Industry Trends

Transparent Payroll Keeps Employees Loyal: Here's How

Michael Kammer
Content Marketing Expert

Your employees are your most valuable asset. No matter what their job title, an employee should feel that their organization wants the best for them. If they do, they overwhelmingly tend to go the extra mile and, more importantly, not look for another job. 

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the key to keeping employees loyal is transparency. 

In most modern organizations, transparency is already applied to multiple aspects of business - everything from leadership decisions and company financials to organizational and individual goals. Is payroll next in line? 

Keep reading to discover why transparent payroll is the secret to creating loyal employees by: 

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1. Transparent payroll motivates employees

Transparent payroll and the sharing of salary information is a guaranteed motivator. If employees can clearly see where they stand within the company in relation to their co-workers, they're more likely to ask themselves what they can do to raise their prospects.

Sharing pay ranges for all positions can also help spur motivation. Employees will be more excited about receiving training and learning new skills, which can also increase productivity.

In addition, a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University and Tel Aviv University found a critical link between employee collaboration and pay transparency that suggests employees work together more effectively when pay is transparent. 

Specifically, workers are better at asking for help from the right people when they know how much those people earn. In other words, transparent payroll gives employees a way to figure out how skilled their colleagues are and makes it easier to know who the experts are in the workplace.

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2. Transparent payroll facilitates equality

Making payroll transparent puts an end to accusations of discrimination, favoritism, and general unfairness. 

If everything is out in the open, employees can see their earnings - and those of their colleagues. This is a massive step towards bridging the nagging problem of the gender pay gap. 

It’s a good idea to share the methodology behind employee salaries. At online marketer Buffer, for example, the exact formula used to calculate salaries is shared with the entire organization. It takes into account everything from job type to seniority to experience and location.

This level of transparency makes it easy for employees to understand (and see) why certain employees earn more (or less) than others. When employees know what their counterparts make, they are in a better position to negotiate their own salary.

3. Transparent payroll builds trust

Being open and honest about payroll creates a bond of trust between management and employees. Employees don't have to wonder who's getting a raise, or whether they're being paid what they deserve. The more employees know, the less time they will spend worrying about payroll.

"It's stunning how much stress exists in the workplace around compensation, how much time is spent by employees trying to be treated fairly. When you take that away, it's not only more productive for the company but a huge relief on the team."

Dane Atkinson, CEO, SumAll

What’s more, employees who don’t feel like they have to hide what they make are often more willing to open up to peers about other subjects, such as offering up new ideas and better ways to work together. This can result in better collaboration, greater engagement, and higher levels of contentment.

4. Transparent payroll reduces turnover

The ongoing “Great Resignation” has caused employers and HR managers to renew their focus on reducing turnover. The good news is that transparent payroll has a strong connection to employee retention, making it even more appealing for employers.

“Train people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so that they don’t want to.”

Sir Richard Branson, Founder, The Virgin Group

When employees perceive a gender pay gap in their company, for example, it results in a 16% decrease in their intent to stay in their position, according to a report from Beqom. 

The report further determined that 58% of employees would consider changing jobs to work for a company with transparent payroll. Among Gen-Z employees, that number shot up to 70%. 

How transparent payroll keeps employees loyal: conclusion

Transparent payroll can motivate, improve equality, and build trust, but it might also be the key to companies decreasing their employee attrition rates during a time of upheaval. 

When it’s time to go fully transparent, Symmetrical is ready to be your partner of choice. We can provide an effective and efficient payroll system that: 

As a result, employees don’t have to question their salaries and your HR team members can focus on building positive work relationships. Moreover, employees get paid on time or even sooner than expected. This improves employee satisfaction and lengthens the employee life cycle.

Talk to us about your payroll issues

Symmetrical is the first payroll solution you won’t hate. We enable fast-paced companies to onboard at scale and run their payroll invisibly. To run your payroll hassle-free, contact our experts to learn more!


Cornell and Tel Aviv study on pay secrecy resources page (including info about transparency

Beqom report on gender pay gaps

Michael Kammer
Content Marketing Expert

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