If your boss didn’t hand out a pay rise last year, it’s not altogether surprising. That’s because wage growth in Australia has been the lowest on record since the late 1990s.
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe recently cited that the end of the mining boom, dropping productivity and the increased need for job security has resulted in wage growth being less than two per cent per year. Based on an average Australian salary, that represents just $1,600 extra a year. Coupled with the fact that the cost of goods goes up each year because of inflation, some Australians might find themselves with less and less in their back pockets.
So, what can the Australian workforce do to help grow wages? Here are a few tips to help you when the big day comes.
Don’t just stick your hand out
Asking for a pay rise isn’t just about the money – it’s about presenting all the work you do and asking for fair reward for your contribution in growing the company. In many cases it’s about more than the work as well. Culture plays such an important part in company strategy, so think about how you add to the culture and build a case of why you’re a valued team member. Talk about money last.
Do your research
It’s important to know what the industry average is for your role and what a competitor would offer should you go and work for them. There are a range of useful websites that provide this information – so spend some time online to understand where you sit in the market.
At the same time it’s important to know the company’s finances, and also if the market the business operates in looks set to grow. A worker asking for a pay rise in a company which turned a profit last year will have fewer barriers to someone working in a company that made a loss.
Say what you want to earn
Too often workers that ask for a pay rise do so expecting their employer will set the terms of how much. However, telling an employer upfront how much you’d like to earn can help put some of the control back in your hands. At the end of the day asking for a pay rise is a negotiation, so be sure to have your say and be clear about your worth.
If it doesn’t work out – ask again
If asking for a pay rise doesn’t work the first time, don’t be put off by one failed attempt. Instead seek to schedule a performance review in six months’ time with clearly agreed goals. A salary review is always much easier if both parties have pre-agreed terms of reference.