Brandon on GPB – Sharing Employees’ Salaries Might Make Them Work Harder

If you knew how much money all of your work colleagues make, would that irritate you? Or might that knowledge spur you to work harder?

It may seem a silly question, but a new study from Cornell University found it’s not. In fact, openness around pay can boost productivity.

“It creates greater transparency,” said Brandon Smith, who studies and advises companies on workplace culture and communication. “People eventually get clear on what’s expected of them. They know how people get rewarded, and so then they can model that. That’s where we see the increase in performance. There’s a greater clarity on what’s expected.”

Smith said salary transparency also will quickly eliminate wage gaps between women and men.

“Now no longer are you going to pay Susan 70 percent of what you pay Bob,” said Smith, a business professor at Emory and Georgia State universities. “It’s going to be quite obvious, and looking at it in the face, you’re going to change all that and make it even.”

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