Successful companies are starting to realise that increasing wages can help to increase profits and growth by boosting productivity; companies such as Costco, a US warehouse company, have seen a rise in profits compared to its competitors, and they owe their success to increased employee morale through better pay. However, as an employee, it can be difficult to persuade employers that you deserve more money when the company grows. Even if your argument is that employees hard work should be rewarded and it would help further boost working incentives.
When a company’s success can be confidently attributed to one’s hard work, then it is a reasonable request to ask for a raise based on self-value. For example, if someone works in sales and has had a successful sales year, which he or she feels has benefited the company, then they should quote their figures and how their work has influenced the company’s success. In other words, it is best to negotiate a salary that reflects one’s value within a company. To do this sufficiently requires researching a reasonable salary compared to what rival companies provide, and to explore the salary range within an industry.
Another factor is if a company’s growth leads to more pressure on its employees, whether it is through a higher number of customers or other types of increased workload that is attributed to its success, then it is logical that the employees should be compensated for their increased efforts. Sometimes workers can find themselves in a situation where an employer has not accounted for growth, meaning that a handful of employees could potentially be taking on the extra workload just to meet the increased demand a company faces. Such circumstances give those employees the necessary room to negotiate a higher salary, especially when they can demonstrate that their current pay does not reflect the increased workload.
Unfortunately, an employee’s rights are limited in negotiating a higher salary, as it is up to an employer to have the final say. But as with any negotiation, an employee can make a difference through careful preparation and a little persuasion. Empathising with an employer’s situation can also help to make a point, as it is likely that they may be facing challenges having to balance employees, workload and company resources to adapt to new growth. In the end, an employer may deem it better to spend extra money on hiring new staff and resources rather than prioritising wage increases. However, showing understanding and drawing the focus of a negotiation towards greater responsibility and workload, rather than increased pay, can help to portray oneself as a concerned and proactive employee who is more deserving of a raise.
An unionised workforce may find the process easier by way of group negotiations that provide a louder voice that represents a workforce as a whole. The possible drawback is that employees may find that their salaries do not reflect their individual performances resulting in a fixed salary percentage increase across the company, rather than analysing the workload and contributions of workers.
All in all, unless an employee asks for what they feel they deserve, an employer is unlikely to put in the effort to meet their expectations. A well-prepared negotiation should make some good progress towards a better salary, but in the worst case an employee may need to explore other options and accept better salary options elsewhere, in the extreme case that an employer refuses to budge. Hopefully it should never come to that, but you may never receive what you do not ask for in the first place.