Keep it internal to the company - you have an expectation of privacy from your employer and this post just ruined it completely.
I hope they got written signed releases from every one of those folks whose private info they broadcast to the world.
If you worked in a company like Buffer or GrantTree, you'd be wondering why others are so secretive about their salaries, and find yourself more and more disliking the idea of working for a company which is not transparent.
Habit is a powerful thing. Change your surroundings and you'll change your habits.
- You have family members who have substance abuse issues. It's common for addicts to steal from family members who they rationalise can afford it.
- You're in an abusive relationship, and your spouse steals your money. Hiding part of your salary may help you feel independent enough to get out.
- Your kids' friends find out how much you earn, and bully them.
- All the rest of your family are part of a religious organisation that demands a tithe. You've lost your faith, but it would tear your family apart to leave.
- You have family who live in a country with a much, much lower standard of living. You support them financially, which is known in their community. Now their neighbours know _just how much_ you're worth, exposing your family to the possibility of kidnapping or extortion.
- Your name is Google-unique, and identifies you as part of a group that is stigmatised on the internet. If your identity leaks into your internet activities (e.g. via Google's real name policy), another major vector of harassment is exposed.
Just a couple of things off the top of my head.
"Why don't we break into this guy's apartment? I read online that he makes $98,433 and he should have some expensive stuff in there."
"Hello Sir, sorry to call at dinnertime but I'd like to offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy the timeshare of your dreams. You should be able to easily afford it on your $98,433 salary."
It's perfectly legitimate for people not to want to share their salaries on a public website.
You don't have anywhere near the information necessary to make that claim. Honestly that came across as pretty arrogant.
I'd also argue that a company can be transparent and still understand that some people more private than others. Whether YOU would share your salary with the world isn't material - your employer shouldn't do it unless you've signed off (and I'm sure these people have if anyone involved has a shred of common sense).
I wouldn't want all my love letters and emails published. I wouldn't want my thoughts tapped and broadcast to the world. There's a line somewhere where transparency for the sake of it is either not helpful to the company or a simple invasion of privacy.
I wish job postings more often had salary information, too. How am I supposed to know if an interview is worth my time when I don't know if the pay will be higher or even competitive with what I'm making now?
As for me, my cofounder and I both take out the maximum we can without paying lots of unnecessary tax in the UK, which adds up to about £30k per person per year, net.
So you are saying that when buffer hires someone they are aware that transparency = "we may publish your salary some day"? And that everything is an open book?
Hard to believe that is the case. Or that people didn't feel under pressure to go along with (as some research has show) what they previous may have loosely agreed to (See Cialdini "consistency" principle).
This isn't the case (at least for me). The reason I wouldn't want my salary published publicly because people may treat me differently based on how much I get paid. The same problems may be true in a company, but at least internally you can control (through hiring) that people are mature enough to handle that information.
More importantly, I don't want other corporations (specifically their marketing and sales departments) to know how much I make.
I may want some people in my life (including corporations, perhaps) to know how much I make, but I want that to be my choice, not my employers.
There are so many possibly repercussions with family, friends, and outsiders, in addition to the things brought up by other posters re: poaching, etc.
I personally wouldn't want my salary revealed publicly because my family would treat me differently as a result (I know this from experience).
If this idea spreads, it wouldn't be long before someone comes up with a way to API this data into something like LinkedIN or Monster. "Joe makes $100k at CompanyX - is it time for a change?"
Internally to the business though, this seems to have a lot of positives. I'll be interested to see how this evolves at Buffer.
Statistically speaking, you're more likely to make more money by getting a bigger salary now instead of a big payday that may never happen. Statistically, very very few companies will be large enough for employees to cash out.
Also, keep in mind that they clearly set the opposite expectation about privacy with their employees and (from what they say), cleared it with everyone first.
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