We often hear tales of corporate greed in the news. Many big-time CEOs make millions or even billions of dollars a year while their employees — especially lower-level employees — barely make enough to get by. This financial stress can affect the workers, of course, but it can also hurt the company, leading to lower productivity and higher turnover rates.

A few years ago, the CEO of Gravity Payments, Dan Price, decided to do things differently. He learned that a friend of his, a military veteran, was living on a $40k salary in Seattle and struggling to deal with a $200 rent increase from her landlord. Dan, on the other hand, was earning $1.1 million, and the disparity made him realize that his own employees may be experiencing some of the same frustrations and fears.

Dan made headlines in 2015 when he decided to cut his own salary by $1 million to set a $70k minimum wage for his 120 employees. The decision was polarizing, with many people praising his sacrifice and many others ridiculing or criticizing him for it. Years later, though, Dan is happy to report that his choice has helped both his employees and his company as a whole, and he’s speaking up about the benefits of treating your employees like people.

Dan saw substantial improvements in his staff, both in their quality of life and their performance at work.

Dan has also been actively responding to people who have questions or comments about his choice.

Dan is currently taking a $0 salary due to the pandemic, and he reiterates that the $70k is the minimum salary for his employees. He doesn’t hold back in paying them what they’re worth.

While Dan’s story is one of success and gained a lot of media attention, he points out that few, if any companies followed his lead.

Overall, it seems like this risky move had a big payoff for everyone involved. Hopefully, Dan’s story can convince more wealthy CEOs to give more to the people who’ve made their business so successful.


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