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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Want a pay rise? Threaten to leave
pay slip
Surely you deserve more
Threatening to leave your job is the best way to secure a pay rise, according to a survey of British bosses and employees.

But turning on the tears - or telling sob stories - during pay negotiations is probably not a good idea, it suggests.

The survey, by Virgin Money, found 45% of bosses admired employees who fought for more cash.

More than half said the threat of leaving for another job would be likely to persuade them to cough up.

The survey also found favouritism was rife in the workplace, with a third of bosses admitting they gave more pay to people they liked.

If one of my staff threatened to leave, I would say thank you very much and I would show them the door
Michelle Mone, entrepreneur

Erica Bell, spokesperson for Virgin Money, said: "It seems employers will respond to assertiveness in pay reviews and will weigh up the cost of losing a worker with replacing them.

"But workers should remember who's boss and take care not to push their luck."

The survey's findings received a lukewarm reception from some bosses.

Loyalty questioned

Glasgow entrepreneur Michelle Mone, of lingerie-maker Ultimo, said she was not impressed by strongarm tactics from employees.

"What would convince me to give one of my staff a wage rise is if they showed extra commitment.

"If one of my staff threatened to leave, I would say thank you very much and I would show them the door, and wish them all the best," she told BBC Radio Five Live's Wake up to Money.

John Caudwell, founder of the Phones4U, said: "In some situations it would be effective, but then of course the loyalty of that person is brought into question."

Professional approach

Richard Chiumento, director of the Chiumento Consulting Group, which gives career advice, said threatening to leave was "unprofessional".

Richard Chiumento's tips
Find out what other firms pay for people with your skills
Draw up a list of reasons why you deserve more
Name a higher figure than you would expect, to leave room for negotiation
Remain businesslike and avoid displays of emotion

"The personality of your boss should be taken into account when you are dealing with a pay rise.

"But our advice would be to maintain a professional approach towards this."

He advised people to take a more measured approach, and thoroughly research job adverts and websites to find out the going rate.

Virgin Money interviewed more than 1,600 workers and 200 employers.


What do you think? What is the best way to get a pay rise out of your boss? Is threatening to leave a good tactic? Send us your views.

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Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published.

Bosses will pay you as little as they think they can possibly get away with. It's not personal, it's just business. It is therefore up to the individual to get as good a package as they can, using whatever means you have. It's a game - survival of the fittest.
TC, UK

I think it's sad that employees like myself are forced into requesting pay rises at all - a steady percentage increase in salary every year, rewarding loyalty and good work should be all that is required from me in order to receive more money. If the employer is not paying enough then leaving cannot not be a threat - it will be a reality, and there will be no room for negotiation.
Karen, Scotland

If I were to threaten to leave, my boss would show me the door! I think it depends on the industry you work in, and the state of the ecomony.
Nick Blackford, UK - Aldershot

I agreee with Michelle Mone if a staff threatened to leave then they will leave! Staff often forget that bosses often work very hard to make sure that the staff get their wage packets at the end of the month in difficult times. Staff who show willingness to commit to a company will be of most value to a company and will be rewarded.
Paul, England

If your company really cared about your development, then you wouldn't need to make threats now would you?
Don, UK

You should only ever threaten to leave if you actually mean it - otherwise what will you do if they say no? Your position is forever compromised
Chris, UK

I am of the opinion that if you need to ask your boss for something, then it is too late. A boss should show their appreciation wihout the need for staff to threaten to leave. And don't threaten to leave if you are not prepared to keep to your word, such as with Clare Short. At the end of the day, no one person is bigger than their job. So go out with respect and pride like Robin Cook did. Crying is the worst thing you can do.
Proud Worker, UK

I agree, it is sad that employees--even those that earned it--should have to ask for a pay rise. Mone is half-right. Bosses also forget that the only reason they are making money is because of the hard work of their employees--and they should be rewarded for that. Loyalty goes both ways. I am loyal to my boss as long as he/she is loyal to my development and appreciates my work.
Carl, USA/UK




SEE ALSO:
Average UK pay 'up 3%'
24 Jun 03  |  Business


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