Transparency: good for building trust and strengthening the team

by Vasco Duarte

Do you know how much your colleagues make? Did you tell them how much you make? Is that an uncomfortable question? This week I came across this article on the Quartz website. It’s about Buffer, a social-sharing app and website and how they decided to put the salaries of all their employees online. The result: the number of solicitors skyrocketed and the quality of candidates improved.

In the interview with Quartz the CEO and co-founder of Buffer, Joel Gascoigne said, “It kind of feels like this is somewhat of a movement bubbling up here. That’s kind of surprising.”

I can imagine.

Scare away the right people

Transparency often is a tough nut to crack. You like to share things with your workers, but not with the competition. And sometimes things happening are important for the future of the company, but while these events are still unsure, you don’t like others to know.

On the other hand, how much of the stuff you are secretive about is really a secret? And transparency itself adds all kinds of great stuff: ‘it’s good for building trust and strengthening the team’. In Buffer’s case it’s quite clear what people are going to make. They even have a formula online so people can make their own calculations before they apply; function x experience x location x etcetera. I think it’s great, because people who are good workers but bad negotiators aren’t screwed. And according to Gascoigne it “Scares away the right people.”

A transparent organization only appeals to the people you would like to have on board.

How can you be more transparent? Gascoigne advises to start small. Bring out some inside news and see how that goes.

After that, just share more and more. And before you know it, you’re not only sharing stuff, but others are sharing things with you.

Photo by Jim Smith

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