Why An Open Salary Policy Always Beats Secrecy


Editor’s note: Dane Atkinson is the CEO of SumAll.

For four years, journalists and entrepreneurs have asked me why we created an open salary policy at my company. Here’s the answer: it prevents evil. Open salary policies mandate truthfulness and ethical behavior in organizations that would otherwise abuse the secrecy. “Transparency” is just a hollow buzzword unless executives are candid about compensation.

I would argue that in any company, salary transparency leads to better culture, higher retention and a more effective business than secrecy – with one caveat. If your company abuses rank-and-file employees to pay monstrous executive salaries that have nothing to do with their performance, then yes, open salaries will backfire. If most employees would be disgusted at the salary structure, you have bigger problems than transparency anyway.

When everyone at a company knows what co-workers make, this knowledge banishes the inequities and lies that otherwise…

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