One of the goals of my tour is to meet people from Happy Melly network. I was more than lucky in Helsinki to spend a day with Marja and Hannu, and to have a couple of beers with Antti. What a good time it was! I couldn’t wait it would repeat some day in some way. Thankfully Happy Melly has its “agents” everywhere. Last Monday I finally met with Johan whom I haven’t seen for ages and Pia-Maria whom I’ve never seen in person.

Johan is an agile coach at Knowit and a great guy. He was responsible for finances at Happy Melly v1. Now he’s working on his own project called Business Transformers which is going to be a Happy Melly brand soon.

Pia-Maria is an organizer and one of the main drivers of AgilePeople community. The purpose of the community is to promote Agile values in HR and leadership. Besides networking events they also organise conferences and trainings.

I was lucky to take part in one of their meetups and discuss modern approaches to compensations. We started with salary transparency and how important it is. I uncovered many small hidden nuances which I never thought about before. For example, transparency itself helps you to drive behaviour but the quality of that behaviour is limited by underlined values. In law consultancy firms salaries are open as they are a part of motivational scheme. Put onto a very strong “make money” perspective trasparency helps to create an unhealthy competitive environment.

Another interesting take was that salaries in Sweden are hidden only theoretically. In practice any citizen can request the tax data of any other citizen and easily estimate the level of income. What is the reason to hide them?

Now let’s assume that salary transparency is a good thing. How much transparent should it be then? Should we uncover everything or could we keep some parts hidden like an amount of shares? I can’t say we found answers for these questions. May be you will.

We also talked about salary formula and its parameters. As expected there is no silver bullet (sign!). Most parameters (location, responsibility level, etc.) depend on a particular situation and what you are trying to achieve. At Buffer location could add up to $40000 to your salary. At Happy Melly One we decided to remove this component as it brings unneeded complexity. For example, I’m in Sweden now. Does it mean that I should get more money as my living expenses are higher?

The meetup was interesting and eyes opening. If you live in Sweden or one day find yourself there, don’t miss a chance to meet AgilePeople.