I think companies should have everyone’s pay on display. A publicly available intranet site in alphabetical order with every employees name, salary and benefits next to it. Ok, so this is a bit of a shift from the secret salary world we currently live in. It might even cause a little bit of a distraction in the short term. But one thing is for sure, it will move our society to a far more accountable culture than we currently have.
Let’s consider for a moment the type of behaviour this is likely stimulate:
- “I work harder than Joey, and he earns $20,000 more!”
- “I want a pay rise”
- “Holy shit, I better start working harder, I’ve been found out.”
- “I wont get a pay rise in years”
- “She doesn’t deserve that”
- “Why do sales people earn so much?”
- “Our company is a rip off, they don’t pay well”
- “I can’t believe how little Mary earns, she’s a gun”
- “I’m gonna work my ass off to get that job – I never knew I could earn that much!”
I really believe the initial chaos would lead to a better and more transparent workplace. One where everyone understands their role, impact and the investment the company makes in its people.
In my next startup, this will be policy number one. Total transparency in all financial documents, including salaries.
A retail analysts was telling me that many of his clients don’t want to know the truth about where their customers are going – the inevitable move on-line. He asked him why and he said that many of them can’t face the truth, because it hurts too much.
Another truth is that it ends up hurting more the longer you ignore it.
Just saw this amazing grab from the film ‘Network‘ circa 1976. Watch it, then think about the opportunity of the internet and our ‘own’ global communication channels we’ve been gifted. Then start something, anything, start something which makes the world a better place. Do this and the money will follow you.