We shared our salaries and amazing things happened

Hello!

This should take about 3 minutes to read (and I’m a slow reader).

It’s mainly about equality, money-stuff, and radical transparency.

Why

Today is International Equal Pay Day and we want to share how Mish Guru, despite being a relatively small company, is trying to do its part. Maybe you’ll have ideas and feedback to help us be better, or maybe it will inspire you to ask some questions at your own organization. Either way, we’re happy.

What

What we have done is quite simple - we shared all of our salaries and how we calculated them amongst our entire team.

Obvious benefit

By sharing our compensation model, we are trying to actively foster a workplace in which meritocracy, trust and equality thrive. We’ve borrowed this next piece from aug.co (who are wonderful people), because we couldn’t have said it better:

“We believe that sharing our compensation model will drastically decrease the likelihood that implicit or explicit biases — based on gender, race, or any other difference — will create unfair differences in what our members earn”

Less obvious benefits

Here at Mish, we are really proud of how open we are, compensation and otherwise. It's not necessarily easy to practice radical transparency, but we are constantly pushing the boundaries of it because we think an open culture will always beat a culture of murkiness.

Our friends at Buffer were one of the first groups to publicly institute an open salary culture and they famously stated that:

“Transparency breeds trust, and trust is the foundation of great teamwork”

We agree. And further, we have found that the extra layers of internal transparency and trust translate into amazing transparency and trust externally, with our clients.

Another great thing is that money conversations are no longer taboo. Sharing our compensation model created a platform on which to base those difficult conversations, like asking for a pay rise. It also immediately dispels nagging doubts and those thoughts of “how am I valued” or “what does that person get paid, and why”. By decreasing anyone’s ability to harbor those sorts of thoughts, we make our team happier and increase their productivity.

How to’s

  • We base all of our salaries on market rate (role, experience, location) - thanks Payscale, Glassdoor, Angel.co

  • We have consistent, fair and scalable formulas for our team to grow in their roles (seniority, experience, loyalty)

  • You have to realize that it’s never the perfect time to implement something like this - so lean into it sooner, rather than later

  • Talk to other companies that have done it (drop me a line - connor@mish.guru) and ask for help

  • Find yourself a spreadsheet whiz who can create something scalable, that doesn’t break (shoutout to ours, the magical @mackdelany)

Where we’re at

By no means will we ever think that we have the perfect system, and so we invite anyone to pick it apart. If we have a reason for something, we will provide it. If there is a new or better idea out there, we will try to implement it. The documents, spreadsheets, rules, and policies, should be considered a working draft and something we can (and should) revise regularly.

However, in saying that, we are proud of what we have implemented and we are excited about what it means for our current and future team.  

Summary

We are endeavoring to ‘walk the walk’ to try and address some of the the institutional issues in the tech-space, and in work-spaces generally. By continually making decisions according to our values, like radical transparency, we aim to create a better place to work for everyone and anybody.

We hope that by doing something as simple as sharing our compensation model, we make our team feel comfortable in how they are valued, and we hope we will continue to see progress in equality and diversity by pushing the boundaries of transparency.

We still have lots of work to do but we think it is a step in the right direction. If you do too, maybe you’ll show this to your manager and ask why your workplace doesn’t do something similar…

Thanks for reading and for sharing!