How much are you worth at work? Dutch IT firm lets staff set salaries, by app

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An IT company in Maassluis, near Rotterdam, has just launched a three-month experiment to allow staff to determine the others’ salary.

The 45 workers at Keytoe, who are used to being able to pick how long to go on holiday and when to start work, will use an app to decide if their co-workers have done a good job and if they should be rewarded with more money.

A special salary committee, which anyone can join, has determined salaries over the past two years, based on regular appraisals. Now the company is going further, and if the experiment succeeds, salaries will vary on a monthly basis, depending on how much the company has earned.




Keytoe staffer and organisational psychologist Lennard Toma told Radio Rijnmond that the salary idea fits in with company strategy. ‘Everything is transparent at the moment,’ he said. ‘We know each others salaries and each others hours. We are a company that wants to help people flourish and there is a waiting list for people to work here.’

People know about each other’s family situation, their health and their personal problems, he says. And it is this trust between colleagues, which has allowed the company to take this step to allow staff to decide if individual salaries to go up or down.

‘We’re going to try this for three months and decide if we are going to press ahead,’ he said. ‘The idea is not to be competitive but to help each other do better.’

The trial period will not involve any actual salary shifts. Each member of staff will have a fictitious basic income of €600, irrespective of how many hours they work or what their job is.

‘After the trial, we will decide if €600 is enough,’ Stephanie van Hoek, in charge of new business at Keytoe, told RTL Nieuws. ‘We wonder how this will work out in practice. Will the salaries dovetail or will there be big differences.’

She admits that it will be hard for herself, as an account manager to judge the performance of a IT developers. ‘But I can see how they go about their job,’ she said. ‘I can see if they work well together and their involvement in the company.’