How can you make sure that your annual salary review is a success?
For chemist Lojana Mohanathas the annual salary review provides an extra incentive to take on additional responsibilities during the course of the year.
The day after a salary review, Lojana Mohanathas starts thinking about next year’s interview.
“I immediately start thinking about what I can do in order to increase my salary. I don’t feel that I can keep doing the same duties again and again and then come back and ask for a pay rise,” she says.
Lojana works for the Norwegian Medicines Agency and, like many other employees, has an annual conversation about salary with her employer every autumn.
Tekna Magasinet talked to Lojana at the Norwegian Medicines Agency’s laboratory at Helsfyr in Oslo. Ahead of her annual salary review with her boss, Lojana always talks to her line managers at the laboratory. During these conversations she explains what she is thinking of asking for and gives her reasons. She then gets feedback on what she can reasonably expect and whether she can ask for that much more.
“I set a realistic target and don’t push matters too far. But I don’t want to settle for the lowest salary level either,” Lojana tells us.
A win-win situation
What can we really talk about during the salary review? We asked Linn Guste-Pedersen, one of Tekna’s advisers.
“Many employees wonder whether they can negotiate salary during a salary review and whether their employer can promise them a new salary level. That’s not the way things work. This is a conversation, not a negotiation,” she says.
Ultimately this is about salary development over time, the adviser points out.
“The salary review is a win-win situation. As an employee you get constructive feedback and a pointer as to what you can realistically expect in the way of pay. What’s more, the interview should help you to get a clear idea in your mind about your own salary development: If you are earning less than your colleague, but working twice as hard, perhaps you deserve a higher salary?”
“And for your employer, the review provides a useful opportunity for correcting the salary expectations of employees,” Linn Guste-Pedersen tells us.
As an employee you would be well advised to check the pay criteria of the company you work for and to peg your performance to these criteria, she advises.
Tekna’s salary policy in five steps