What does your work culture look like? Does it make your employees happier and more productive? Today, Erik Bergman talks about the high price he took to succeed and the lessons he learned in the journey.
“All shortcuts come with a price.” – Erik Bergman
Hard Work and Well Being
Erik is the co-founder of Catena Media. Their company went from zero to over 300 employees within 5 years. He earned more than he ever needed in life at that time. However, success was not without the expense of burning himself out.
He learned from that journey of his life and started Great.com, focusing on the well being, transparency, trust and flexibility. 100 percent of their profits go to charity.
Radical Transparency with Employees
Erik zeroed in on the importance of radical transparency in the workplace. According to him, it is sometimes tempting to treat people unfairly because of the ability to hide behind secrecy. This unfair treatment includes how much an employee earns compared to how much s/he deserves.
He witnessed its negative impact on his company. Two people in a team, for example, had different salaries. The one with the lowest salary was the best performer but was the worst in negotiating his worth.
“If everyone knows what everyone makes, I cannot make that shortcut and neither can anyone else.” – Erik Bergman
Setting One’s Worth
Erik realized that if he wanted to thrive for more years—with the right people, he must change his perspective. At Great.com, they gave employees the privilege to set their own salaries and to be honest about what makes them happy.
“If we could build a culture where people get to decide what makes them happy, hopefully, we can attract people that have the same values that matter.” – Erik Bergman
The goal is to have a team that is completely responsible for their own salaries. This comes with the mindset that what they set for themselves is fair for everyone else.
Download and listen to How to Improve Culture in a Remote Workplace to learn more. Remember to let Erik know you heard about him on Culture Eats Strategy with Jaime Jay!
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