CEO who took pay cut to raise staff minimum sees productivity, revenue triple

"Listen to your employees, trust them, reward them," he says

CEO who took pay cut to raise staff minimum sees productivity, revenue triple

The chief executive officer of a Seattle fintech company saw productivity and revenue triple after he raised the minimum wage to US$70,000.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price made waves a few years ago after announcing that he would take a 90% pay cut so employees can receive a minimum salary of US$70,000.

Read more: Are managers behind pay inequality?

In a recent Twitter thread, Price shared that he was moved to raise the minimum after noticing that one of his employees had been working a second job at a fast-food restaurant to make ends meet.

“Seven years ago, I found a McDonald's training handbook on the desk of an employee named Rosita,” Price tweeted. “Turns out she was training to become a manager there because she couldn't survive on the income I paid here.”

Even though his firm was already paying wages at market rate, Price gave Rosita extra duties and increased her salary by US$10,000.

“She quit the McD's job, moved out of her crappy apartment and used the free time to see her friends more,” tweeted Price, adding that as her mental health improved “so did her work performance.”

Inspired by Rosita’s success, Price decided to raise the entire company’s minimum wage to $70,000.

“Since then, our productivity and revenue tripled,” he tweeted.

Price said that biggest lesson from the experience was the importance of listening to your employees.

“Never assume you know what's going on – never make top-down decisions without their input,” he tweeted. “I'm still learning to be a better boss and only look ‘good’ when compared to other CEOs because the bar is so depressingly low.”

“Listen to your employees, trust them, reward them. They are responsible for a company's success – not CEOs.”

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