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June 5, 2017


Let me shatter a theory you are probably familiar with: you should not share how much you make or know how much your colleague earns. Here is the truth; you should know how much your coworker is paid.

Many #HealthcareLeaders will likely disagree. When your job is to be a good steward of the resources before you as a leader, you reason that employees knowing how much one another makes could yield to conflict within the group. Therefore, many leaders do their best to keep pay conversations private for each employee.

In this talk, David Burkus shares from his research on how knowing what your colleague earns make for a better work environment in general. He says pay transparency makes for a better workplace for both the employee and the organization. David stressed that keeping pay a secret makes for uncomfortable situations. Uncomfortable could likely be described as insecurities, doubt, mistrust and inequity.

Let us identify three direct benefits of pay transparency:
1.    Equitable pay: Knowing what others make will help YOU as an individual negotiate better for raises as well as promotions.
2.    The sense of Appreciation: If all fingers are equal (in essence, employees paid at their worth) a leader will find his employees appreciative of working with him/her; most people want to be fairly paid.
3.    Shared Accountability: With many people knowing how much you make, you will likely do the work required of you. Likewise, when you put much more into what you do, others will support a pay increase in your favor. The team becomes accountable to raises as well as the often-limited cash flow resource when pay transparency is in place.

NOTICE: I do not advocate going against your company’s pay policies or practices, but I challenge you to start the conversation with leaders in your organization that could change your organization’s practice. If, coincidentally you happen to be the decision maker, dare to be different and make it known. After all, if it was not a good idea I doubt the US Armed Forces would have some version of #PayTransparency.


Best wishes,




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