When it comes to building a successful business, many people believe you have to be selfish. In order to maximize profits, it seems to make sense that corners have to be cut – usually at the expense of the company’s employees. But one inspiring CEO has proven this doesn’t need to be the case – and his story is warming the internet’s hearts this week.
Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments in Idaho, is a boss with a difference. He hit headlines this week after he took a whopping ninety percent pay cut to ensure all of his employees earn a liveable wage. He shared his story in a recent Twitter thread.
Price explains that years ago, he discovered one of his employees was also working a night shift at Mcdonald’s in order to cover her living expenses. Price was horrified to discover the wage his company was paying her was simply not enough for her to make ends meet. This was when he realized he had to make a change.
“She was hiding the McD’s handbook and thought her 2nd job would get her fired. What kind of culture had I created? Scarcity and fear. Rosita is a college grad but was making $30,000 a year. She’d leave our job at 5 and secretly work 5:30-11 every weeknight at McD’s for 1.5 years,” he explained.
Price explained how he helped Rosita quit her McDonald’s job by raising her salary. “She quit the McD’s job, moved out of her crappy apartment, and used the free time to see her friends more. As her mental health improved, so did her work performance.” This experience led Price to think more generally about the work culture at his company, and decided to double the minimum salary of the company to $70,000.
To make this work, Dan docked his own pay by ninety percent from $1.1M to $70,000 – the same wage as everyone at the company. And he says he has no regrets and believes the move made him a better boss. “I don’t miss anything about the millionaire lifestyle. Money buys happiness when you climb out of poverty. But going from well-off to very well-off won’t make you happier. Doing what you believe is right will.”
But the move has also had huge benefits for the company as a whole. “The company’s revenue has tripled, the headcount has grown by seventy percent, the customer base has double, babies had by staff has grown ten times, homes bought by employees has increased ten times and turnover has dropped in half,” as per the Metro.
“People focus on the cost of paying employees well but not on its benefits. For us, our happy employees drove record sales and we now have 20,000 small business clients. 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.”