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By Koen Denies

March 9, 2022

“We know each other's wages. That creates trust.”

How much do you earn? In many companies, talking about your salary is taboo. Even friends or family members rarely discuss their paychecks openly. Teal Partners deliberately chooses an open salary policy, where colleagues know each other wages. Koen Denies explains this remarkable choice.

“Our open pay policy appeals to the imagination. We often get questions about it. Let me immediately clear up a misunderstanding. We do not all earn the same amount. But we do know how much we all make. An open wage policy is fair and transparent. It creates trust, which is essential in a strong team. You trust each other more if you communicate openly. That includes our paychecks.".

Salaries at Teal Partners are based on years of relevant experience combined with performance. That performance is threefold and concerns everybody's individual, organizational and commercial impact. What does someone contribute to the result of Teal Partners and its clients? This is a subjective assessment that we make together annually in complete transparency.

How is the salary composed?

The salary of a Teal Partner consists of the gross salary supplemented by hospitalization and group insurance, and copyrights compensation. Our software programmers receive royalties for the code they develop.

Add to this a flexible budget and a mobility budget. Employees can spend the flexible budget on devices, such as laptops or cell phones, extra holidays, or insurance.

Each Teal Partner participates in the profits and receives a result-related premium.

Recent graduates or young starters automatically receive a pay rise every six months.

High retention

With the mobility budget, we encourage sustainability. The amount is based on the price of a salary car. With this budget, you can opt for a bicycle, a train pass, or a pass for shared mobility, such as the Poppy share cars or Antwerp Velo. It is even possible to pay off your loan if you live within ten kilometers of the office. You can also combine choices and then receive the remaining gross amount at the end of the year. Striking fact? Our people more often choose the green alternatives, and if they do choose a car, it's a smaller model. If people really have the choice, they leave that expensive company car for what it is.

In five years, only three people have left Teal Partners. Our team has 37 employees, 31 of whom are developers. When you know that the average turnover rate in an IT company is very high, it is not pretentious to say that we have succeeded in providing a good haven for our employees. Our open-wage policy plays herein a vital role.

Profit share of 15%

Teal Partners belongs to everyone who works there. We say that often because it is so essential to us. We wanted to put this into practice by having everyone actually buy shares. But this was basically unfeasible. Our growth increases the company's value too quickly so that only those with the financial means would be able to buy-in. We don't want that inequality. We found an alternative in our profit-sharing system.

Fifteen percent of our annual profits are divided among our employees. How much someone gets, depends on the number of months they work for us. If a share is sold, we also divide fifteen percent of the value among the team.

Fifteen percent of our annual profits are divided among our employees.

Automatic salary increase for starters

Many IT companies have a hard time finding talent. If you are starting out in IT and want to improve your finances, you have to change jobs several times to meet (slightly) higher salary demands. Often the dreamed-of candidate leaves again quickly when they receive a better offer from another company.

With ten years of experience in the business, my co-founder Jelle and I knew this trap. From the outset, we decided to approach this fundamentally differently. We make sure that our people make these jumps internally. Recent graduates or young starters automatically receive a pay rise every six months.

Mature talent continues to develop

As an IT professional, you are often unwillingly pushed in the direction of team lead or project manager. That new title is then automatically accompanied by a pay raise, as if a management position is worth more than an executive job. We believe that if you like to develop, you don't have to move to another role after a few years.

We set people free. That's why our team has so much natural software talent, offering our customers tremendous speed and quality in software development.

Desired profiles

Why does this innovative approach work for us? Perhaps because we are well versed in hr and payroll processes, thanks to our link with SD Worx. Jelle and I share a past at the hr service provider, and we are currently working with them on some major projects.

Maybe because we are a young company: nimble enough to be quirky and keen to make a difference. Maybe because we really try our hardest, just because we look for the profiles wanted by everyone. Whoever is courting a sought-after party had better come up with the best offer.

That is not necessarily the most lucrative. It is the most honest, the most transparent, and the most sincere. We guarantee that thanks to our open pay policy.

Also read Koen Denies' article on self-direction.