr Morris.

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