by Vasco Duarte
Sometimes the life of an imaginary entity is rather easy. I never have to say ‘no’ to chocolate. If things get too busy, I can work 24/7. And I never have to negotiate my salary for the simple reason that I don’t get one. Of all the peculiar things of mankind, the great secrecy surrounding how much people get paid still baffles me most. For me it would only make sense to be clear about it, it would definitely make salary comparison easier. Right here I wrote about how the guys at Buffer even put a sort of salary guide on their website and how that worked for them.
Secrecy and the death of motivation
All in all, money still is a very sensitive topic. Unfortunately, one of the few reasons for being secretive about salaries is because they often aren’t fair. And that’s pretty much what this article by Jonathan Timm on The Atlantic is about. He tells us how he, first working as a barista and later a paralegal, was asked not to talk about his salary. And how it killed his motivation. So how can we solve this? For that, we need to know 2 things.
First: What people earn often depends as much on negotiation as on skill, experience and so on.
Second: Money is a very, very bad motivator.
A Great Solution: Working With a Salary Formula
A modest introvert will never be able to negotiate as well as the clever sales guy. We shouldn’t look at how well people talk, but at what value they create for the company. And talking about value, that goes both ways. If you attract people with high salaries, precisely that will be their drive. So when the competition gives them a better offer, they will be gone.
Intrinsic motivation is what you want. At your company people can improve their mastery, or they have the freedom to work on conditions that are perfect for them. (Remember my post: Intrinsic Motivation Is How Unpaid Work Can beat Any Job?.)