Over the past 18 months, the cost of living has gone sky high while our wages have gone basically nowhere, and it's caused some serious hip-pocket pain. But, for some, that should all be about to change.
The average increase in income across new collective agreements lodged with the Fair Work Commission since August 12 has leapt to 4.7 per cent. These are en masse wage deals – or enterprise agreements – in sectors, such as retail, banking, education and construction.
Here's what you need to know to secure your increase.
Also by Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon:
The intel you need to secure a salary increase
Sure, your employer is dealing with similar cost pressures to you. Electricity and petrol are likely to be some of the business inputs for which they have seen the biggest increases, so be aware that they are stretched, too. But also know that the chances of them finding someone to fill your position - with unemployment below 4 per cent - are slim.
Also, don’t forget that ‘new hires’ always require some level of training and, therefore, represent a hit to productivity, at least in the short term. The replacement reality, coupled with that average 4.7 per cent salary surge - which covers almost 100,000 Aussie workers - puts you in a strong bargaining position for a pay rise.
How to negotiate the biggest possible pay rise
When it’s “show-me-the-money time”, the manner of your approach will be crucial, so don’t actually say: “Show me the money.”
After all, you are dealing with people, whether it's your direct boss, someone in middle management, or even the CEO, because your application for an increase in income has been escalated. Fundamentally, the way to get what you want is to understand what has, and will, help them and, of course, present the benefit you offer in an engaging way.
Here’s your three-step pay-rise approach
Step one: Request a review
It’s probably best to do this by email, but make it clear that it's the desired purpose of the meeting. This will help the idea percolate in your boss’s mind without ambushing them, which would only put them on the defensive.
Step two: Prepare your extra-income ammunition
You need to collate and quantify your contribution to the company, preferably to the company’s bottom line. All your achievements and your corporate successes should be listed and detailed through the prism – where possible – of profit. Think your boss knows all this already? They may well not. And if it’s been a year since your last review, that’s a lot of work, projects or business boosters under the bridge.
Step three: Finally, it’s the meeting itself
The key to success here is to be clear, calm and compelling. With the evidence for increased income at your fingertips, you need to present it in the most persuasive way.
Harking back to my ‘helping’ point above, ‘walk’ around in your boss’s shoes to prepare your conversation points. What have you done for them? How will your ongoing services be good for them in the future? Let's face it, anything that can make life easier is appealing to anyone.
And then – once you have set the scene of your indispensability – there is that 4.7 per cent pay-boost benchmark to mention. How much would that ease the financial squeeze right now?