Who in their right mind is going to ask for a raise during a pandemic? After all, shouldn’t we just be happy that we still have a job? Well, yes, of course. But also, no.
Many have taken on new roles, duties and responsibilities during the pandemic, especially in the hospitality sector. Some have taken pay cuts to help their business through difficult times. And home workers, especially in colder climes, have endured a winter where they had to heat the house throughout the day – and that was expensive.
Monica Torres addressed this issue of asking for a pay rise in a recent article for the Huffington Post. She believes it can be done during a pandemic – but you need to be strategic. Here is her list of dos and don’ts.
Get the timing right
Some businesses have enjoyed remarkable growth this year, despite the pandemic. Sadly, most hospitality brands are still hurting. If your company is undergoing layoffs and reporting losses, then it’s not the best time to ask for a raise. If your property or business has identified opportunities in the pandemic and you have been involved with this, then this time is right to ask.
Consider how your responsibilities have changed this year
Suppose you are a survivor of layoffs but seen your responsibilities increase and your role expanded, but not been compensated. In that case, you have an opportunity to talk about your salary. Your request could be framed like: “Jeff used to do inventory. Now I take on inventory. It wasn’t part of my original job description”.
Please don’t make it about the pandemic
When you ask, build your case around your job performance and business value. Please don’t make it a personal plea based on financial burdens and caregiving.
If you’re looking for data to support your case, go back to the beginning of the pandemic. Then consider your part in how your hotel or resort handled the crisis. How did your actions benefit the business?
Remember, the impact of your work is more important than the process of what you did. The approach could be: “I saved that client that was about to leave because they were mad, they’re not being responded to as quickly, because we’re down 20 people.”
Look to the future
Most companies are looking for the best worker at the lowest price. But if you’re a great worker, they might pay you a fair salary.
If the answer is no, you should still discuss it so your manager is aware of your request and it might be pushed into next year’s budget. No will also make you think about how easy it would be to get a new job – and how in-demand your position is right now.
It will also give insight into your long-term future at the company. It might be time to question – is this company the right place to get paid appropriately?” You cannot regain the months and years of underpayment, and it might be time to look elsewhere.
What have been your experiences in asking for a raise over the past few months? Is this something you have requested and achieved or has it been declined? Are you looking for a new job at the moment because you feel undervalued? We’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts in the comments section.