Good Salary Advice

Joel Spolsky discusses how salaries are fixed in his organization.

I agree with the overall attempt at subjectivity, though I believe it would be great if we could really "spread around ownership" in the truest sense, and that includes transparency in salaries, bonuses and figuring out if, as a company, we did x% on our bonuses, etc. That automatically includes involvement in fixing targets, a participative approach to strategy and tactics, and ownership of a small business that has scope for independent growth, if possible!

There's a very nice point made towards the end of that article:

At the same time, if you hear a lot of griping about salaries, you shouldn't look just at your system for paying people. One thing I've learned from experience is that happy, motivated employees who are doing work they love and feel they are being treated as adults don't gripe about money unless their pay is egregiously unfair. If you hear a lot of complaints about salaries, I suspect that's probably a manifestation of a much bigger disease: Your employees aren't deriving enough personal satisfaction from their work, or they are miserable for other reasons.

This is soooo true and its amazing how often even smart people try and fix just the symptoms. Unless you're totally off the charts, there are usually deeper reasons for the dissatisfaction, and unless there's a genuine effort to fix those, the symptoms will flare up again in one form or the other.

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