I’ve just finished The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy. Among author Jon Gordon’s rules: You’re the driver of your bus; fuel your ride with positive energy; love your passengers; drive with purpose; and enjoy the ride.
As I read the book, news broke this week that Dan Price, founder of Gravity Payments, announced he will boost the salary of everyone on his 120-person staff to at least $70,000 over the next three years. Gravity is located in Seattle, where the minimum wage is gradually rising to $15. But Price knew that in a city where housing costs have gone up faster this decade than in any other major U.S. metro, $15 an hour is far from a living wage.
So Price — whose company specializes in credit-card processing and loyalty programs for small independent businesses — will cut his own salary of nearly $1 million to $70,000 and use up to 80 percent of his company’s profits to fund the wage increases for his colleagues.
As Price told Entrepreneur magazine in this video last year (a few months before they named him Entrepreneur of the Year and put him on the January 2015 cover), ”One of the things I love about my job is the opportunity to work with such amazing people. Every person that works here is a key decision maker, and that’s a culture we’ve maintained from the beginning.”
Back to The Energy Bus: Jon Gordon talks about making every person on your team a CEO: chief energy officer. By investing in his people, who currently average $48,000 a year, Dan Price is about to have 120 CEOs on his team. He’s also striking a blow against the staggering pay gaps we see in the U.S.
Not every small business is going to be able to follow Price’s lead, of course. But paying people a good wage — and taking one that’s in line with what the rest of your team makes — is an excellent way to show your team that you value them … and to get everyone moving the bus in the same direction toward success.