Who Are the ‘Heroes’ of Pay Transparency?

These companies rank highest for being transparent with employees regarding pay practices.
By: | July 31, 2018 • 2 min read
pay transparency

PayScale Inc. just announced its 2018 Hero Award recipients, featuring the top 100 organizations where compensation practices and approaches are shared most openly. This year’s winners rank highest for being transparent with employees regarding pay practices, based on employee feedback from more than 47,000 distinct employers.

The firm also highlights its research showing that employees who understand how and why they are paid develop more trusting relationships with their managers, are more engaged at work and stay with the companies longer.

“People are more likely to trust their employer if it’s clear how and why they are paid the compensation they earn. There really is no downside to sharing your organization’s approach to compensation, but there is a well-researched downside to remaining silent,” said PayScale Vice President Lydia Frank. “Employees feel better about their deal when organizations are more transparent about pay decisions and practices.”


Now in its third year, restaurants and grocers dominate the top 10 spots (below) on this year’s list. Both are industries where profit margins are relatively thin, which suggests that transparency may be a distinct advantage in these highly competitive industries, according to the company:

  • Aldi, Inc.
  • McKinsey & Company, Inc.
  • Sanderson Farms, Inc.
  • Trader Joe’s Co.
  • FedEx Freight
  • Texas Roadhouse, Inc.
  • Smith’s Food and Drug Stores
  • Dialysis Clinics, Inc.
  • Edward Jones

(To view the complete list of 2018’s transparency heroes, click here.)

While pay transparency is often viewed as a positive by most business leaders, a contrarian view was published in a 2016 Harvard Business Review article.