1. Determine what you’re worth as a worker
One of the first steps towards negotiating your new salary and benefits is deciding what it is, specifically, about you as a worker that merits you getting an increase in your pay and benefits.
This forms the foundation of your entire approach to negotiating a new salary and benefits package, so it’s essential to put some work into examining it.
To put it simply, what are you currently worth as a worker? You should think about this question in related to things like how well you make profit for the organisation; your contribution to the wider success of the organisation and the value that you bring to your team. The easiest way to do this is usually by sitting down and examining a few key areas related to your professional career to date. Here are some of the key facts to examine when it comes to trying to assess how much you’re worth as an employee:
a. Key skills
What skills do you have that others at your workplace don’t? What are the attributes and knowledge that make you unique as a professional. For example, are you the only person in your department who has a CIPD Level 7 qualification? Or perhaps you have a particularly microscopically detailed knowledge of your organisation’s HR policies? You might even be widely respected by your colleagues as a fountain of professional knowledge?
These are all specialist skills and aptitudes that could justify a bump in your base rate or additional benefits.
b. Achievements and value
Are there any specific things that you have achieved during your time working at your organisation that have had a significant benefit on the overall business? Perhaps you helped achieved a bump set of profit returns, or you dealt with a particularly challenging project. Any area where you’ve over-delivered on a task, or you’ve met with success, is something that you can use to demand a higher salary or benefits.
It’s also useful to think about specific ways that you’ve added value to your workplace? Perhaps you improved your efficiency by X% through sharpening policies, or you managed to boost employee engagement by X% through a new retention programme?
Think about the ways that your achievements have added solid value to your workplace. Ask yourself the question, “What value would be missing here if I was not here?”
c. Demand of your skills
It can also be useful to think about the specific skills you have that are currently in demand in the wider economy at the moment. In a tight labour market, this demand can be used to justify a better package of remuneration for yourself.
d. Average salaries of the same/similar role across the country
How much do professionals in the same, or similar, roles across the country earn for doing the same tasks as you? Are they paid more? Make a note of how much your current salary is in regards to the industry average: you can often find that you’re being significantly underpaid – particularly if your salary hasn’t been updated for a while.
e. The rate of inflation
One of the biggest external economic factors that will probably influence how much your skills and expertise are worth, and crucially, how much you are worth as a worker, is the rate of inflation in the wider economy.
Inflation refers to how fast the price of products and services rises in the economy. For the last decade, inflation has been relatively steady at an average rate of 1.88%. Over the last two years though, this has rocketed and is now sitting at an average of 10% in the UK. Inflation essentially erodes your purchasing power: it means that you’ll have to pay higher prices for things. When you aren’t getting a corresponding rise in pay, this means that things get more expensive
Make a note of all of your key findings, take your current salary as a starting figure and try to think about how much each of the elements that you’ve identified add additional value to your offering as a professional. It can be useful to come up with three figures at the end of the process:
- The best salary/benefits that you can achieve
- The minimum salary/ benefit increase you would accept
- An achievable compromise between the two