Should tech workers pool tips?

In the restaurant world, tip pooling and sharing is a controversial topic. Done poorly, even big companies like Starbucks have been slapped with lawsuits when they attempt to share tips between the front and back of the house. But business owners want to value their talent across the board and feel like tips should reward all members of the value chain.

It’s surprising that we have not seen that same idealism in even the most idealistic tech companies. Sales guys and gals are the front of the house, hustling to make an enterprise sale that can take years. When you find a good salesman, you make sure they know that their commission is uncapped and then get out of their way. And typically a year or 18 months after the sales machine is up and running, it happens.

Recently we are hearing more and more CEOs in B2B tech startups complain that their sales guys are making more than their engineering team or CEO. To retain tech teams in the back of the house, wages go up. And often times they go up across the board not directly correlated to the product sales person tasked to spread that product like a Johnny Appleseed.

I don’t know. I don’t have the answer and am curious … should engineering teams get a percentage of a sales commission? Does anyone out there work at a company that does share commissions among a cell that includes sales and engineering working closely together?