Would you feel comfortable if your coworkers knew exactly how much money you make, down to the last perk and bonus? Well, take a deep breath because it could happen. That’s because a growing number of privately held companies – mostly tech startups – are sharing what used to be corporate secrets: Like financial statements, staff performance reviews, and employee pay.
Supporters say the “everybody-knows-everything” approach helps build trust among employees. After all, nobody has to worry whether the company’s secretly going bankrupt or if someone doing the same job is making a lot more money. They can also see exactly how their actions impact the bottom line – which experts say makes workers more invested in the company, which increases efficiency, and motivates employees to work harder.
One company that embraced financial transparency is the data-analysis firm SumAll. Each employee is assigned one of 9 different salary levels, ranging from $35,000 for entry-level assistants, to $120,000 for engineers. Workers who feel they deserve more are welcome to ask to be moved up to the next level. And if anyone gets a salary bump, everybody at their same salary level gets one, too.
Another plus? All the employees are required to attend financial literacy courses, which means everyone understands how to interpret accounting statements, and how to tell a smart business decision from a bad one.
Supporters say it’s the wave of the future. But would you be happy knowing what your coworkers make? And knowing that they know all your financial secrets, too?