Should All Employees Be Paid the Same?

Scientist at Work

Should a scientist make the same salary as a carpenter? Photo by Massimo Sestini (Scuola Normale Superiore) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Should a scientist make the same salary as a carpenter? Photo by Massimo Sestini (Scuola Normale Superiore) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Company that Did

Dan Price, CEO of Seattle based credit card company Gravity Payments, in April 2015 decided to give all of his employees a raise. Well, maybe not all. The ones who were already making seventy thousand dollars a year didn’t get a bump in salary. Why not? Because with this form of earnings distribution, everyone makes the same amount. How did the employees feel about this?

Reactions from workers were mixed. The ones who were making lower salaries rejoiced when their income was suddenly increased. One woman, whose salary was thirty-seven thousand before the change, was delighted and relieved that her life would now be easier. However, the employees who worked for years to get to that level of income weren’t nearly as delighted. In fact, before too long, some decided to leave the company.

CEO Dan Price Raises Workers' Minimum Salary to $70k

About 70 of the company's 120 workers will have their pay raised to $70,000 over the next three years. About 30 of those workers will have their pay doubled."

— CNN Money

How Did the Employees React?

After the initial shock and joy of the announcement wore off, there were different reactions to this bold move on the part of Mr. Price. One employee said, “He gave raises to people who have the least skills and are the least equipped to do the job.”

Another employee, who recently quit working for Gravity, told the New York Times, “Now, the people who were just clocking in and out were making the same as me. It shackles high performers to less motivated team members.”

Money (That's What I Want) - Rolling Stones

Making Minimum Wage

The first person in the video below is a single mother with two children, a high-school dropout with a criminal record. Her recent raise to just above minimum wage took away some of her government assistance due to the increase in pay. She explains that in her past she was convicted of shoplifting, actions influenced by her needs to have nice clothes to wear to school. After her children came along, there was the need to provide diapers for her children, so she took them without paying.

Now, with her low paying salary at McDonald's, she is unable to afford a decent car and has to take in a roommate to afford her rent. She drives a used car that is mechanically unsound. This is the story of many of the working poor who do not make enough money to make ends meet. Their situations are dire and their potential for earning high wages are limited.

What Quality of Life is there on Minimum Wage?

Does the Assistant Deserve a Raise in Salary to $70,000?

See results without voting

Hypothetical Example - Poll

Suppose you work really hard for a dozen years to get to a position that paid seventy thousand dollars per year ($70,000). You put yourself through college working nights, worked jobs way below your potential, climbed up the ladder of success one rung at a time through hard work, sacrifice and perseverance.

The assistant that works for you, calls in sick at least once a week, shows up for work late every day and finds drama in every situation. Every day, she leaves work early finding some reason or emergency that calls her away. She spends the day making personal phone calls, posting the latest gossip on Facebook and spends hours looking at photos on Pinterest. After her two hour lunch she falls asleep at her desk. She never works on the weekend like you do. Suddenly, she gets a raise to seventy thousand dollars. How do you feel about that?

Should Doctors and their Assistants Earn Equal Pay?

Capt. Brooke Henderson, veterinarian, U.S. Army Reserves, performs an eye exam on Wilson, a Maltese mix puppy, while U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Andrew King holds him.
Capt. Brooke Henderson, veterinarian, U.S. Army Reserves, performs an eye exam on Wilson, a Maltese mix puppy, while U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Andrew King holds him. | Source

Are All Employees Created Equal?

Pattie Mihalik of the Times News Online in an article on March 29, 2014, tells the story about a patient at a local hospital. She describes a woman who, due to circumstances, is released at three in the morning after the main doors to the emergency room have been locked.

"You'll have to walk around to the other exit," she's told by one of the staff.

"I've just had surgery and the other door is a long walk to the opposite side of the building." She points through the locked door as she tells the attendant, "My car is parked right there."

"That's your problem," he retorts.

It turns out, a kind and very pregnant nurse who overheard the conversation brought over a wheelchair and pushed the patient to her car.

Do these two employees deserve to earn the same amount?

"In a perfect world, every employee would contribute the same amount, every bug would be equally important, every feature would be equally loved by users. Planning would be so easy."3

Employee With an Attitude - 5 Minutes

Would You Return to a Place that Has Poor Service?

How would you feel if the employee in the video served you at the counter and prepared your meal? Would you return for more of the same treatment? Would you report them to the manager? Would you chalk it off to them having a bad day and not worry about it?

What difference does it make? When an employee treats a customer with disrespect, it imparts the feeling that the business approves of such behavior and often, the customer will not return. In the long run, customer interaction with the staff forms the basis for the way we regard a business. At least it does for me.

Ebony and Ivory - Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney

What Has Google Discovered?

Laszlo Bock, of Google, who wrote the book "Work Rules" says they have decided to pay unfairly. He cites a power law distribution that fits almost every field they studied. As Bock notes, this means that "the top 1% of workers generated 10 times the average output, and the top 5% more than four times the average."

Longwood University's Ernest O'Boyle and Indiana University's Herman Aguinis, in a study that analyzed human performance across various fields discovered that, "Ten percent of productivity comes from the top percentile, and twenty-six percent (26%) of output derives from the top five percent (5%) of workers."

U.S. Marshalls at Work

Should all police officers make the same salary?
Should all police officers make the same salary? | Source

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle or the eighty-twenty (80-20) rule is a theory maintaining that eighty percent of the output from a given situation or system is determined by twenty percent of the input. In other words, twenty percent of the workers produce eighty percent of the result. But what about the eighty percent (80%) who aren't producing results? Should they be paid equally?

  • 20% of the workers produce 80% of the result

Another example of the Pareto Principle is that twenty percent of customers create eighty percent of revenue.

  • 20% of the customers create 80% of the revenue

If this is true, a business spends a majority (eighty percent) of their time serving customers who do not bring in the highest revenue. Often, salespeople cater to these types of customers; the ones who will spend the most money. In this sort of environment, those of us with small budgets would get less attention than the ones who spend more money. Is this fair?

The Secret To Making More Money - Jim Rohn

Mr. Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher

Mr. Rohn says we may be valuable citizens, valuable parents, valuable members of the community and of the world, but we are paid only for the value we bring to the workplace. We are not paid for the hour itself, but for the value we bring to the hour.

He also states that we should be students, rather than followers and that our beliefs should be the product of our own conclusions.

References and Sources

  1. Times News Online, Pattie Mihalek, March 29, 2015
  2. Young Conservatives, John S. Roberts, August 1, 2015
  3. Business Insider, Inside Google's Policy, Richard Feloni, April 11, 2015
  4. The Pareto Principle Explained, Kalid Azad
  5. CNN Money, August 10, 2015, Hong Kong

© 2015 Peg Cole

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Comments 48 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 13 months ago from The Beautiful South

Very interesting.

I for one am against a non-worker being paid as much as a real worker. I have had many years experience of the few covering for the many and it was because management didn't care as long as the job got done and it is totally unfair.


word55 profile image

word55 13 months ago from Chicago

If they have the same title and job description then yes. If they are general laborers then yes. If they are at different ranks and levels then no. If one performs better than another at the same rank, level or title then sooner or later the better one will be moved up or on. Get my drift?


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Jackie, It does get frustrating to cover for those who do not contribute or perform their job duties. Sometimes, it's because management does not notice that they continue to stay. Other times, they notice but are afraid to act.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Word55, Yes, I see what you mean. It seemed odd to me that a corporation would pay everyone equally regardless of their job categories or performance levels. It would be ideal if those who perform better are recognized and rewarded. If not, they would look elsewhere. If a company wants to retain their most productive workers, they need to provide incentive to stay or those people will move on if there is no place to grow and no financial reward.

Thanks for adding your take on this.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 13 months ago from England

Definitely not! if you have worked your butt off to get to the top then you deserve top money. saying that, the harder the job even if it doesn't involve skills, should make a decent wage. not this silly minimum wage rubbish. it should be done from how difficult the job is, or tiring, easiest jobs get less money.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Everyone being paid the same sounds like communism to me. We all know how poorly that worked out for the common people. There must be a correct answer, as we see there are terrible faults with unregulated capitalism and also faults with the philosophy of communism.

As a high producer, me paying someone equal pay that did substantially less would make me stop in my tracks. It would bring all the employees to the lowest common denominator.

Once again you bring a thought provoking topic to the table.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi there Nell, Your enthusiastic answer shines through bright and clear. It does seem unfair for everyone to get the same pay when some work hard and others are slackers. I believe that minimum wage is the starting point. What you earn from there would be dependent on how much you learn and how much you contribute to the workplace in the way of effort, attitude, knowledge, service, skills required etc..


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Mckbirdbks, That's what it sounds like to me, too. It takes away initiative, innovation and desire to do the very best possible job if there is no reward for going the extra mile and drives everyone to the "lowest common denominator." As one guy who worked at that first company said, "It shackles high performers to less motivated team members.”


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 13 months ago from California

The Pilgrims learned the Pareto Principle the first year they were in the new world. Some people don't give effort unless they have skin in the game. That was why they quit co-oping. The situation got better when everyone was responsible for their own property. Some give regardless of the prize. Discrepancy of output makes the producers really stressed.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very thought provoking hub, Peg. I'll have to think some more about it, but initially I feel that someone making less effort shouldn't be paid as much as someone making more effort. Giving the same salary to people with different skill or educational levels doesn't worry me as much, since some people through no fault of their own are unable to get training. Giving the same salary to a hard worker and a worker who doesn't make an effort does bother me, however.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 13 months ago from The Caribbean

From a general perspective equal salary for every position seems unfair; but I wonder if Dan Price has some information about his business that we don't know about. I could see how the top workers could lose their motivation to produce, if they don't feel rewarded.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Tirelesstraveler, That's a good way to put it, "Skin in the game." Cooperative effort is a good thing so long as all involved do their part. And you're right about some who give despite the prize.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

AliciaC, that would be my initial reaction, too. At the beginning levels, it would seem fair. After a while, maybe those who have shown initiative and perform at faster or more efficient levels of achievement might deserve more.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi MsDora, As always, you bring a lot of wisdom to the discussion. Thank you for stopping in and for the interesting comment. From what I read, he took a major pay cut in order to accomplish this goal and faced some financial setbacks as a result. I'm not sure many CEOs would be willing to do this.


Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn M Fields 13 months ago from the USA

I think it's fundamentally unjust to pay everyone the same regardless of effort. I truly believe that if you asked the people now making twice the amount for the same effort, they would agree that it wasn't "fair" - but that they still wanted the money (off the record, that is).

The only part of your hub that made me feel bad was the woman who lost assistance money because she started working. That is what needs to be fixed. We (society) should not punish people for working. That's just wrong. IMHO.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 13 months ago from LOS ANGELES

I have worked for companies where employees who did the same work may have been paid more based on their education or experience. Personally I didn't feel anything wrong with it unless it was general labor.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Carolyn, It's true that we all want more money for the work we do, or at least, most of us. If we see someone who is doing very little and their wages are the same as ours, the impact and results are almost always predictable.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Dana, I remember working for a company where the guy in the office next to me did the same thing as I was doing. We were both financial analysts. In fact, there were times he "borrowed" some of my financial reports and presented them as his own. His salary was double what they were paying me.

When he left the company, I applied for his job and was turned down because I had no college degree. The effect on me was immediate. I was angry and depressed. Later, when those feelings wore thin, it made me decide to finish my college education and I did.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 13 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Wow! I have that same testimony. I was working for this huge corporation and they opened up a position in management. Well, I applied for the job, assuming I'd get it, only to lose out to someone who didn't have as much experience as I did; but what they did have was a degree. They had a proven track record of being unreliable but got the promotion. I was so depressed I thought of quitting the job, but instead it encouraged me to get my degree also.


drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida

I read about that company, Gravity Payments, in Forbes. It seems that what appeared to be a magnificent Utopian gesture has turned out to be somewhat less than positive. When the owner cut his salary from one million a year to $70,000 annually and offered the same to each employee, at first everyone was ecstatic. Then a number of important employees left because so many others with fewer skills were no longer contributing - just getting by. And customers started leaving, too, fearing that prices for the services would rise.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Dana, Sorry to hear that happened to you as well. I would imagine this story is widespread among corporate workers. My former company was a Fortune 50 company in technology. I'm grateful that the experience prompted me to advance my education and that their policy of college tuition reimbursement helped me along the way.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Drbj, I read that report about Dan Price as well. From what I understand, he had to rent out his house to make ends meet. We will see if he makes Entrepreneur of the Year again in the future.

Thanks for adding that information and for dropping by to comment. It's always good to see you.


Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn M Fields 13 months ago from the USA

I want to add just one more thing to the conversation - specifically about having a degree. I was one of those people who did, in fact, have a degree. When it came time for salary increases or in one case, saving my job, it then became a matter of office politics when everyone had the same level of education and experience. Salary is a very complex topic in the corporate world. And paying everyone "the same" as an attempt to decrease that complexity overlooks layers and layers of human behavior, attitudes, and relationships. But I digress . . .


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

True, Carolyn, that office politics plays a huge part in keeping a job when all else is equal. Also, the Good Old Boy Network plays a part, or at least, that was my experience in a male dominated industry. Even with a college degree (and advanced certifications), my salary was less than my male counterparts.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

what an interesting hub... I feel you should be paid more if you produce more... experience should also be key.. a great piece for conversation around the water cooler...


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Frank, Around the water cooler, yes. It seems like we were forbidden to speak about salaries everywhere I worked. There was a reason for that, of course. They didn't want people to know about the disparities.


Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn M Fields 13 months ago from the USA

Funny you should say that, PegCole17. It reminds me of one of the earliest places I worked. I was being paid 10 cents more per hour than my co-worker (part-time job while I was attending college and my co-worker was not in college; she was a high school grad). Also, I negotiated a higher starting wage because my other part-time job paid more. My employer told me in no uncertain terms NOT to discuss my salary with anyone. The only reason I found out that I was making more, was because I DID discuss it. It was one of the first things my co-worker asked me once we were alone. Seems this is a HOT topic around that water cooler . . . That was nearly 40 years ago.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Carolyn, the old water cooler has heard more stories than either of us can imagine. Good job negotiating the higher salary. Isn't it interesting that strangers can ask the most personal of things like, how much are they paying you?


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 13 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Most thought provoking and the comment stream adds much to the subject.

I'm against poor performers being rewarded ... especially when motivated workers are not.

I believe minimum wage needs to be overhauled to the reality of today.

I believe experience, education and years of service need to play a role in salary.

I've wondered what movie stars and professional athletes do to warrant such grossly higher salaries than nurses, teachers, folks like us... when all is said and done, I do love my work - which helps it not feel like work as much.

Great job, dear friend. Love and hugs, mar


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Mar, I'm with you, wondering why we revere the athletes and actors and pay them such outrageous salaries. I doubt that astronauts are paid as well, or those who save lives like firefighters, paramedics and nurses. It says a lot about what we value in the world.

Minimum wage is a starting point. From there, our actions, attitude and willingness to learn plays a role in opportunities. Some stay there. Others continue their education, learn new skills and advance.

So nice of you to stop in. Love and hugs to you.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 13 months ago from USA

Great topic. You betcha I believe in pay for performance. In my last job, we worked on a caseload basis. There were four investigators performing the work of employee investigations and I was doing 52% of the company's case volume. Many of them were more complex cases, too (alleged discrimination, harassment with additional allegations attached).

I worry that if you unfairly pay someone way above their skill level, you trap them in a job because they cannot find a comparable job in the marketplace that pays such a wage. Just try to fire that assistant who makes $70K.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Sounds about right, Flourish. You did over half of the work while the others were complaining about everything else. I was once able to justify a promotion for myself by doing a comparison chart of the processing performance of the department in terms of productivity. It was a finite number that could be measured. My boss loved Excel spreadsheets and charts so I did both. Eventually I was promoted to the same level of the others who were doing less work.

I agree about the hazards of paying employees above their skill level. If they ever lose that job they will have to take one for a lower salary.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida

Peg, this is a real eye-opening and thought-provoking hub.

To start, I commend Mr. Price for reducing his exorbitant salary (no doubt he receives annual dividends based on profit, so he's still sitting pretty) in order to make funds available for his employees' salaries. However, I think it unfair to create a minimum of $70k across the board. The lazy employees have no incentive. The ones who really try and prove their worth should not be on the same pay level as the rest of the company.

I believe workers, whether blue or white collar, should be paid based on merit, performance, and worth. Degrees should have no bearing; a degree does NOT prove anyone's ability to put theory into practice.

I've held several positions since I first started working at age 15. I don't remember my wages back then because my earnings simply supported the expensive shoes I insisted upon and my ever-growing album collection. Mom and Dad paid my overhead. But I did learn to live within my means - somewhat. Today, I make a decent salary based on my abilities. I have no degree. I have skills, proven ability, and insight. That's worth something.

Today it's much harder to do that (live within your means). The cost of living versus minimum wage is completely upside down, especially since now every American citizen is mandated to carry health insurance or be financially penalized. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about minimum wage, but I have a son who is just embarking on life's path who does.

Ask the CEOs, government officials, and other decision makers if they could live on the salaries/wages they set for the rest of the populous. Could they provide for their families? Absolutely not!

I'm not sure what the solution to the problem is, but I have to admire the guy in the first part of your article. He has the right idea. It needs some work because he's rewarding people that may not deserve it (then again, if any employee works against the company and takes advantage, they should be fired), but he's willing to take money out of his pocket to make the people who MAKE his company lives' a bit less stressful. That translates to productivity, which translates to profit.

A happy wife makes a happy life.

A happy employee makes a profitable company.

Tit for Tat.

Amen.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Shauna, For the most part, I do admire the CEO that took a wage cut to be able to reward his employees. However, I do agree with you that it kills incentive and motivation to know whether you contribute or not, you will get paid the same. Sort of reminds me of the Soviet Union back in the day.

I like what you said, "workers, whether blue or white collar, should be paid based on merit, performance, and worth." And you're right about holding a degree. It doesn't indicate that you are smarter or more capable than those who do not, nor does it "prove anyone's ability to put theory into practice". It is one way to demonstrate tenacity and the ability to finish what was started. It took me nearly twenty years to finish mine.

Thanks so much for expressing your thoughts and sharing some of your ideas here.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

"It turns out, a kind and very pregnant nurse who overheard the conversation brought over a wheelchair and pushed the patient to her car.

Do these two employees deserve to earn the same amount?"

The answer is a resounding, "No."

In my work, I see situations such as you have described, often. One employee of a client thinks that he or she deserves to be paid more than another, or a co-worker is not worth what they are being paid.

"When an employee treats a customer with disrespect, it imparts the feeling that the business approves of such behavior and often, the customer will not return. In the long run, customer interaction with the staff forms the basis for the way we regard a business."

Absolutely.

At the end of the day, these are management issues and challenges. So, too, is the disturbing problem of paying someone minimum wage and expecting them to be able to survive in our society in order to satisfy the bottom line and shareholder expectations. There are no quick solutions, but these are issues that need to be addressed and discussed, openly and honestly.

Great article, Peg!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Genna, I appreciate your contribution to this discussion and that you took time to share some insights you've gained in business and professional interactions. I agree that minimum wage is not an adequate amount on which to live comfortably or support a family. It seems to me that if it were an entry level wage from which an employee could earn more based on their contributions, attitude and willingness to take on more responsibility, then it would be a starting point for new hires and allow and encourage personal growth.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I know exactly what it is like to be a high production worker, so I would be a little insulted to be making just as much as a coworker that only does enough to get by, plus does a few hateful things to others just because he has a nasty attitude. However, there are a few folks that would be grateful to have an easier life, and they might do more as a result of a heftier raise because they are now happier employees.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Aviannovice, Happiness at work is a key ingredient to productivity, that's for sure. Being a high production worker, you probably can see the advantage of being paid based on productivity, such as price per piece or completed project. It would seem to me that paying everyone the same whether they produce ten widgets or two widgets would be demotivating to the ones who produce ten.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa

I agree with Mr. Rohn - We are not paid for the hour itself, but for the value we bring to the hour. Besides regular salary increases - which means in anycase nothing, as the prices of everyting have to be raised in order for all companies to give salary increases. This keeps us on the same level of survival all the time - I'm in favor of bonusses. But only for those who really deserve it.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Martie, I like the idea of bonuses when the worker goes above and beyond the regular job duties. Sometimes, workers expect to get an extra amount for doing their job. That's what paychecks cover. When they go out of their way to create a new process that will improve things, or discover a way (and document the process) to save money or cut costs, or do things that are not within the scope of what's expected of them, then, bonuses seem appropriate.

Mr. Rohn went from working at Sears to become a self-made millionaire by applying certain practices instead of what he had been doing.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the great comment.


breathing profile image

breathing 11 months ago from Bangladesh

No two persons are exactly the same in this world. Same is the case for two employees. The post is good for highlighting the different aspects and examples of giving all the employees the same salary. Well this depends on the job responsibilities of the employees. Yeah, you can provide the same salary in a specific department of your company. But there also you should keep bonus and rewards for the employees who provides the best performance. This will boost up the workers providing best performance to work more hard to give more than their best. On the other hand those who are not performing well an inspiration to do well. So same salary is not a problem but there should be bonuses and rewards.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 11 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Breathing, I agree that everyone is different, including their performance on the job. Also agreed that for the same duties, the salary range should be established to include the different points of entry considering previous salaries. At many companies, the reward system is based on merit with a percentage of the annual budget allocated to salary increases. By giving the high performers a bigger percentage of the bucket of money, their annual salary is raised, which is from that point forward. One time bonuses are nice, too, for special accomplishments and projects.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and taking time to comment.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

I'm back for another look at this thought-provoking hub. As someone with a Ph.D., I'd be very unhappy to earn the same thing as the front desk clerk, although I certainly respect each person's contributions. Let market forces work their magic.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 10 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Flourish, I can understand your feelings completely. That is, as I see it, the basis of a free economy. The level of work and effort needs to be rewarded in proportion to the investment of time, energy and expertise. Thanks for coming back. Always nice to hear your view.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 10 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Peg....First of all, this is an excellent presentation! You've mastered interesting with informational as well as allow your readers a voice in the subject matter. Expertly done.

I love the "Undercover Boss" episodes. What I enjoyed most of all in the various scenarios is exposing the "authentic humanness" of the individuals referred to as "corporate." It's a shame is many cases that this has become a dirty word.

The people behind the name and nature of a business ARE "people." Not all of them are snobs or the proverbial "Big Shot," who couldn't care less about their front line employees. In fact, quite the contrary becomes the reality in many of these cases.

Of course I do not believe ALL employees should simply be "given" an arbitrary raise. Raises, promotions, bonuses and/or accolades of any sort in the workplace should be earned. Frankly, those employees deserving of a raise based upon their overall performance and assets to the business, can and should be singled out. It is fair to do this. Giving a raise to ALL employees, regardless of their performance or value to the business is quite UNfair~~ or at least, questionable.

No doubt 35 years in the Corporate world has allowed me the history of one on one experience, ability to understand the complex nature of all aspects that create successful businesses & definitely gave me the insight required to view the Big Picture.

The Boston Market video is the perfect example for this hub, Peg. Unfortunately, this young man may have had to learn an important lesson, the uncomfortable way. On the other hand, it has been heart-warming to see some of the other episodes where they expose the gratitude & generosity of Entrepreneurs toward dedicated & very valuable employees.

I thank you for this great work. Peace, Paula


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 10 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Thank you, Paula, for this comprehensive review and for sharing your thoughts here. I truly appreciate your sentiments and feedback. Yes, the guy in the Boston Market will learn a valuable lesson about life and other things. I like the episodes where the entrepreneurs discover gems among their workers and reward them appropriately. That doesn't happen often enough. It serves as incentive to others who want to do the right thing but feel their efforts go wasted after watching others on the job who do nothing and earn the same salary. It would seem that employers need to realize that what gets rewarded gets done.

Thanks again for such a great comment and for the visit.


Glenis Rix profile image

Glenis Rix 2 months ago from UK

The proposal that everyone should earn the same seems to me to be leaning towards the principles of communism. Great in theory, but it doesn't work in practice.

This hub opened up an interesting debate!

It goes without saying that everyone should earn what in Britain is called a 'living wage' (it's too low, in my opinion, and I'm not sure how the civil servants in the corridors of power have calculated it). After that criterion has been satisfied I think pay grades should be calculated on the basis of qualifications for the job, level of responsibility, the danger associated with the work involved etc.

There's scope in some jobs for setting individual targets and paying performance related bonuses on top of a basic salary- however that opens up the possibility for the obscene bonuses that investment bankers have been paid in the past. It's ridiculous that young bankers who created financial havoc have earned far more than our Prime Minister.

It seems that whatever formula a business develops for pay grades somebody will be unhappy with it.


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PegCole17 2 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Glenis, Thanks for this insightful comment on the topic of equal pay. It makes for an interesting topic that can be seen from both sides. It seems to me you have identified the real issues, like qualifications, responsibility and performance along with bonuses. Incentive plays a huge role in performance, as I see it. Thank you so much for stopping in and for leaving a great comment.

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