Chewse is a love company. That means we think hard about how to best show love to our customers and restaurant partners. Right after we raised our Series A, Jeff and I sat down and asked ourselves another question: “How do we show love to our team?”
We are building a company where we can all bring our authenticity to work. This kind of community nurtures openness and trust — letting us be our authentic, human selves every day.
After thinking about it a lot, we decided compensation was where we could show the most love and trust to our people. And ironically the way to do that is with a cold, hard formula, that calculates options and salary for any individual on our team — and opening up everyone’s salaries within the team so nothing is hidden from view.
So how does an open formula support trust, authenticity, and love?
- It reduces information disparity:The experience of receiving a job offer is one of limited visibility and high urgency. We think this is unnecessarily frustrating and starts the relationship off on the wrong foot.
We aim to set up clear expectations of compensation, so we aren’t dancing around anything in the hiring process.
- It reduces pay inequality:It’s news to no one that women are generally paid less than men, or that engineers often don’t negotiate. That means two people in the same role, with the same amount of experience and talent, in a negotiation model, would be paid differently. We see this happen with anyone who’s a minority, who may not feel the same level of comfort fighting for more salary when they are already under-represented at the workplace. This is not the world we want.
We aim to provide compensation based on business value not negotiation ability.
- It clarifies and advances career goals:Most people have no idea what their bosses think of their performance (often, until it’s too late). They don’t know how to move to the next level. Titles aren’t enough to clarify this. We believe this lack of transparency fuels politics and misunderstanding — which is bad for an individual’s learning and bad for the company. And even when people are performing, their pay often doesn’t increase to reflect this (unless they are in a commissioned role).
We aim to provide clarity on where each employee stands and how to advance to the next level.
- It cultivates openness and trust:Salaries have become taboo subjects of open discussion, yet they are one of the critical drivers for team satisfaction and trust. Communities are built on trust, and trust requires openness. We believe open salaries actually open the doors to meaningful, and sometimes challenging dialogue. Because of this, all salaries are open to the team
We aim to de-politicize work and bring difficult, productive topics into the open.
If we succeed in creating open, transparent environments, we give people the space to do their best work.
Have questions about what it’s like to be a human at work? Check out our Jobs page!
We stand on the shoulders of some forward-thinking giants, including Joel @ Buffer, Tim @ Tint, Jess Mah @ inDinero, Jindou @ Happy Inspector, and Nick @ HelpScout. Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned along the way in your own compensation philosophies!
If you’d like to dive in more with pieces that influenced us, check out: