Asking for a pay rise can be a stressful business. Here at Frontline we believe that managers and companies should reward their staff before they ask, but in reality this isn’t always practical. So, how should you go about asking for that all-important increase?

Ask the question…why do I deserve a pay rise?

Any request for a pay rise needs to be justified. If you’re someone who’s happy to coast along and do the bare minimum, do you really deserve the extra cash? Think about what you’ve achieved and how this has added value to your employer’s business. How many targets have you met, and how many have you exceeded?

Prove it

It’s crucial that you provide evidence to support your request – otherwise your boss might peg you as a bit of a chancer. Emphasise your successes. Perhaps you can demonstrate that your efforts have contributed to an increase in turnover, or maybe you’ve won your firm a lucrative new contract. It doesn’t hurt to remind your employer of your “greatest hits”.

Go above and beyond              

One very simple way to increase the likelihood of a pay rise is to do more than is expected of you. Make yourself busy and always show willing, especially when others aren’t stepping up to the plate. Your boss will notice this.

Get the timing right

Consider the timing of your request very carefully. Never, ever ambush your manager. Nobody likes being caught off guard, especially at a busy time of the year when stress levels are running high.

Be realistic

Many firms have a wage/salary structure which bosses will be unwilling to break. Don’t ask for an increase that would upset your workplace’s existing structure. Consider what others around you are earning (if you know this) and tailor your request accordingly. Asking for a huge increase could stoke resentment among your co-workers, and your boss will be more likely to turn you down.


Don’t approach your meeting with a combative or – heaven forbid – defeatist attitude. Why cut off your nose to spite your face? A pleasant, positive demeanour will go a long way towards persuading your employer that you’re someone they should invest in.

In the event of disappointment…

If your request is turned down, ask when a pay rise can plausibly be reviewed again. Set yourself fresh targets, or have your boss set them for you, and work doubly hard to achieve them.