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BE BRAVE: Synne Lüthcke Lied explains why it’s important for you to bring this topic to your boss’s attention. Photo: Mikkel Moe

Advice and Tips

– Why it’s a good idea to ask for a salary review now

Written by Sondre Tallaksrud Published: Dec. 13 2022

– We get a lot of phone calls from people who dread bringing this topic up with their boss, says Tekna attorney Synne Lüthcke Lied.

If you feel your monthly salary’s less than you deserve, you should schedule a salary review with your boss as soon as possible. After all, you can’t expect that your employer necessarily knows the value of your competency.

Because employees are working remotely more now than ever, it can be difficult for your boss to know exactly what you’re doing when in your home office.

– That’s why it’s even more important to have a salary review, according to Lied.

– And no matter what, tell the truth, she adds.   

Focus on reasons

You have two goals in a salary review: You need to convince your boss that you deserve a higher salary and, if they need to take your request higher up in the company, you need to give them good reasons to present to their superiors when they bring up your request.

How to do this in the best possible way?

The most important actions you can take are in the days before your review, says Lied.

– The first thing you need to do is let your boss know that you’re requesting a salary review. Make sure to ask well in advance so that you both have time to prepare for your discussion.

Use this time to gather information about what you’ve accomplished since your last salary review, focusing on your own performance.

  • Have you accomplished what you were supposed to do?
  • Have you achieved the goals set by your employer?
  • Have you performed any projects especially well?
  • Can you show concrete results in the form of numbers, feedback or the like?
  • Has your position changed in any way?

Lied thinks it’s best to have a salary review in person. Book a meeting room for an hour, and keep in mind that what you’re going to have is a discussion – not a negotiation.

– Very few people like bragging about themselves.

– You should focus on yourself because employees are compensated according to their job tasks and level of responsibility, competency, effort, experience, and development since their last salary review. What other employees do or don’t do can’t be allowed to influence the factors determining an individual employee’s salary.

– No matter what happens, tell the truth, be humble and show that you’re not making things up as you go along. You say that you’re good at cooperating with others? Okay, how are you good at it, and when did you last work with somebody else, and what did you do to make this collaboration go as well as it did?

Support each of your points with concrete examples. And remember that salary statistics aren’t some kind of answer key showing what your salary should be; instead, they’re just a way to help you back up your arguments when talking about your own salary.

You can also contact Tekna’s head office if you have any questions about salary reviews or want to discuss the different arguments you’ve considered using in yours.

Please write to juridisk@tekna.no or call us for legal help at: (+47) 22 94 75 00 (Monday-Friday 09.00-15.00).

BE PREPARED: The most important thing you can do before your salary review is to prepare for it as much as possible. Photo: Mikkel Moe.

– High level of anxiety

There’s the saying «nothing ventured, nothing gained», meaning you must take risks to achieve your goals; this type of thinking applies to your salary as well. If you don’t take the important step of asking for a salary review, you’ll never know if you could’ve received a higher salary in your current job.

Lied explains that Tekna gets a lot of phone calls for people who find it difficult to ask for a salary review, especially if they think they’ll have to brag about themselves.

– There are a lot of people who are worried about this point; very few of us like boasting about ourselves, but this is exactly what’s expected in this type of discussion. But as long as the way you talk about your own performance and efforts is justified, there’s no reason to be afraid of having a salary review.

Not all employers expect that you’ll ask for a certain amount of money: Yet if you do ask for this, the answer will be evaluated according to your performance results and company’s current financial status as well as the labor market, explains Lied.

– Can you ask for other benefits, too?

– Feel free to bring up public transportation passes, free lunches, gym passes, newspaper subscriptions and the like. But most employers want these benefits to be equal for all their employees, and I’d never choose these benefits if it meant giving up a higher salary. 

Read about other benefits you can ask for during a salary review.

– Kan man fortelle om hva man tenker å få til i fremtiden?

– Can you talk about what you’re planning to accomplish in the future?

– If you already know that you’ll be given more responsibility in the future, like an important new project, this can be worth mentioning. But it’s easier to talk about what’s already taken place; you of course know what you’ve achieved, which is easier to verify. And whatever’s being planned for the future can for different reasons be changed or cancelled, she says.

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As a Tekna member, you receive many professional and financial benefits. We may help you with your salary, career and professional development and legal challenges. You get access to one of the country's best banking and insurance deals which can save you a lot of money. Becoming a Tekna member is a good idea!

You won’t get any salary increase right away

Once your salary review’s over, there’s not a lot more you can do. You won’t necessarily get a salary increase right then and there, either, as these things can take time.

– Afterwards, your boss has to bring your arguments further up the ladder and find out if there’s a possibility of fulfilling your wishes or not.

– But what if you feel you’re not getting the salary you deserve and have a salary review, only to find out that you won’t be getting any  increase in pay?  

– If this happens, you should first consider what the real reason might be – Tekna’s salary statistics? The company’s own salary levels? They don’t necessarily match up; neither are Tekna’s statistics an answer key showing what the «correct» salary is in each individual employee, including you.

– The most important thing is to keep an eye on your own salary development, especially these days as the labor market for Tekna members is good. It’s important to use the tools you have at hand – salary statistics, your own salary level, your own salary development and your own work performance – the next time you want to sit down with your boss for a salary review.

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