Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Time for That Chat with the Boss

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Time for That Chat with the Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: Niki Chesworth

WHEN Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, spoke out in favour of employees seeking pay rises to offset the squeeze on salaries during the downturn, he was treading on difficult territory.

While we may all agree with him that "the workforce will want to and should share in" the recovery, asking for a pay rise or a promotion is something that many of us are reluctant to do.

However, it is something we need to do. There has been huge pressure on pay in recent years and, in the past 12 months alone, average earnings in the private sector have grown by just 1.4 per cent, one of the lowest levels of growth for 10 years. It means incomes are failing to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

The cost to employers is rising at an even slower rate, with labour costs per hour -- a measure of salaries, benefits in kind and employers' social contributions -- rising by only 0.5 per cent in the year to the end of the second quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics. This compares with inflation reaching 2.9 per cent over the same period. So how do you put your case to the boss? Justify why you are worth it: Even though recovery has begun, it is difficult for employers to justify above average pay rises. However, if you have taken on more responsibility, are doing another person's job, have achieved certain targets or pulled in some new business, these will help your case -- and help your boss when it comes to him or her explaining why you have been recommended for a pay hike.

Make your case as businesslike as possible, listing what you have done over and above your contract of employment or expectations. You are not going to get a bigger pay rise than everyone else simply for doing your job. Do not rely on your appraisal to identify your strengths and achievements, as managers are not always up to the task, according to a survey out this week. It found that only three per cent of global organisations believe that their performance management provides exceptional value.

The Mercer's 2013 Global Performance Management Survey also revealed that six in 10 managers were deemed as being only "marginally skilled in providing career development coaching and direction". …

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