Imagine a workplace where, contrary to the norm, each employee can know the salary of their colleagues. This is the bet that the telecommunications company oxio has been making since the end of April.
Posted at 7 am.
Marc-André Campagna, co-founder and CEO of oxio, implemented an internal pay register on April 28. This is part of its new “wage transparency” policy, which counteracts the “opacity” of wages found in most companies. A concept that, by having more information at hand, would give employees greater bargaining power.
“There’s a lot of fear and dread of challenging the status quo,” he said. The non-publication of wages gave greater power to employers, who could pay as they saw fit. »
So far, this measure has been very well received by the approximately one hundred Oxio employees. “We have excellent comments. People are super excited, says Marc-André Campagna. I was even surprised to see staff members publicly revealing their salaries, even if they hadn’t been asked. »
The salary transparency proposed by oxio solves a problem of “pay secrecy” traditionally present in companies, according to Stéphane Renaud, a professor at the School of Industrial Relations at the University of Montreal.
Employees are often asked not to reveal their salary, precisely to discourage comparisons between workers. When there is no point of comparison, they tend to compare themselves to people superior to them. It generates dissatisfaction and inequality.
Stéphane Renaud, professor at the School of Industrial Relations at the University of Montreal
Marc-André Campagna’s payroll has already enabled oxio employees to improve their working conditions.
“We realized that Caroline, our marketing director, was making $40,000 less a year than we could offer her depending on the market,” he says. She introduced us to her research and we raised her salary. »
break the mold
Denis Morin, professor in the department of organization and human resources at the Faculty of Management Sciences at UQAM, would personally be less inclined to openly reveal his own salary. “Unless it’s for close friends, you’re not going to count your annual salary systematically. Especially not. Determining your personal salary depends on many factors that your colleague doesn’t necessarily know about,” he says.
That’s exactly what needs fixing, says Denis Morin, who recommends that employers provide their workers with tools to improve their understanding of pay.
“How often do you review salaries? Are job descriptions up to date? Do you link job performance to salary? Who will answer employee questions about compensation? […] Make sure employees have everything they need to fully understand your compensation policy,” he advises companies.
It is important to know not only salaries, but also the mechanisms behind them. The ultimate goal of this is to establish a working environment where there is as little disparity as possible.
Stéphane Renaud, professor at the School of Management Sciences at UQAM
Improving justice is precisely what oxio wants to do. The company and its CEO believe it is beneficial to “open the discussion about who will earn how much” by presenting arguments about why compensation X is associated with position Y.
It is likely to continue
Marc-André Campagna, 29, is a young business leader. Presenting his salary transparency policy, but also his preference for teleworking, he prides himself on having a “new way of doing things”. And, he says, there is also a significant gap between the “old and new” ways of running a business.
“We want to be the most transparent company in the world”, says the young man. We have the only telecom company that says how much it costs us to provide a plan for that amount of GB. Eventually, our board meetings and various company expenses will also be public. »
An employee placed in a fair situation will be more loyal and feel more valued, concludes Professor Stéphane Renaud.
“It is something that will grow, due to the expectations of young workers. For them, the first factor required in a job is recognition of their contribution. They no longer live to work, but work to live. »
To know more
- Salary that Marc-André Campagna receives annually. This information is publicly available as part of your company’s “wage transparency” effort.