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Building Pay Resilience in a volatile market

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Posted by Sarah Lardner on 20 January 2023

Building Pay Resilience in a volatile market

Pay Data | Resilience

On 17th January, BBC online published an article entitled Cost of living: Five tips for asking for a pay rise. It is one of many articles currently being published on the topic, and offers ‘five tips on how to negotiate for more money'.

The questions and tips are developed with the help of recruiters, a manager and a workplace psychologist and are broadly realistic, so how can HR professionals equip their leaders and line managers to deal with them? Here we address the BBC's five tips one by one.

Tip 1. Choose the right time

BBC advice to workers: “Allow your boss time to prepare by scheduling a talk in advance about pay. Try to pick a time when the business is doing well.”

Innecto advice to HR

  • Be appreciative of an employee’s desire to engage openly and in a way that enables preparation.
  • Be clear in communicating your understanding of your company’s pay place in the market, steps you are taking to gain clarity on that yourselves and what you are doing to enable pay progression within your business.

Tip 2. Bring evidence

BBC advice to workers: “Know what you've achieved either from a work setting or what you've done to develop yourself to support your team, or line managers. List all the pros of what you've done to help your manager rationalise why you should be paid more. Also be clear about what you want to do over the next 12 months.”

Innecto advice to HR

  • Build a strong picture of the employee’s value to the company including their output, longevity of service, flexibility of approach, previous promotions and pay rises and overall buy-in to the culture of the business.
  • Draw on your own internal company data from internal reviews of planned or discretionary pay increases at their pay grade and across the business
  • Highlight to them where your pay practices are targeted, fair and protect the lowest-paid workers

Tip 3. Be confident

BBC advice to workers: “Often people don't feel confident because there is a "stigma" around talking about pay but it's an important part of work. This particularly affects women and people from minority backgrounds. Ask for a mentor or role model, who can help guide them through those conversations.”

Innecto advice to HR

  • It is always better to have these questions and challenges raised, than to fear they are there but let them fester and face people leaving unannounced.
  • Encourage an open forum but publish any Pay Policy information, so that an employee can understand where they may have a case for an increase
  • Often pay challenges are referred into HR. Enable line managers to have the information to hand so that they can have a full and open conversation.

Tip 4. Have a figure in mind

BBC advice to workers: “Do your research and have an exact figure in mind from looking at other roles and salaries. Be realistic.”

Innecto advice to HR

  • Prioritise pay adjustments to address low pay against the market, market premiums, flight risks and the lowest pay
  • Ensure your pay policy is up to date and clearly articulates the organisation’s approach to pay
  • Articulate the robust nature of your approach to pay - often employees will bring in job adverts which do not tell the whole story

Tip 5. Don't give up

BBC advice to workers: “If the above steps don't result in a pay rise, try not to be disheartened. Look beyond the money - consider asking for more holiday or flexibility around working hours or extra training and development. Keep the communication open. And if you don't get what you want, you can look elsewhere.”

Innecto advice to HR

  • Build out and accentuate your Total Employee Value Proposition.
  • Salary sacrifice, flexible working, recognition, PPD etc.
  • Look to implement Total Reward Statements. These are powerful tools to help employees see and appreciate the full value of their package and remind them of all the benefits they have, some of which they may have forgotten about.

These may include:

  • Pension
  • Medical and life insurance
  • Salary sacrifice, travel and cash schemes
  • Wellbeing and health schemes
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Ability to buy or sell holiday days
  • Length of service awards or a day off to recognise a birthday
  • Financial support advice and counselling
  • Recognition schemes
  • Personal Professional Development opportunities
  • Perks such as free parking, tea and coffee or space for eating lunch

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