The company’s stance and that of its employees are bound to be opposites.
For the company to make a profit, the lower the salary and higher the workload, the better.
Employees would say otherwise; As the saying goes, “work less and earn more,” the less work and
the higher the pay, the better. As long as the company and the employees hold their ground, it all
converges to the market average. And reasonably, the company would only be willing to pay the
average salary, and the employees would only work as much as they get paid for. But of course, at
the end of the day, the company would only make an average profit.
I believe the only fundamental solution to the opinion gap is trust. To explain further, trust could
mean the following:
Trust that the company will recognize my work well done.
Trust that there will be fair compensation that matches my skills.
Trust that the work I am doing now will not only benefit the company but also myself.
However, it is not easy to meet all of the standards.
First of all, it is fundamentally very challenging to objectively measure an employee’s performance.
Secondly, it is impossible to measure one’s performance in real-time.
Even at companies like Google, known for its generous and skill-based compensation, only 50% of
its employees say they are satisfied with HR policy.
I considered this to be crucial to our company’s growth in the long-run, so I spent a lot of time
perfecting our HR and compensation system. Yet, perfection is hard to achieve.
But isn’t it more important that the company is aware and open, ready to make up for its
I believe that long-term trust among employees is the source of a company’s profit. When one side
has trust, the other side also follows suit. Everyone strives to be better and thus the results are
better. This creates a virtual cycle that yields performance exceeding market value.
As the CEO, I make an effort to trust my colleagues. I try to give what I can before asking for their
trust. I do get scared of the trust I build, and sometimes that trust gets misinterpreted and is never
returned. But of course, there are people who recognize my sincerity, and when I see them come a
long way, I feel extremely rewarded. It is up to me whether I trust this person, but I cannot choose whether they trust me or not. Meaning, it is not within my reach. Adler’s HR system has been built upon this philosophy, and is continually improving. This is probably the part where I will need to invest most of my time going forward.