Go ahead, tell my pay

I’ve always seen being employed by a company something that we equally controlled. I agreed to join, they agreed to have me. I give them my time, my effort, my expertise, and they give me money and other benefits in exchange. But in the end, I own my own life and my career (because it’s mine to begin with), not the company. It’s a contract. And I believe that if I or the company wish to make it known how much I make, they are welcome to it — to anyone. Why not?!

The primary reasons a company would want to hide that information is to limit problems with employees or to not let competition know how much they pay people, etc. Well ya, duh.

But don’t you see a problem with that?! I mean, if they paid me fairly and the experience working there was great, they would have nothing to fear — from competitors or employees. The practice of hiding it is a way of subsidizing poor management and leadership — of covering up our unwillingness or inability to be fair or to negotiate well or to recruit well or to compete well. And that doesn’t actually help any company or any one.

The sports leagues allow for it, public institutions do too. I don’t think it hurts the company or the employed. We need more transparency. It will force companies to get better, improve relationships between employees and employers, and force the right kinds of conversation around value. I mean, you don’t really see players on sports teams that get special salary treatments just because they know someone, because they are of one race or another, etc. Those issues are much easier to fix when it is transparent. Indeed, for the most part they get paid based on their performance and value to a team. Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?

Go ahead, tell my pay.

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