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How should FM professionals pursue a salary hike?

Suhail Masri, VP of employer solutions at Bayt.com, outlines five factors to guide FM professionals through salary reviews and raise requests

Some key factors must be considered before asking for a salary raise. [Representational image]
Some key factors must be considered before asking for a salary raise. [Representational image]

FM professionals must consider some key factors before requesting a hike in their wages, an industry expert has said. 

The Construction Week Salary Survey 2016, published last December, found that salaries of 63.5% of respondents to the 2016 survey remained unchanged during the year, compared to 59% of 2015’s participants. 

Up to 4.8% of 2016’s participants reported pay increases in excess of 20%

Suhail Masri, VP of employer solutions at job site Bayt.com, says professionals must "understand how salaries work" before reviewing their pay and seeking a raise. 

He continues: "Money talk at companies can be quite uncomfortable. It is highly likely that you want or even need more money for your hard work but are dreading the process of asking for it.

"Not only have most of us grown up hearing that talking about money could make us lose face, but we’ve also been taught not to be materialistic and money-centered.

"However, sometimes you wonder why some people earn more than others in similar job roles or companies, or why some employees get a higher raise when they put less effort into their jobs.

"It is true that a first-rate performance does not always guarantee a higher salary, so you need to understand how salaries work."

Masri says negotiation skills would be "very useful for all professionals, regardless of where they work in MENA". 

The following pages outline Masri's top five factors to consider before asking for a raise.

1. Assess your worth

"It helps to have a salary range in mind before having the money talk with your manager," Masri says.

"Your current position and pay provide a good starting point, but you should branch out and look for what other professionals in your field are earning.

"You can use Bayt.com Salaries to break down jobs based on title, country, and responsibilities associated with positions.

"By backing up your request with research, you will have less time worrying about asking for too much or too little." 

2. Clarify your request

"The reason behind asking for a raise differs from one person to another," Masri points out.

"Base your request on a set of clear and objective criteria that refer to industry salary standards as well as your own performance.

"From a company’s perspective, the logical reason to pay the employee more is to motivate them to deliver more in the future.

"If you’re asking for a pay raise, talk about what you can do and your future plans for the company.

"Your previous accomplishments, your personal situation, and what others get paid in the same position as you are not good enough reasons on their own," he points out. 

3. Avoid the element of surprise

Masri says a fair and suitable communication channel must be established prior to requesting a salary raise.

"Set up a meeting with your boss when you intend to ask for a raise that you want down the line," he explains.

"Don’t surprise them by asking for a raise in the next pay period.

"Scheduling a meeting gives you and your boss time to prepare, review budgets and discuss performance, which will make the experience less stressful for both of you." 

4. Prepare for the worst

"The worst it can get is to hear a ‘no’, so long as you are asking for a raise in a non-threatening or unprofessional manner," Masri explains.

"No matter how discouraging it may sound, remember that ‘no’ doesn’t last forever.

"Try again in another meeting after having laid some important groundwork for your achievements and have taken into consideration you manager’s reasoning for denying the raise." 

5. Get it in writing

A verifiable timeline must be established for your required salary raise, Masri explains.

"Whatever terms have been reached at the end, you need to get it in writing," he adds.

"Make sure the agreement has the right names, terms and signatures, so there is no question of commitment and no room for ambiguity or retreat.

"This will make sure you salary raise gets through and implemented as swiftly as possible." 

 

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