4 key factors in determining salary increases for employees

October 02, 2020

Factors for pay raise

Pay raise is a challenging topic to bring up with your boss, there’s no two ways about it. If you are about to knock on their door, there are some basic factors in determining pay raise which you should be aware of.

I recommend to my employees at VerriBerri that throughout the financial year, they create a spreadsheet of achievements or accomplishments that they are proud of. Within any business, your manager can’t have eyes on everything that you do, which is why it’s important to highlight to your boss something which you’re proud of. 

When approaching your boss to ask for pay raise, consider the following criteria for salary increase, because they most certainly are.

Performance is the first thing to look at when discussing pay raise

How have you performed throughout the year? What are you proud of? Can you genuinely say you’ve made a difference to your company? These are all questions to ask yourself before asking a pay raise.

Performance is so important as it highlights multiple values about yourself. It shows how much you care about your job; how driven you are and your attitude towards career progression. After running my business for over ten years now, I always look at how my team has performed, whether that’s the number of PR leads they’ve generated or their general attitude towards work. 

It’s important to recognize that performance doesn’t solely mean the money or profit you’ve generated for your employer. It might be that you’ve stayed an extra half an hour on occasions, demonstrating the dedication you have towards your work, or the fact you’re always willing to help your colleagues out when possible.

Without good attitude and work ethic, there’s no pay raise

Your attitude and work ethic are also key factors when determining pay raise. Your attitude is a form of expression of yourself, and it’s important to try and remain positive in the workplace. If an employee goes into work with the wrong outlook and remains negative for the most part of their week, it’s likely to affect not only how they interact with their colleagues but their standard of work.

When I’m recruiting, I examine the interviewee’s personality and general attitude. For example, gauging a positive response to a particularly tricky scenario I may put to them or assessing their enthusiasm toward more menial tasks they may have to carry out. It’s easy to see who will fit the dynamic of our team.

Being a team player is one of the criteria for salary increase

Whilst being a team player is crucial when creating a positive and friendly atmosphere, it’s also an important factor to see, as an MD. It indicates those with natural leadership skills, those who are good at boosting team morale and therefore those that may be eligible for more responsibility, pay rise or promotion.

Going above and beyond isn’t something in your job description, it’s a choice. It’s a choice you make off your own back which signifies the passion you have for working for the business. While it’s not something you might recognise as a personal achievement, more a personality trait, as an MD, it is something I would recognise and take note of.

Employees who are proactive have better chances for a pay raise

It’s important to highlight the fact that how I would determine my employees being worthy of a pay rise, may not be other MD’s definitions. Equally, team members may also have their own contributing factors as to why they feel a raise is warranted.

There are few encouraging things you can do that might aid in a positive outcome:

Putting yourself forward

Coming out of your comfort zone can be daunting, but every once in a while, it can boost your confidence to take on something new or at least demonstrate within your work setting that you are willing to. This proactiveness and readiness is more likely to be noticed by senior management and ultimately result in a pay raise. Basically, it shows you have a want to develop the skillset and become an increasingly valuable member of the team.

Assess how you’re viewed within the company

In a business, as MD, my opinion is not the only one that matters. Who I promote and give more responsibility to has to be selected carefully so that it benefits the dynamic and growth of the team. Team members that are selected for pay rise or more responsibility tend to be those that encourage others and build strong and solid relationships with both clients and staff.

As an employee, being aware of your interpersonal skills and how you are viewed and valued by your other team members is a good indication that you are the right fit or ready for promotion or pay rise.

Recognising the bigger picture

Opportunity for a pay rise can be affected by external factors that are totally out of a business owner’s control. A company may have planned for particular pay rises one year but when a recession hits, for example, finances may not be as readily accessible.

For employee’s looking for a raise, it’s all in the timing. Be aware of the current climate and other external factors that may mean a conversation about pay could be less productive.


Working hard for success is crucial, whether that comes down to taking the leap into trying something new or being there ready to help someone out in the team if you can. Everyone deserves to be recognized for their successes and hard work. So don’t be afraid to ask for a pay raise if you’re feeling undervalued or for that matter, underpaid.

Sarah Kauter, Founder of VerriBerri

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