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Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO 229

Posted by timothy
from the ok-but-what-about-their-coffee-consumption? dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Paul Szoldra reports at Business Insider that Joel Gascoigne, CEO of social media startup Buffer, reveals his salary along with the salary of every single employee in the company, and includes the formula the company uses to get to each one. "One of the highest values we have at Buffer is transparency," says Gascoigne. "We do quite a number of things internally and externally in line with this value. Transparency breeds trust, and that's one of the key reasons for us to place such a high importance on it." Gascoigne, who has a salary of $158,800, revealed the exact formula Buffer uses to get to each employee's number: Salary = job type X seniority X experience + location (+ $10K if salary choice). Gascoigne says his open salary system is part of Buffer's "Default to Transparency" and says Buffer is willing to update the formula as the company grows but hopes that its focus on work/life balance fosters employees that are in it for the long haul. "In Silicon Valley, there's a culture of people jumping from one place to the next," says Gascoigne. "That's why we focus on culture. Doing it this way means we can grow just as fast—if not faster—than doing it the 'normal' cutthroat way. We're putting oil into the engine to make sure everything can work smoothly so we can just shoot ahead and that's what we're starting to see.""
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Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

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  • Norway (Score:5, Informative)

    by lxs (131946) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @09:32AM (#45811099)

    The nation of Norway does this for every citizen. [] It seems to work out for them.

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @09:54AM (#45811221)

    Most US states make available public employee salaries, and have been for quite some time. For example: []

    The government may not be run like a business, but when you're talking in micro terms of coworkers knowing the salaries of the people they work with, it's very similar.

  • by Baron_Yam (643147) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @10:09AM (#45811313)

    I work in a unionized environment. All wages are in contractual 'bands', every job is evaluated and placed in an appropriate band based on required skill, risk, shift, education, etc.

    This means that, within the band, we all know each other's pay if we bother to look up a job classification and leaf through to the most recent contract's appendix.

    We all seem to continue working without being at each other's throats.

  • Re:Norway (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2013 @10:17AM (#45811349)

    Pretty much this.
    The tax info has always been public, but you used to have to request the papers in person.
    With it available online for a limited amount of time, websites like newspapers then store the information for anyone to look up, any time.

  • by penix1 (722987) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @10:56AM (#45811543) Homepage

    Disclaimer: I am a state employee whose salary is publicly posted...

    That out of the way, most if not all those salaries posted are very, very misleading. It is gross salary+travel+incentives+any other state money that employee has received including payments made for health coverage and retirement. It doesn't include any deductions such as taxes, co-payments for health and retirement, garnishments, etc...

  • Re:Norway (Score:4, Informative)

    by TyFoN (12980) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @11:44AM (#45811813)

    This is incredibly stupid. Criminals use it to pick out who to rob, and the news has a feeding frenzy every year where they single out people who actually contributes.

    I hope this system will be gone and buried soon along with the whole envy culture that we have in this country with the new government.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @12:34PM (#45812071) Homepage Journal

    In the military, everyone knows down to the penny how much everyone else makes, or at least can figure it out easily enough. You look at their rank, their time in service, and various other factors such as their current assignment, whether they live on or off base, are married or single, etc., and the number is right there. And the reward for productivity is promotion, which leads to a higher salary. This never led to any problems that I saw; and while there are plenty of aspects of civilian life I like better than being in uniform, this isn't one of them.

You can not get anything worthwhile done without raising a sweat. -- The First Law Of Thermodynamics