1 Jan

Why we went pay transparent

In 2018 we made all salaries at Pollen internally transparent, since then everyone has had visibility over what every role is paid.

There’s a widespread cultural taboo against talking about how much you earn – so our approach inevitably attracted a lot of attention from publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg and Business Insider.

You need good info to make great decisions

Our culture of Freedom & Ownership is about understanding how your goals fit into the company’s broader strategy and then having total freedom over how you achieve your goals.

We over-invest in information sharing so everyone can make the right decisions and have the context needed to understand it.

We want to create openness and fairness

Pay transparency is a great forcing function for good behaviour. It ensures managers are accountable to everyone and exposes any discrepancies. It gives everyone the confidence that pay is linked to objective, rational factors, which ensures everyone benefits from increased fairness and consistency.

We want pay conversations to be objective

By removing the taboo around pay we enable everyone to have more open conversations. This enables everyone to plan their careers because it’s clear how and why others are compensated — it’s not just because of their excellent negotiation skills.

It also makes the recruitment process easier by taking negotiation out of the playing field entirely, which is attractive for candidates, and everyone that works here, who want to know that hiring is fair and open.

We want to close the pay gap

There is a huge global conversation to close the inequality in pay for both gender and ethnicity. Pay transparency is widely seen as a great way to tackle this and we want to be part of that.

Ultimately, diverse thinking gets the best results and we know people join organizations based on what they do, not just what they say. We believe that pay transparency is a clear signal we’re committed to creating an open, honest and diverse environment, which means we will attract a more diverse talent pool.

How did we decide to do it?

We consulted everyone through anonymous surveys and company-wide round-table discussions over several months. We also transparently communicated the reason for starting this process through our weekly town hall meetings, and gave regular updates about how the process was going. Everyone overwhelmingly supported the idea and the few who had reservations were comfortable trying it out too.

The feedback also shaped how pay transparency ultimately works for us. Every month we update an internal report which groups all full-time roles based on job title and location — so we can reflect variations in pay and living costs around the world.

What was the result?

Since our first report in July 2018 we’ve seen hugely positive results. Our quarterly surveys show that people are more engaged than ever and feel that are paid fairly, while new hires find negotiations faster and more straightforward.

Anne Bedi

SVP People & Culture

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