He could give the world a lesson in sacrificing for others — and keeping employees happy. One CEO made headlines in 2015 after reducing his salary to improve those of others working for his company. Now, he’s pledging to raise company salaries to a minimum of $70,000 by 2024.
Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, was making $1 million annually.
But he learned that some employees at his company were making less than $30,000 a year. Even worse, they were suffering because of it.
So, Price made an announcement. He flew in to address the employees and tell them that starting immediately, each of them would make a minimum of $50,000 annually. The initial reaction was pure joy, with Price saying he received many handshakes, hugs, and high fives that day.
In the four years since the change, Price says his employees have been able to enjoy entirely new lives.
“They’ve been able to pay down debt, buy their first homes, reduce their commute times, start families, and save for retirement at a higher rate,” he said. “They’ve also been able to make healthier decisions like buying better-quality food or taking trips to rest and recharge. Several have reported being able to afford plane tickets to visit their friends and families in other parts of the country and world.”
He recognizes when people live a lifestyle that could be upended by the cost of fixing a flat tire, they’re not healthy or happy.
And for Price, the health and happiness of his employees were more important than his fat paycheck.
“We have a company culture that highly values autonomy, and the higher wage allows them more autonomy over their lives,” he said.
Now, Price is returning to say he’s improving on the first change.
He’s offering a yearly $5,000 pay raise to all his employees, with the goal of annual salaries of at least $70,000 by 2024.
He said he was inspired to make the changes after reading about the difference that money can make in the happiness and well-being of people who earn less than $30,000 a year.
These days, Price makes less money, but he says it’s worth it for the improvements in the lives of his employees.
Gravity Payments recently acquired ChargeItPro, a company based in Eagle, Idaho. They’re set to make more money than ever, which is great news, not only for the CEO and other higher-up employees but everyone employed by the two companies.
“I took a seven-figure pay cut in order to afford the initial increase, and my life has gotten richer for it,” he said.
“I feel a bigger sense of purpose and harmony in my life knowing that we as a team are proving that there’s a better way to do business.”
Gravity Payments is a credit card processing service based in Seattle.
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