Study Finds Employees Most Productive When They Can Set Their Own Salaries

PHILADELPHIA—Describing it as an effective strategy for boosting office morale and worker output, a study released this week by researchers at the Wharton School of Business has found that employees are most productive when they are free to set their own salaries. “Giving workers the opportunity to adjust their pay as needed incentivizes them to perform to the best of their ability,” said the study’s co-author, Aaron Schumaker, who noted that measures of workplace satisfaction were markedly higher at companies that put workers, and not management, in control of their own base income, bonuses, and benefits. “As long as employees clear it with a supervisor, they can even vary their salaries week to week, for example, in cases when they have an unexpected personal issue come up that requires a change in earnings.” Schumaker added that the policy has proved to be a consistent success provided employees do not abuse it.


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