In the beginning of the year, we at Verifa decided to adopt an open salary policy. This means that every person’s salary, including the founders', are transparently documented in the company’s internal knowledge base. This is a part of our initiative of increasing openness, fairness and employee involvement within the company. After the initial proposal, only a brief discussion was needed before the whole company unanimously agreed to the policy.
Benefits of an open salary policy#
The main motivation of the policy is to ensure fair compensation to each and every employee in the company; a salary which is in line with one’s peers. Seeing how one’s salary lines up with those of their colleagues’ ensures that nobody gets underpaid. On the flipside it better holds those in the upper echelons of the payscale accountable, as open discussion on compensation is encouraged.
Open salary policy is also a policy for gender equality. It eliminates the need for the employee and the employer to have an obscured salary discussion, a process which has traditionally favoured men over women. Frankly, such a bidding game has grown stale, tiresome and often leaves a bad taste in someone’s mouth.
Open salary policy also allows us to post a realistic salary range in our job advertisements, so we feel it’s fair to potential future colleagues as well. Finally we feel the open salary policy encourages mutual, communal trust.
Putting context to work and work in context#
Verifa prides itself on being a cooperative, collaborative project of likeminded professionals. Therefore Verifa’s compensation model does not rely on commissions based on the hours and rates invoiced from our customers. We feel such a model would discourage our consultants from providing support to their colleagues, taking part in the company and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Additionally it could force people to compete for the projects with the best rates, and even lock people into projects they don’t enjoy. All of this could be potentially detrimental to both productivity and personal well-being. This is also one of the reasons we dedicate our Fridays to upskilling and projects, both personal and internal.
For the same reasons Verifa does not track consultants’ invoiced hours in a competitive manner but only in the context of the company’s financial health and hygiene. While invoiceable work keeps Verifa operating, it does not devalue all the other important work our magnificent people do. In the future we are determined to demystify the company’s cashflow to employees in an effort to put their important work even more into the context of the company as a whole.
Future of work#
Being a small company has its perks and challenges. Undoubtedly adopting an open salary policy is easier in a small private company than in an enterprise. That is why we felt it had to be done sooner than later.
However, lacking a traditional corporate hierarchy leaves us without a framework to reference when it comes to traditional upward facing career advancement opportunities. While we’d like to question if such schemes are really but a dangling carrot to keep an employer compliant or dictated by necessity, we still want to provide meaningful career paths to our employees while preserving our sense of freeform freedom. For example, our biannual ‘personal reviews’ are not necessarily held between a ‘supervisor’ and an employee. Instead, a person can ask anyone they feel would be best suited for a one-to-one talk to have that discussion.
We also try to leverage on OKRs, both personal and company wide for individuals to measure and steer their work and goals.
When it comes to salary adjustments, Verifa does two in a year: one based on inflation and one based on performance. In the future we’d like to codify the criteria for the latter to be even more transparent and unambiguous. If you’d like to be part of that, head over to our career page and hit us up!
For better work!