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Transparency in Compensation Is Key


Joanna Dodd Massey Ph.D., MBA


Business and Finance

With over 25 years of experience in the media industry at companies, such as Conde Nast, Lionsgate, CBS, Viacom, Discovery and Hasbro, Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D., MBA is a C-level communications executive and Board Director. She has managed brand reputation, corporate turnaround, crisis communications and culture transformation. Currently, Dr. Massey is a communications consultant, as well as Founder & CEO of The Marketing Communications Think Tank. She is a corporate speaker and trainer, as well as author of the books, "Communicating During a Crisis," and "Culture Shock: Surviving Five Generations in One Workplace" (TVG Publishing, 2020).

In today's world, companies need to be transparent and communicate candidly, because your employees expect it AND they are carrying your messages with them online and on social media.


To attract and keep young employees, few things are as vital to today’s companies as transparency. For Millennials and Gen Z, who have grown up with a constant flow of easily accessible information, corporate openness and clarity are more essential than ever before, and that is a relatively new thing for American companies.

Interestingly, Millennials expect more transparency from brands than they do from politicians and even their own friends and family members, a 2018 survey conducted by Sprout Social discovered. The same survey found that for more than one in five Millennials, a CEO’s transparency on social media would encourage them to consider a future career with that employer.



In a job-seeking realm where social media, online forums, and insider sites like Glassdoor and Kununu make it easier than ever to learn the lowdown about prospective employers, corporate candor is key. Even when it comes to discussing compensation, younger employees are much more open than their predecessors.

A recent survey by compensation management software company beqom found that 58% of Millennial men would share or discuss their salaries with colleagues, compared to just 39% of Baby Boomers. The difference is even more striking for women—55% of Millennial women would discuss their salaries, as opposed to only 17% of Baby Boomer women.



Most young employees also expect transparency into CEO salaries. Beqom found that two-thirds of Millennials and Gen Z want to know what their CEO makes, with more than a quarter of those saying that it was important to creating a better company culture, and another quarter saying it would motivate them to work harder.

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