Salary disclosure

A few years ago, Charles Fishman wrote a fantastic article on Whole Foods for Fast Company. There’s a lot of information on and insight into their philosophy and business practice.

I want to draw your attention to one thing:

Each store had a book in the office that listed the pay of every employee for the previous year. The book was available to anyone — and was especially valuable if you were promoted or if you relocated, and wanted to see how your pay compared with your colleagues’. The pay book, surprisingly little used, set a tone of what Mackey called “no secrets management.”

It’s too bad more companies aren’t like this. Randy Cohen, The New York Times Magazine‘s “Ethicist” columnist also thinks salary disclosure is a good idea:

The one who benefits most when such information is suppressed is your boss, not you or your colleagues. It can help an employee to know that the person at the next desk makes twice as much money for performing the same task. If salaries are reasonable, employees will understand and accept them. If they are not, secrecy helps only to sustain that injustice.

In money matters as in many others, knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Thieves are the ones who operate under cover of darkness.

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1 Comment

  1. *sigh* I wish Apple would do this. I have often been frustrated by the thick fog that surrounds these issues. It seems it’s a taboo subject. Sort of a don’t ask, don’t tell kind of thing.

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