Greaterthan
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Greaterthan

ConsciousU’s Money Talk: money, inner work and new pay

Two examples of new pay models from betterplace lab and Decathlon Belgium

  • Joana Breidenbach, founder of betterplace and betterplace lab, who six years ago began a process of her stepping back as founder/boss. She and her fifteen colleagues have developed a deep process of setting their salaries together once a year.
  • Sébastien Cauchy is HR manager and change consultant at Decathlon Belgium. He worked for four years on Decathlon’s salary policy, resulting in 160 employees in Belgium setting their own salaries so far.

How they developed their processes

Betterplace Lab

Decathlon Belgium

What the processes looks like

Betterplace Lab

Decathlon Belgium

My takeaways

  1. There is no “one solution to rule them all” — Joana’s small team, with a highly developed climate of trust, self-awareness, and open communication, has resulted in a deep, ‘public’ yet sensitive process. In Decathlon Belgium, Sébastien and his colleagues have designed a more ‘private’ process that is flexible enough to allow individuals to go at their own pace. Every constellation of humans is unique and therefore requires a process that acknowledges who you are and where you are starting from.
  2. Talking about money benefits from an embodied process — Peter Koenig, whose money work was part of Sébastien’s inspiration, commended the process Joana’s team had developed commenting: “You can’t just do it with your head, you need to do it with your body as well. You need that level of consciousness.” Creating the space for people to share how it feels in their body when they are pitching a salary to their colleagues (“my heart is facing”, “butterflies in my stomach”) can support more meaningful conversations and learning about how we relate to and talk about money.
    I’ve spoken to a few small companies who’ve adopted, for example, Buffer’s salary formula but discovered that you can’t design a formula for fairness. There is so often a human and intuitive element missing in these processes that is incredibly valuable to tap into.

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Lisa Gill

Founder of Reimaginaire, trainer and coach with Tuff Leadership Training, host of Leadermorphosis podcast.