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(NPR)   Transparent salaries are actually great motivators for employees   (npr.org) divider line 183
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8948 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Jul 2014 at 10:05 AM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-03 08:53:17 AM  
The article misses the HUGE fact that discussing salaries is completely legal and that policies/contracts that state that you can't discuss salaries with co-workers actually are illegal.
 
2014-07-03 09:13:02 AM  
Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.
 
2014-07-03 09:46:56 AM  
I've been telling people in my field that sharing salary info is NOT bragging, but it's a good way to assess value on the marketplace.  Consequently, I've helped about 7 people the last 3 years change jobs for a higher-paying position that will grow their skills.  It's good to know not only where you stand, but where others stand.  I took a job as a contract-to-hire a few years ago.  When they went to hire me, they low-balled me under what the contract-company was paying me with benefits.  I had a list of all the deliverables I was responsible for in the 3 months I was there and flat out told the manager, "Look, if you can find someone that could deliver as much on time, correct, and documented, all the power to him...the beautiful thing about the free market is that you're free to find someone else, and I'm free to look for another job because I know my value on the marketplace."

If you don't talk about salary with others in your field, you can't assess your value.

Most recently, I told a co-worker he as vastly underpaid for his skills (he's really a senior Level 2 VMware guy that was paid junior-level wages), sent him a lead from a recruiter I've worked with for years for a job in a larger environment, helped him update his resume, and prepped him for the interview.  He got the job and a $20k raise.  I felt pretty good about that one as he's a very sharp younger guy with a wife, 2 kids, and a new home.  That $1k extra in take home pay will come in pretty handy.
 
2014-07-03 09:57:32 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.


My wife works in finance and regularly sees how much people are paid. She says some of it is pretty disgusting, especially at the executive level. One person's house (let's just call it what it is, a mansion) was 100% bought by the company.

Oh and it's a major company.

Fortunately it also let her know how grossly she was underpaid and she's gotten significant salary increases there at a time when they simply aren't being handed out.
 
2014-07-03 10:09:03 AM  
Transparent salaries = Everyone gets low-balled.

The most transparent salary system? The U.S. Government. What every employee is paid is a matter of public record.
 
2014-07-03 10:10:02 AM  
Salary info is public info for teachers and stuff.
 
2014-07-03 10:10:14 AM  
A 'murican company is not about 'employees'.  Employees are a necessary evil in a crony capitalist system. the employer/owners is what matters and they don't like their help knowing each other's salaries because then they would get more moanings about raises.  and that is a horroric thing for a company whose focus is funneling as much profit as possible to the owners where it belongs. the higher the company's labor costs are, the less sweet profit the Owners get.  it's all about the Owners now, so shut up and get back to work.

ain't Freedom great!
 
2014-07-03 10:10:36 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.


When I saw the network administrator was getting 2x what I was getting paid, I stopped doing his job.  Need an account on the AS400?  Clickety click.  Here you go.  Need an account on the Novell network?  Hmm...  NWAdmin is locked out.  Go see the Network guy.  If he's not at his desk, he's talking to the big chested secretary.
 
2014-07-03 10:10:50 AM  

The Company Where Everyone Knows Everyone Else's Salary


Sounds like the US government. Not down to the exact dollar, of course, but if you know someone is in a billet for a GS-Y step-Z then you can get pretty close.

I'll discuss my salary with recruiters because that is likely to be helpful to me in some way. There is no reason for my co-workers to know what I make.
 
2014-07-03 10:11:07 AM  
Would it work for C-level shartheads?
 
2014-07-03 10:11:13 AM  
B-b-b-b-bb- TOPLESS BEACHES!!!!

/sorry no photos from me.
 
2014-07-03 10:11:17 AM  

dv-ous: Salary info is public info for teachers and stuff.



but teachers is sozialsismss!!
 
2014-07-03 10:11:29 AM  
What? You're telling me that not acting like a psychotic douchebag at all times is good for morale?

Next you're going to be telling me that MBA types have the creativity of a sea slug and putting them ultimately in charge of creative people entertainment makes for incredibly bad movies and TV shows.

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-07-03 10:12:07 AM  

Harry Freakstorm: Eddie Adams from Torrance: Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.

When I saw the network administrator was getting 2x what I was getting paid, I stopped doing his job.  Need an account on the AS400?  Clickety click.  Here you go.  Need an account on the Novell network?  Hmm...  NWAdmin is locked out.  Go see the Network guy.  If he's not at his desk, he's talking to the big chested secretary.



now you're figuring it out.  well done, grasshopper.
 
2014-07-03 10:13:21 AM  
I worked at a consulting firm that did this, sort of.  It wasn't by name, but there was a file that anyone could look at that had each person's job title (junior analyst, consultant, senior consultant, etc.) and their salary.

So if you were, say, a senior analyst, you could compare your salary with the other senior analysts, but not necessarily know who was who.  It was kinda cool.
 
2014-07-03 10:14:19 AM  
So CSB:

A little while ago our CEO e-mailed me a spreadsheet showing every employee's pay for the last three years, including bonuses and how much the Partners took home.

Turns out the company accountant has the same first name as me.

/The rates mostly seemed fair but it made for an interesting performance review.
 
2014-07-03 10:14:54 AM  
An article about transparent salaries and topless beaches.
 
2014-07-03 10:15:20 AM  

bdub77: Eddie Adams from Torrance: Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.

My wife works in finance and regularly sees how much people are paid. She says some of it is pretty disgusting, especially at the executive level. One person's house (let's just call it what it is, a mansion) was 100% bought by the company.

Oh and it's a major company.

Fortunately it also let her know how grossly she was underpaid and she's gotten significant salary increases there at a time when they simply aren't being handed out.



ain't Freedom great!!
 
2014-07-03 10:15:27 AM  
So everyone should unionize?
 
2014-07-03 10:16:42 AM  
Did any of the NPR staff who worked on this report reveal their salaries?

No, they did not. What does that tell us?
 
2014-07-03 10:17:03 AM  
I've always agreed that salaries shouldn't be this secret, hush-hush thing.  As a company, if you are paying your employees correctly for the job they are doing, if you are evaluating them properly, what's the big deal?  Share salaries, make them known.

"How come Jesse gets 14% more than I get for the same job?"
"Because according to both your evaluations over the last two years, Jesse has brought in 18% more revenue, has never been late a day, compared to your 14 tardies and 2 unexecused absences, does not have three disciplinary actions in his files, and does not steal staplers and food from the lunchroom.  Jesse is a better employee than you."

The companies with the most secretive salary paranoia also tend to be the ones with the worst system of proper evaluation of employees.
 
2014-07-03 10:17:05 AM  
This had potential for a Dilbert Pointy Haired Boss tread
 
2014-07-03 10:17:35 AM  

stpauler: The article misses the HUGE fact that discussing salaries is completely legal and that policies/contracts that state that you can't discuss salaries with co-workers actually are illegal.


there is NO such thing as Illegal in 'murica.  whatever a multi-billion dollar company wants is , by definition, Legal.  wake up little suzy.  smell the smelling salts.
 
2014-07-03 10:18:38 AM  
When Seattle was talking about raising their min wage to $15, I mentioned how nice it would be to be making that much to a coworker, and her jaw dropped. I know I'm underpaid for the work I do (Farking notwithstanding) but it was a bit disheartening to know by how much.
 
2014-07-03 10:18:58 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.



now you know one of the reasons why this Nation is in the hole its in.   and why these good people love Freedom so much.  no one loves Freedom more than Crooks.
 
2014-07-03 10:19:14 AM  

gerrymander: Did any of the NPR staff who worked on this report reveal their salaries?

No, they did not. What does that tell us?


That they must be broke and rely on our pledging...

/off to listen to RadioLab guilt free
//I don't want a little tote bag....
 
2014-07-03 10:19:29 AM  

JackieRabbit: The most transparent salary system? The U.S. Government. What every employee is paid is a matter of public record.


Also state governments, including public schools and state colleges.  When one of my PhD students was given an offer from a state school in Kentucky, she wanted to know if the offer was low or high---we just Googled and found a public database of the salaries of each member of the department.  That was a couple years after our local newspaper accidentally published a salary spreadsheet of every state employee at our university, which caused a lot of confused anger because it was public information.

So now some private sector futurists think they are totes innovative and controversial for doing the same thing?  What are they going to do next, shock the world by putting a man in orbit 50 years too late?
 
2014-07-03 10:20:33 AM  

lackadaisicalfreakshow: When Seattle was talking about raising their min wage to $15, I mentioned how nice it would be to be making that much to a coworker, and her jaw dropped. I know I'm underpaid for the work I do (Farking notwithstanding) but it was a bit disheartening to know by how much.



her jaw dropped.  and her next thought was "don't date this one, he'll never be able to provide a good lifestyle for me".
 
2014-07-03 10:20:33 AM  
Wish the company I work for did this (make salaries transparent).

I'm guessing most "C level" people don't want this because then the discrepancies would be obvious...can't have that.

/randomly looked up the CEO/President of the current company I'm working for makes...blew my mind
//best part is we're a non-profit
 
2014-07-03 10:21:18 AM  
But how will you quantify frat brother of the owners son in performance evaluations? Because around here it seems to be worth quite a bit.
 
2014-07-03 10:22:02 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.


I hope you take your commitment to confidentiality more seriously these days. You deserved to be fired for your actions.
 
2014-07-03 10:22:51 AM  
Transparent salaries are actually great motivators for employees...

...is something the article definitely doesn't say.  There was nothing in there about productivity or even overall morale.
 
2014-07-03 10:24:23 AM  

JackieRabbit: Transparent salaries = Everyone gets low-balled.

The most transparent salary system? The U.S. Government. What every employee is paid is a matter of public record.



hey pal, ANYTIME you work for someone else, you will get balled. that is human nature. hog as much for yourself and f*ck everyone else.   work for yourself if you want fairness.
 
2014-07-03 10:24:47 AM  

Linux_Yes: lackadaisicalfreakshow: When Seattle was talking about raising their min wage to $15, I mentioned how nice it would be to be making that much to a coworker, and her jaw dropped. I know I'm underpaid for the work I do (Farking notwithstanding) but it was a bit disheartening to know by how much.


her jaw dropped.  and her next thought was "don't date this one, he'll never be able to provide a good lifestyle for me".


Or....

Her jaw dropped and the cable got fixed?
 
2014-07-03 10:25:08 AM  
I talked to the CEO of another company that's open with salaries, and he said the reaction reminds him of Americans hearing they have topless beaches in Europe. Before you go to one, you think it's just going to be the craziest thing in the world. Then you get there and it's like, OK, nobody's flipping out because people are topless here. It's just how things are.

That's because all the really hot chicks don't go there, but your grandmother and her friends do.
 
2014-07-03 10:25:32 AM  
FTFA - He says it gives him a chance to explain why some employees make more than others - and to explain to employees how they can make more."

If any job I have ever had did this, I would be beyond ecstatic. We are conditioned all the way through school about how to achieve our goals. Then, to tip the power in favor of the employer, they provide imperfect information. Now, you have to guess what you are worth to the salary chart, your boss, and everyone else that may have a hand in your advancement. Beyond that, you have to wade through the intentionally vague language of your evaluations, desperately searching for something you can actually do to get a raise or promotion.

I understand that not every company or boss is like that, but enough are that I have a hard time tempering my frustration.

I had a boss tell me that I only met expectations because I couldn't give her data she wanted before she realized she wanted it. On the next reporting presentation, I added 2 new metrics that showed our improvements for the client in ways that we hadn't expressed before. When we reviewed them, I explained what they were, and what the value was. She responded that I shouldn't be wasting my time creating new metrics unless she asked for them first.
 
2014-07-03 10:26:01 AM  

Hoarseman: But how will you quantify frat brother of the owners son in performance evaluations? Because around here it seems to be worth quite a bit.



you don't.  he's in The Club.  and in The Club, the rules do not apply.  same with the wealthy: the rules do not apply.

ever heard of the Golden Rule??  those with the Gold make the Rules.

and once Democracy goes away, things get really weird.
 
2014-07-03 10:27:11 AM  

macross87: Linux_Yes: lackadaisicalfreakshow: When Seattle was talking about raising their min wage to $15, I mentioned how nice it would be to be making that much to a coworker, and her jaw dropped. I know I'm underpaid for the work I do (Farking notwithstanding) but it was a bit disheartening to know by how much.


her jaw dropped.  and her next thought was "don't date this one, he'll never be able to provide a good lifestyle for me".

Or....

Her jaw dropped and the cable got fixed?



pretend like you don't know what i'm talking about then it'll go away.   lol
 
2014-07-03 10:27:48 AM  

bighairyguy: So everyone should unionize?


The short answer. Yes.
 
2014-07-03 10:30:05 AM  

bighairyguy: So everyone should unionize?



Unions are being slowly destroyed in 'murica.  go ahead, place all your faith in the Owners to treat employees fairly.  it's worked well for this Nation so far.


NOT
 
2014-07-03 10:30:48 AM  
True dat. And you can buy the stupid voters for $300 each, which is far less than the $300,000-$500,000 you would pay for a healthy black man, aged between 18 and 30, with basic carpentry skills, in a slave market* in 1860.

*Updated prices. A young healthy male could cost as much as $1,500 in 1860, older slaves and children might go for less than $400, a woman with child in arms might fetch as much as $600-800. Republicans and others nostalgic for the days of slavery should bear in mind that if they can't afford $500,000 for a modest house, they sure as Hell would NOT be able to afford a properly trained adult slave to look after it. That's why you are wage slaves, chasing a carrot on a stick, not the other kind, being driven forward with the stick alone.

If you want to compare the value of a $1,500.00 Commodity in 1860 there are three choices. In 2013 the relative:
real price of that commodity is $43,400.00
labor value of that commodity is $267,000.00(using the unskilled wage) or $544,000.00(using production worker compensation)
income value of that commodity is $572,000.00

If you want to compare the value of a $1,500.00 Income or Wealth , in 1860 there are three choices. In 2013 the relative:
historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is $43,400.00
economic status value of that income or wealth is $572,000.00
economic power value of that income or wealth is $5,740,000.00

If you want to compare the value of a $1,500.00 Project in 1860 there are four choices. In 2013 the relative:
historic opportunity cost of that project is $32,300.00
labor cost of that project is $267,000.00(using the unskilled wage) or $544,000.00(using production worker compensation)
economy cost of that project is $5,740,000.00

Citation
Samuel H. Williamson, "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to present," MeasuringWorth, 2014.
URL: www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/
 
2014-07-03 10:30:56 AM  
Years ago, I processed payroll for non-profit for a few months.  I'll never look at the words non-profit in the same way again.  Now my mind automatically changes those words to for the profit of management.
 
2014-07-03 10:31:16 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.


I consulted for a firm in Arlington and one of the disgruntled employees took a spreadsheet like that and printed copies then left them on everyone's chair on her way out the door on her last day.
 
2014-07-03 10:31:21 AM  

hi13760: bighairyguy: So everyone should unionize?

The short answer. Yes.



Shusss!! keep it down. you don't want the little people figuring out whose cock is in their asses.
 
2014-07-03 10:31:45 AM  

roc6783: I had a boss tell me that I only met expectations because I couldn't give her data she wanted before she realized she wanted it. On the next reporting presentation, I added 2 new metrics that showed our improvements for the client in ways that we hadn't expressed before. When we reviewed them, I explained what they were, and what the value was. She responded that I shouldn't be wasting my time creating new metrics unless she asked for them first.


It sounds like you have a problem with women in a position of authority.

A diversity workshop could be just the thing to help us help you.
 
2014-07-03 10:32:49 AM  

Harry Freakstorm: Need an account on the **AS400**?


...and here I thought I was the only one who had to still deal with these old monsters on a daily basis.
 
2014-07-03 10:32:59 AM  

gerrymander: Did any of the NPR staff who worked on this report reveal their salaries?

No, they did not. What does that tell us?


I don't think they get paid much at all.
I have a radio voice.
But I couldn't live on a radio paycheck.
 
2014-07-03 10:34:11 AM  

monoski: Eddie Adams from Torrance: Years ago, I had to fix my boss's computer.
On the desktop was a file named salaries.xls.

Naturally, I had to look.

It was farking depressing to see how much they were paying some of the bonehead managers.

I consulted for a firm in Arlington and one of the disgruntled employees took a spreadsheet like that and printed copies then left them on everyone's chair on her way out the door on her last day.



Sweet.  now i'm wondering if someone was following her picking up these sheet.  also, i'm surprised that the company didn't have security walk her out.  companies fear retribution these days because they know they have it coming.
 
2014-07-03 10:34:11 AM  
I work for a public agency, by default anyone can find out our salaries.  I think it is great.  No matter what you think money is usually no the main motivation for employees after they worked at a place for a while.  But if they think they are being paid unfairly, or if an expectation is created and not met, it can be a major De-motivator.  Transparency mostly takes this out of the mix.
 
2014-07-03 10:37:15 AM  
Steve Jobs famously did this at NeXT.  The entire thing broke down when you had to hire new talent and offer incentives to relocate to California.  And so it was ditched.  And very few people ended up caring what other people made.
 
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