Too scared for a raise

Work­ers spooked to ask for more

Herald Sun - - NEWS - MELANIE BURGESS [email protected]

SALARIES are barely grow­ing and work­ers are too scared to ask for a raise, with al­most half afraid it could cost them their jobs.

Re­search shows 50 per cent of work­ers had not re­ceived a pay in­crease in the past two years and 45 per cent thought ask­ing for a pay rise could jeop­ar­dise job se­cu­rity.

But psy­chol­o­gist Sabina Read said those con­cerns were not typ­i­cally valid.

“Ini­ti­at­ing a salary-re­lated con­ver­sa­tion rarely cor­re­lates neg­a­tively with job se­cu­rity, as long as the topic is broached with sound prepa­ra­tion and fac­tual in­for­ma­tion as op­posed to emo­tional pleas,” she said.

She said too many peo­ple be­lieved oth­ers should no­tice their be­hav­iour or needs.

“This faulty think­ing can ap­ply when ask­ing for a hug from a part­ner to a raise in the work­place, and of­ten our hes­i­ta­tion is fear-based — we don’t want to be re­jected, so we keep our needs to our­selves,” Ms Read said. “Leave the emo­tion at the door, and go for it. Even if the an­swer is no, you will have kick­started a use­ful and valid con­ver­sa­tion rather than stew­ing in un­pro­duc­tive, pas­sive re­sent­ment juices.”

Re­cruit­ment agency Adecco manag­ing di­rec­tor Mar­i­anna Mood be­lieved more guid­ance was needed on how to dis­cuss salary with a man­ager.

“We of­ten see can­di­dates com­ing in for new po­si­tions with their main mo­ti­va­tion be­ing to in­crease their salary, but of­ten they haven’t had that con­ver­sa­tion with their cur­rent man­ager,” she said.

Work­ers should have the pay rise talk af­ter a year in a role, and ap­proach em­ploy­ers with ex­am­ples of their per­for­mance and an un­der­stand­ing of the cur­rent job mar­ket.

But Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia spokes­woman Re­becca Fraser rec­om­mended be­ing pre­pared for an em­ployer to turn down a pay rise re­quest.

If the com­pany could not af­ford to of­fer more money, she said work­ers could in­stead ask for ex­tra an­nual leave or ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Aus­tralian salaries in­creased 2.3 per cent in the year to Septem­ber, just ahead of the con­sumer price in­dex at 1.9 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics. Rises ranged from 1.8 per cent in min­ing and re­tail trade to 2.8 per cent in health care and so­cial as­sis­tance.

An­drew Lafon­taine, head of or­gan­i­sa­tional strat­egy prac­tice at or­gan­i­sa­tion con­sul­tancy Korn Ferry, said that fore­cast short­ages of highly skilled ta­lent in sec­tors such as IT and health could push up salaries. “We’ve had low wage growth for a very long time but it may be a trig­ger for wage growth to go up,” he said.

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