January 25, 2018 3:39 pm

More than half of Canadians will ask for a raise in 2018 – here’s why

Only 17 per cent of people are comfortable with their current rate of pay, report finds.

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Canadians want a raise at work and they want it now.

That’s what a new report by Indeed Canada found as more than half (52 per cent) of workers say they will definitely (24 per cent) or possibly (28 per cent) be asking for a fatter paycheque this year.

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“According to the latest Census data, income growth has been sluggish in Canada over the past 10 years and we found that employees cite cost of living as the number one reason they plan on asking for a raise,” Jodi Kasten, managing director at Indeed Canada, says. “However, many who are planning to ask simply feel they’ve earned it. Just under half (49 per cent) of those who are planning to ask say they have performed well and should be rewarded.”

The survey also found that 83 per cent of Canadians are dissatisfied with their salaries. Fewer than two in 10 were satisfied.

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This is because nearly a third of people who plan to ask for a raise say they have taken on extra responsibilities without an increase in pay, while almost a quarter will ask because they feel a raise is overdue.

Millennials are more likely to ask for a raise, the survey found.

When breaking it down by age, 33 per cent of those between the ages of 25 and 34 will be asking for more money, while only 16 per cent those aged 55 and older are planning to.

Just how much are they asking for? On average, Canadians would like to get an extra $11,882.96 per year added to their salaries. In fact, 23 per cent of people say they need to earn at least $16,000 more a year. The reason for this, they say, is because the cost of living has become too much.

“This can be very significant for an employer,” Kasten says. “But what we found through this survey is that it’s not just about cash. Around three-quarters, or 77 per cent, of our respondents, indicated that they’d be open to improved benefits instead of a raise. Upgraded benefits may be a good compromise here because sometimes job satisfaction is worth more than extra gold.”

Almost half (47 per cent) of respondents said they will ask for increases of six per cent to 10 per cent. Millennials, however, will be aiming for eight per cent with those over 55 reaching for six per cent.

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Breaking it down further, men will be asking for an eight per cent increase while women are going for seven per cent.

The likelihood of getting a raise all depends on the company, Kasten says, but what’s important for employees and employers is to have an open and honest conversation about salary.

“Sometimes it will lead to an increase and sometimes it won’t but the key is having a culture that encourages salary discussions,” she says.

When it comes to requests being denied, 63 per cent of employees said they were told there wasn’t enough room in the budget, while 15 per cent were told they hadn’t worked at the company long enough and 22 per cent were given no reason at all.

In fact, 77 per cent of women who were denied a raise were told it was due to budget reasons – that’s compared to 54 per cent of men who were told the same thing.

But employers need to see the benefit in granting raises, or at least improved benefits, Kasten says.

“Unemployment is at its lowest levels since the 70s, and this tight labour market means that employers will likely battle for talent,” she says. “Employers should carefully consider the long-term value of each employee and the relationships they want to build with them.”

The good news is, when employers can’t afford salary increases, they’re at least willing to find other ways to reward good work as 77 per cent say they would consider improving benefits.

“Most importantly, consider the needs of your employees,” Kasten says to businesses. “As the results show, some employees prefer better benefits and great job satisfaction which is why having a conversation is important.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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