Buffer recently published a full roster of all employee salaries. Do you think this is good or bad for startup founders to do?

I think their publicizing employee salaries is misleading. Salaries are not the only source of income for many. I would not put too much stock in this marketing ploy (by doing something 'unprecedented"). It's a good way to get additional exposure and publicity (a unique story line to get additional editorials/advertizing) ... but in real life, salaries are not the only way startups compensate their employees. Many receive additional revenue with Profit Sharing, commissions, additional employe benefits, patents, articles and book writing, travel reimbursement, extra timeoff, client/event/marketing reimbursement, etc. So, not all compensation strategies are reflected in the box marked salary. Therefore, even though they talk about being fully wage transparent, I'mnot convinced that they are. They also do not post number of hours each level works (converting everyone to the same baseline of $$/hour). This is another way to compare each employee's wage allocation.

I think it's good to have an internal policy and forumula for your salary structure.
I think it's good to allow and share this general structure with your employees.
But if you are uncomfortable showing your employees what their counter-parts and co-workers are making, don't share it with the public.
Also - make sure you understand why you are publicizing your employee's salaries. Every startup should have their own reason - versus simply following.
If you don't understand your goal or reason for sharing it with the public, don't share it with the public.

One recommendation is to come up with your own "something unprecedented" - and ride the wave of your own original pitch. I think your startup will benefit more from creating your own "unprecedented" campaign then following someone else's.

Answered 6 years ago

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