Back to Salary transparency: boosting employee well-being

The benefits of adopting a culture of pay transparency in organizations are obviously numerous. Whether in terms of transparent pay scales, salary determination criteria or job postings, salary transparency is beneficial. It boosts employee motivation, improves the climate of trust in the workplace, and increases the company’s sense of commitment to fairness.

It even helps companies to stand out from the crowd and attract candidates…Have you ever thought of that?

And best of all, all these benefits have a positive impact on your employees’ well-being!

Equity, not wealth

We might be tempted to believe that well-being increases with salary. That the more we earn, the more inclined we are to happiness. That would be THE winning recipe! But what do you think?


Research has shown that, although money helps to meet our basic needs (food, housing, clothing, etc.) and reduce our stress, the sum of our earnings reaches a peak and then digresses on the happiness curve. This means that, beyond this point, there would be little effect on our happiness, or even negative effects. We need to look more closely at the perception of fairness in order to significantly increase well-being. If employees feel they are being paid fairly and equitably, then this will have a positive impact on their well-being index. The feeling of fairness would therefore have a greater impact on well-being than the salary itself.

In fact, it has been reported that “too much dispersion and inequality in remuneration leads to lower performance and higher turnover in organizations”[1 ]. Transparency therefore promotes fairness and equity, and in turn, well-being!”


According to research, companies’ level of salary transparency seems to be proportional to their employees’ level of well-being. Conditions of fairness seem to be optimal when salary levels throughout the organization are known. Conversely, a persistent state of injustice remains if salary levels are known only by HR and Finance. The moral of this story? Free yourself from this information and share it! But beware! If your organization has not yet adopted such a practice of transparency, you need to plan ahead. That way, you’ll avoid negative overtones and optimize your positive results!

What about you? Have you adopted salary transparency?


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