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Brits slighted over pay but too shy to ask for more

Despite the majority (61%) of Brits feeling they are not paid fairly at work, just a quarter (24%) will ask their employer for a raise in 2023.

In the research by 1st Formations, an agency that helps people set up their own companies, a discrepancy was revealed between genders, with women less likely to ask for a salary bump than men.

More than two thirds (68%) of women said they would not be asking for a pay increase, compared with 54% of men.

Pay & reward: 

Average UK worker thinks 9% pay rise is fair for 2023

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The dangers of being too open about pay

Graeme Donnelly, founder of 1st Formations, told HR magazine that a major reason that clients came to them to set up a new business was dissatisfaction with their old job.

He said: “This could be unhappiness over salary, poor leadership, or limited growth opportunities.   

“This is naturally a problem for businesses, as a higher churn rate and reduced workforce inevitably impacts both staff morale, and company profits. 

“HR leaders must look to continually assess the satisfaction levels of their staff to protect against the risks of workplace dissatisfaction. This is particularly important against the current economic backdrop, with employees increasingly feeling the pinch financially.”

Designing jobs with clear goals and performance metrics can help both employees and employers navigate pay-rise season, according to Cheney Hamilton, CEO of flexible jobs board and consultancy Find Your Flex.

Speaking to HR magazine, Hamilton said: “Finding a reason to ask for a pay raise can be tricky unless you regularly work outside of your job description. 

“Encouraging employers to design jobs that are outcome-focused means that not only do both parties see the 'value add' of the employee to the business, but you also get a much more engaged employee whom you are happy to pay more.” 

YouGov polled 2,100 UK adults in February 2023 on behalf of 1st Formations.