Open paychecks

A holacractic pit-stop: open paychecks

Reinventing our own organisation was a journey, the frequent readers of our updates may know by now that we no longer have a boss. And in fact, the destination may be in sight, but we also understand it will never be reached, the beacon keeps moving as new pit-stops keep popping up. They all start with a similar question “hey guys, how do we deal with this element within our new way of working?” Legit questions, providing us with food for thought and rich discussions pushing us to organise our future work even better.

So, working your way into Holacracy as a team can be a handful from time to time but, we are in a far more comfortable means of traveling today than we were in the summer.

Open Paychecks

Let me illustrate that with the example of our latest victory: as of last week Fronteer is a company with a fully transparent salary structure. Transparent. Meaning: open, so no secrets. Yes, indeed, if we want to, we can see into everyone’s paycheck. 

As we love clarity, the basic principle is very straight forward: per function group there is one vector (‘vectors are the new curves’). When you start in a function group, you just hop on a linear vector, based on a simple formula around your general, supporting and/or matching work-experience.

Why did we want this in the first place?

Frankly, a few years ago we worked on full clarity of our salary structure. With that in place one could feel the positive effects in the team. We just imagined that by taking that to the extreme, the upside would be even more positive.

This is from a team-member perspective. Not being tempted to dive into unnecessary suspicious modes towards colleagues, frees up mental space for inspirational stuff. From a HR/management perspective there is one clear upside: salary transparency puts an end to salary negotiations. Period. (Sure, read that line once again – sounds great, right?).

Did we have to do this?

Nope. It’s not Holacracy telling you to be fully transparent on salaries. But it is in line with the way of looking at organisations: to be as transparent and clear as possible about how your organisation works. This drive to be more transparent also triggered a need for clarity on other worn-in uses within the company. In our journey towards becoming a Holacracy, we identified these in a ‘museum of old sentiments’. The way we compensate our people was one of them.

How did it happen?

Our three colleagues driving this structural change, would sure not refer to this as a ‘pit-stop’. They were the ones working their butts off for a period of three months to make this work: diving into the world of transparent salaries, meeting with other companies (i.e @Viisi Thanks! ) and -most importantly- meeting with colleagues individually. More than once. During the process, they designed the rules and guidelines for a new framework. They deserve a big hand when it comes to professionalism, creativity and persistence in keeping everybody close-by on the parking lot and in the bus on time for departure.

Future steps?

As mentioned above, we don’t know where this journey will bring us. But we are more comfortable with all the good things Holacracy brought us so far. Maybe we will become one of those legendary companies that decides collaboratively what everybody’s paycheck should be every year? That is something I don’t see happening in the near future. But hey, if at some point there is an enthusiastic group of colleagues seeing great advantages in such a process, then that isn’t such an unlikely scenario after all.

Want to learn more about how our compensation framework works and how it works? Read our story about open paychecks explained.