Payroll secrecy is a policy many organizations still hold near and dear. It’s not uncommon for a new employee to be told that sharing pay information is not only frowned upon, but could be cause for termination. However, when organizations finally let the cat out of the bag and allow greater transparency in payroll services, the results are often surprising:
1. Suspicions of unfairness are put to rest.
When companies share payroll information openly, it can instantly put suspicions of unfairness to rest if the right system is used. Share the methods and ideology your pay structure is based on, along with the actual numbers, so employees can see raises are given based on merit and time put in. If there is not a clear reason why a peer is making more money, it can erode the benefits of payroll transparency.
2. Employees are motivated by raise prospects.
Allowing employees to view peers’ and superiors’ payroll information can motivate employees. While employees may be told they can earn more money by working harder or being promoted, viewing exactly what peers and superiors make on the company website or through the HRMS can make the prospects seem more real. Sharing pay ranges for all positions can help spur motivation so employees are more excited about receiving training and learning new skills, which can also increase productivity.
3. Transparency can foster greater contentment.
Being open about what you pay employees can help inspire a culture of trust among employees. When employees do not feel like they have to hide something so central to their lives as what they make, they may be more willing to open up to peers about other subjects, such as offering up new ideas and better ways to work together. This can result in better collaboration, greater engagement and higher levels of contentment.
4. Transparency eliminates salary negotiations during hiring.
When you’re secretive about payroll while recruiting, many applicants waste time because the salary does not always match applicants’ expectations. This can possibly even cause the company damage when positions are left unfilled. Making employee salaries transparent by placing the information on job listings can help the recruitment process be more efficient by attracting candidates whose salary expectations match the company’s.
5. Payroll openness can help reduce turnover.
Employees often leave companies and move on to other companies for insubstantial increases in pay just because they feel that they were being somehow cheated or not feeling valued by not being given even a small raise at their current job. In some cases, that employee may have been eligible for a raise soon and may actually have been making even more money shortly if they had stayed in place. Making salary information public allows your employees to gauge what they are making against industry averages and even figure out when they should be getting their next raise, which may make the prospects of staying more attractive than the prospects of leaving.