And the salaries of team members in the 45-day Buffer bootcamp period (where new employees work as freelancers while they and the company decide if Buffer is the right professional and cultural fit for them:
Mary (Happiness Hero) = $70,000 (happiness hero, 1.2x, +6k, +10k)
Adam (Happiness Hero) = $76,000 (happiness hero, 1.2x, +12k, +10k)
Employees get a choice of more equity or more salary, if they choose salary, they get +$10K in additional pay
Let's use Joel as an example: He's an Executive officer so he gets $75k as a base. Then, as CEO, he gets a seniority multiplier of 20% and $12k/month. Then he gets an experience multiplier of 1.2 since he's considered "advanced" and he gets an extra $22k because he lives in San Francisco (or Hong Kong, or Sydney, or some other city with a high cost of living.)
Add it all up and Joel makes $158,800... and everyone inside and outside the company now knows why.
Buffer also publicly shares other information:
Curious about revenue figures? In November, Buffer generated $196,000, signed up 66,000 users and now has a total of 1,189,000, up 5.9% from the previous month. They even share how much cash is in the bank: $318,651.
Curious about customer support stats? Last month they helped 4,614 customers and sent 6,855 email replies, resolving 27% of queries within one hour. And they're honest about their challenges: a lack of weekend support staffing has created "a pretty unhappy experience for hundreds of customers," so they plan to hire a "weekend warrior."
So here's the big question: "Default to Transparency" is one of Buffer's nine core values, and clearly they walk that particular talk. But is this level of public transparency beneficial? And is it right for you?
I would struggle with publishing salaries, if only because I grew up in a culture where we were constantly told not to share salary information with other employees. Of course that didn't stop us. But does sharing create a benefit? The same goes for revenue figures, KPIs, etc. How much information should be private? How much should be shared?
There is no right or wrong; there's only right for you, and Joel clearly thinks this level of transparency is right for Buffer.
JEFF HADEN learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business. @jeff_haden