Why an Open Salary Policy will make Good Rebels even stronger

Fernando Polo

20 June 2016

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We’ve been working hard lately to make true a kind of dream we had about 3 years ago. I’d like to thank our Talent & Culture team and some key Good Rebels (formerly known as tecerians) for explaining the why’s and how’s to all the organisation.

In the next days, we will make public, internally to all the organisation in Spain, our salaries. 95%+ of our workforce has agreed to share the data so they’ll get access to an internal file containing all the figures, linked to our salary formula and our professional career description and salary ranges.

Why do we want to break the salary secrecy, so that all “rebelians” know what others make?

  • Build Trust. Transparency builds trust, and trust is a major foundation for team work (and professional love). We starting sharing internally our P&L every month in a global meeting with all the teams about 4 years ago. Knowing where profits go, and what everybody earns, including partners and directors, will reinforce the commitement of the organisation with the long term.
  • Promote Self-awareness. The open salary formula (and our open inProgress report, our biannual 360 evaluation procedure) will make clear what our team expects from us and how they value our contribution. Allowing open conversations will provide us with more accurate feedback about performance and goals.
  • Strengthen Meritocracy. We want to minimise salary inequalities. Research has shown that inefficiencies (like gender inequalities) can be reduced by getting rid of salary secrecy.
  • Foster Autonomy. We fancy that everybody at Tc Good Rebels can set their own salary in future. The open salary policy is a mandatory stage for this to happen. A step forward towards self-management.
  • Raise Salaries. We have a gut feeling that salary transparency will force us to have the best salaries we can afford linked to the company EBITDA and to the market. Mechanisms like counter-offers or substantial inequalities to retain people won’t be well looked upon by other workmates.

We are not the first company to adopt this policy but we know it’s a bold move. Whenever I discussed the idea with executives and professionals, all was negative outlooks.
Lots of questions from our colleagues have arisen. Many of them are (still) not enthusiastic about the idea. If we already have “open salary ranges” attached to categories, and we all know where we stand why going into such detail? Won’t it create unnecessary confilcts between teammates? Won’t “bad paid” people consider leaving? Won’t too-well-paid-people be regarded as unfair players?

We hope that the positive reasons will outweight the emotional damages. Digitalization is leveraging transparency as a key value inside and outside organisations. And we are strongly committed to radical transparency.  In fact, I’m nearly sure that open salaries will be quite normal in years to come.

We know there are lots of concerns regarding open salaries, and I’ll will be happy to share more thoughts with you in our comments section.