Is wage transparency the right thing for companies to do?

I have just read an article on Harvard Business Harvard, where it was claimed that wage transparency is a good thing. A number of arguments were listed, and it was attempted to explain – from multiple points of view – that wage transparency is a fair thing, especially for low-paid and newly-recruited employees.

In the same article, it was highlighted that top-paid executives should compromise and accept a lower pay.

I totally disagree with those measures and policies, because they are founded neither on reality nor on logic.

They are just measures aiming to hurt the interests of the so-called “top-paid” employees.

All employees have been implicitly aware of what their colleagues earn. It is insane to say that unskilled workers have no idea about what their bosses are paid.

Of course senior management executives are paid much more than other “ordinary” employees, and there is no need for any disclosure to be made on that, because “low-paid” employees have already been aware of and accepted this fact.

It’s as simple as that: “low paid” employees are actually paid for exactly what they do and contribute in the workplace; the same also applies to the so-called “high-paid” employees, since a fair compensation offered to them for undertaking the corresponding, high-challenging duties, based on the accumulation of their previous knowledge and skills.

Does an unskilled worker have the same duties and responsibilities with a senior management executive? No. Why should they receive an equal pay then?

It is like telling me that Messi or Michael Jordan should be paid equally to their teammates. Their teammates just accept this huge difference in earnings, it is a well-known fact to every sports fan on the planet, and everyone accepts it, because they all know that they simply lack the skills the play like Messi or Michael Jordan.

There is a wage difference in every business, organization, team, etc., which is expressed through a scale that rises with hierarchy, responsibilities, duties, knowledge, experience, skills, and performance.

There is a reason why these people are paid more, i.e. to achieve the results that nobody else can achieve. Therefore, they have a multiple contribution to the success of the organization that employs them, compared to employees at lower hierarchy levels, who, in the end of the day, do not wish to or cannot undertake the duties and risks that are involved in a senior manager’s or top player’s job role.

Even among employees who literally do the same job within an organization, there is common agreement among them, on the fact that some of them are simply capable of or willing to have a better performance in the workplace than their colleagues.

Why should a company pay the same wage to an indifferent employee?

This would only demotivate the rest of its employees who are willing to achieve a high level of performance, and who are worth every cent or penny of their pay and thus have maximum contribution towards the company’s goals.

According to the Pareto (80/20) principle, 20 percent of a company’s employees are responsible for 80 percent of the company’s performance. Why should these employees be treated unfairly, and receive just 50 percent, in terms their pay, whereas, in fact, they are worth 80 percent, compared to low-performing employees?

Governments and companies should adopt and implement continuous on-the-job training programs, in order to improve the skills of their employees, before trying to apply wage-leveling policies in the workplace.

I mean, do “low-paid” employees have the required skills, knowledge, and willingness to immediately meet the corresponding duties and responsibilities that result from their elevation to the level of their “high-paid” colleagues?

If not (which is most likely to be the case), the whole wage transparency thing is just pointless and unnecessary.

What if companies were required to tell workers what their colleagues earn?

Further reading:

Multitasking vs. doing one thing at a time

The modern-day workplace is characterized by an increasing level of complexity and versatility. Long past are the days when employees were paid on a piece-rate basis, and, other than that, they did not care much about doing additional tasks during their shift.

Nowadays, employees need to be multitaskers, in one way or the other, otherwise they will find it hard or impossible to cope successfully with job requirements. The economic recession and the intense competition that companies face in the business environment, has led to job cuts, which means that the same tasks must be accomplished by a lower number of employees.

Therefore, multitasking is an inevitable necessity for modern-day employees.

However, there is a critical question that should be answered on that issue: Is multitasking more effective than doing one thing at a time?

First of all, any business project has a completion horizon, and thus, the role of time pressure is important in choosing to apply multitasking, since “doing one thing at a time” is considered an unaffordable luxury.

On the other hand, if a manager urges employees to undertake many tasks simultaneously, they may never have the chance, or enough time, to finish them all. So, multitasking can have the effect of leaving things unfinished. In some cases, it would be more preferable not to start new things at all, if there is a high possibility of not finishing them. In this sense, “doing one thing at a time” seems to have certain advantages over multitasking, since it results in finishing one task, and then proceeding to the next one.

Finally, multitasking can become an extremely complicated process, when, for example, finishing one task is considered a prerequisite for starting another, and as a result, this can delay the whole project.

Further reading:

The many benefits of doing one thing at a time

The pros and cons of doing one thing at a time

The simple trick to productivity? Do one thing at once