Four easy steps to get a pay rise

You: ‘I’m going to quit if you don’t give me a 20% rise’

Boss: ‘I don’t believe you’ll really quit, sorry, no pay rise’

Now you have to quit your job or back down – either way you don’t get a pay rise.

How do you make your boss believe your threat before you actually have to quit?

Four steps to a pay rise

Step 1 – Tell everyone else in the business that you are undervalued and that you will quit if you don’t get the pay rise that you deserve.

Step 2 – Make sure your boss hears about your threats.

Step 3 – Now set up a meeting with your boss.

Step 4 – Tell everyone when and where you are meeting your boss.

Why does this work?

By making it public you are making it much more difficult for you to back down. Instead of it just being between you and your boss, it will be a public humiliation if you don’t get your pay rise and still don’t quit.

Now when you tell your boss how valuable you are to the business and that you want a pay rise he will know that you really are going to leave if you don’t get a raise

If he values you then you will get a raise because, by making it public, he knows that you really will have to quit if you don’t get the increase.


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4 Responses to Four easy steps to get a pay rise

  1. Nick says:

    This has to be the worst advice ever.

    1st off: Making it public makes your boss resent you and goes against every workplace happiness training crap.

    2nd: Your boss would probably fire your under-skilled a$$ before giving you a raise, because if you actually deserved it, you’d have gotten it with a simple please.

    Finally: This approach will undoubtedly get you fired in an instant.

    A better approach would be to request the raise, and if denied, ask for goals, objectives, and other criteria you could aim for that would make you valuable enough for a raise.

    The author of this article is a moron.

  2. Tyler says:

    I agree, this article has no academic merit. I want to see how you used game theory to come to this conclusion as the variables here are too numerous to get such a set of short simple steps.

    You forget to mention that you must be a valuable employee that is worth more than your current salary, otherwise you will be replaced with the drop of a hat. Going public with a salary problem and saying you’re not valued shows disrespect to your boss since you didn’t request a raise to begin with. If you’ve asked for a raise and didn’t receive one then you should get exact reasons why and aim to hit that mark before complaining of being undervalued.

    You’re correct in your assumption that by making it public you will have to quit. That is the only correct statement in the article. So for anyone who is bold enough to try this method for a salary raise, you better have another job lined up. Otherwise you’ll get stuck at your job looking like a fool for not getting a raise. Or you’ll have to quit your job, assuming you haven’t been fired for being disrespectful.

  3. Sam says:

    Very interesting post, but I am skeptical about the effectiveness of these sort of power plays…

    If you were to enact this strategy, you’d better be dam well certain you are indespensible to the organisation…

    I think the boss might not appreciate you undercutting his authority like this, and might decide to make an example of you to the other employees so that they don’t start making similar threats. If employees think he’s weak, they’ll all start demanding raises.

    Plus, since you’ve threaten to quit, he doesn’t even have to find a valid reason to fire you, he could just say “Fine, go!” And if you don’t have a back-up plan (i.e. another higher paying job to go to), you’d have to no choice but leave his office with no raise, facing the prospective of some ugly gossip from you colleagues because of all those empty threats you made…

    My thoughts anyway, for what their worth…

    Love the blog, keep up the good work!

  4. Barry Hughes says:

    Thanks for all the comments.

    The post is obviously a big simplification of any real-life situation. If you were to try to apply this kind of strategy then you would have to be very subtle in how you went about it (if you do try it and get fired then don’t blame me!)

    Tyler – if you’re looking for academic rigour then I think you’ve come to the wrong place! I deliberately keep my posts short and without too many numbers or calculations. The aim is to get general ideas across in a light-hearted way. The real core of this post is the idea of finding ways to make your position stronger in a negotiation through making your threats credible, something that people do all the time.

    Sam – Glad you love the blog!

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