Introducing the

Just Wage
Initiative

Just Wage Forum 2021

Criterion 7: Wage Considers Performance, Qualification, and Type of Work

A just wage reflects compensation for experience, education, and training; it is informed by regularized and standardized evaluations measuring job performance; and it is part of a wage structure featuring transparent and fair delineations of titles, functions, and job descriptions.

Wage considers performance, qualification, and type of work

Promising research by a team of business scholars led by Elena Belogolovsky​ finds that increasing transparency in pay—and the methods used to determine that pay—can have a positive impact on worker satisfaction, collaboration, and productive contributions to firms.

In a review of studies on the subject, management researcher David Burkus concludes that “not only does pay secrecy put a damper on individual performance, but...revealing pay information can actually increase performance, especially among top performers.”

Other scholars counter that transparency efforts must proceed with caution, noting that openness on wages may cause demoralization among those that believe their pay compared to others is undeservedly low, especially in cases where performance is not easily measured. As business professor Todd Zenger argues, employers may need to “convinc[e] employees that their necessarily imperfect measures are acceptably fair.”

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