We all dream of growing up and working with what we like. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, but we still need a job. Generally, all people have to get one to survive. And one thing that practically everyone has in common is the desire to earn a salary and be able to spend it on whatever they want or need.
Having a job is not only the main resource that sustains most people, it also allows them full social integration. Therefore, most countries recognize the right to work as one of the fundamental rights of citizens.
Everyone wants to be able to get that dream spot. Most people’s dream is to get a good job and, above all, one that pays well.
Generally, people are hired by a company already knowing how much they will earn at the end of the month. However, a software company is taking a pretty radical approach to its employees.
“10Pines” is trying to be transparent and democratic by giving employees the power to set each other’s pay .
One of the team’s collaborators, Ariel Umansky, decided to turn down the proposed 7% salary increase in December 2020. The man felt he could not justify the increase to his colleagues. And, in fact, this was the second time in five years that the employee refused the adjustment offered by the company.
“I felt a bit insecure and exposed for being at a level close to or even above people I considered to be performing better than me. It’s easy to feel like a fraud,” he explained.
The wages of this Argentine company are decided three times a year during a meeting that includes all employees, fewer new hires that are still in the trial period.
At this meeting, employees, or their mentors, can apply for a raise and this proposal is openly debated.
“10Pines” is a technology company that was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Buenos Aires. Altogether, it has 85 employees and develops software for several clients, such as Starbucks and Burger King. The company does things like online loyalty cards, apps and e-commerce platforms. And annually, the company divides 50% of profits among employees.
“A key aspect of open wages is not knowing how much everyone is earning, but knowing who earns more than who. It’s the hierarchy, right?” Umansky said.
The technology company seeks to have a flat hierarchy and to be as transparent as possible with those who work there. After the three-month probation period, new employees join the rest of the team for monthly open meetings. In these meetings, the main decisions of the institution are taken, from the relationship with new potential clients, expenses, finances and, of course, salaries.
At “10Pines” there is no general CEO or managers within teams. But there are senior figures who are the partners, who are known as “associates” or “masters”.
“Since there are no bosses to decide the increases, we delegate this power to the people. We don’t want a salary gap like in the United States”, emphasizes Jorge Silva, co-founder and “master” of 10Pines.
“We started the salary discussions when we had 30 employees and we feared it wouldn’t work with 50, but we continued to adapt. It is necessary to update the processes so that trust is maintained”, he continues.
“The key is to understand that there is a difference between equal and fair. We are not all the same, but we try to be fair. We don’t want to be like the classic company that tries to control employees and treats them like children”, concluded Silva.