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How to approach your employer about a pay rise

Are you getting paid what you're worth? Get top tips to help you negotiate a pay review.

Are you getting paid what you're worth?

Money talks and with a ‘cost of living’ crisis taking a rapacious hold it has never been more important to establish what you are worth. Yet, doing so requires poise, evidence and confidence. Here are some tips on how to get paid what you are worth.

1. Time it appropriately: Picking your moment is everything. The horticulture sector has seen some growth during Covid, with more demand for fruit and vegetables. It is business specific, however, and it’s important that pitching your request for a pay rise is done in a climate of boom and client growth. A business that is faltering or at worse failing is not going to be prioritising salary rises over financial survival.

2. Benchmark your salary: A search on Horticulture Jobs will give you data on expected salaries for your job role and level of expertise. These may vary according to location. Presenting the information to your boss will demonstrate that your pitch has been well thought out and carries factual weight.

3. Champion your expertise: Some time may have elapsed since your last salary review and since then you may have garnered further expertise, qualifications and training. These will all add to your case of why you deserve a pay rise. Keeping a log of your Continued Professional Development will also demonstrate how much experience and expertise you add to the business. Highlighting any business wins or renewed business also helps.

4. Keep calm: Being professional at all times is vital. Pre-planning a meeting to discuss your pay will ensure you are ready to present your case but also that you enter the dialogue with a positive frame of mind. An ‘off the cuff’ discussion that is seeped in emotion may not land well with your senior leaders.

5. Expand your network: Making your mark and therefore demonstrating your worth can be achieved in part by networking with key stakeholders, customers and within the industry. Align yourself with the right contacts that can provide support and mentorship.

6. Take on additional work: Be prepared to negotiate the deal. Your boss may want more work or responsibilities taken on in return for a pay rise. Accepting that you may walk away with a bigger to-do-list is important.

7. Discuss percentages rather than a figure: Most bosses will prefer discussing a percentage increase as opposed to a specific amount. You may also be able to demonstrate that you are delivering triple the percentage in company profits as a comparison, for example.

8. Be reasonable: Many businesses have tight budgets so be aware of the constraints. You are more likely to get what you want if you are realistic about the salary level you deserve. If the company is unable to meet your wishes, then consider negotiating a performance related bonus that pays out if you meet certain goals.

9. Be patient: You may not achieve what you want to this time around and there may be valid reasons for that, so be patient. Your boss may agree to another review in 6-12 months. If this is the case, ensure the discussion is recorded. Building up your evidence and paperwork will work in your favour.

10. Be mindful: High-tech equipment and advancements in robotics continue to change the face of horticulture. If your job looks set to evolve with these advances you may need to make a cross-lateral move. It’s important to show what transferable skills you have that enable you to adapt or move to another role that may even pay more.

Remember to hold your head up high, be calm, professional and well-researched when approaching any salary negotiations. Don’t give up if you fall at the first hurdle but continue to prove your worth by demonstrating boosted profits, customer satisfaction and high-levels of productivity.

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