Staff in pay fear

Work­ers shy to seek raise


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

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 it was up to oth­ers to 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.

“Leave the emo­tion at the door, and go for it. Even if the an­swer is no, you will have kick-started 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.

“Leav­ing a po­si­tion based on salary may not al­ways be the best op­tion.”

Work­ers should have the pay rise con­ver­sa­tion af­ter 12 months in a role.

But Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia spokes­woman Re­becca Fraser rec­om­mended if the com­pany could not af­ford more money, work­ers could in­stead ask for ex­tra an­nual leave.

David Hamil­ton is work­ing as a re­frig­er­a­tion tech­ni­cian in Antarc­tica

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