Is Salary Transparency A Good Thing?

PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Posted on: 03/02/18
Written by: PSMJ Resources, Inc.

People_Together-8-531766-edited-873369-edited.jpgReports such as PSMJ’s annual Management Compensation Survey and Staff Compensation Survey will give you and your architecture or engineering firm's employees a pretty good indication of the salary range of their coworkers and firm leaders.

But does anyone in your company know exactly – to the penny – how much everyone else makes?

Transparent salaries might be an approaching trend. It’s almost commonplace in high-tech firms, particularly the smaller startups who are competing for talent with the big, popular companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

The social media company, Buffer, shares salary information with every employee, along with an explanation stating why the person/position earns what he/she does.

In a recent fastcoexist.com article, salary transparency is discussed, conveying a few of the pros and cons of Buffer’s policy.

Pros
  • It keeps the leaders honest, because any special favors to specific employees will be known.

  • Hiring is less stressful because neither the company nor the new employee have to negotiate salary.

Cons
  • There might be employees on the lower end of the pay scale, resentful of those who make more but who work just as hard.

  • It can deter potential employees from reaching out to your firm. Some people choose not to work at Buffer only because of this policy.

Would your A/E firm consider a transparent salary policy? Or do you even think it’s necessary? Let us know!

What is the take away: Comparing current data to how your firm leaders are compensated helps to ensure your potential salary changes, overhead, and profit are in line with industry benchmarks.

However, the fundamental key to planning is quality data, and PSMJ’s rigorous survey program provides the accurate and relevant industry metrics that architecture and engineering firm leaders rely on. Your participation is needed to ensure that firms of all types, locations, and sizes are well-represented in PSMJ's 2018 surveys.

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