Pay transparency: how Flash Pack recognises and rewards its team

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Like many business founders, Lee and I have thought hard about how to help our employees feel heard and valued. We want a team culture that is rooted in transparency and fairness. That’s reflected in Flash Pack career benefits such as remote working, training and a generous pension scheme. And it’s also key to our policy around pay transparency. 

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We want a team culture that’s rooted in transparency and fairness

Salary secrecy is still a major issue in modern working life. Failing to be open about pay processes not only creates insecurity; it also aggravates gender and ethnicity pay gaps

The travel industry already lags behind other sectors when it comes to diversity and inclusion. But at Flash Pack, we aim to smash that ceiling and pave the way to change. So – soon after Flash Pack relaunched in the wake of Covid, we conducted a full audit of the way that we retain talent. Our review revealed a number of problem areas.

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A salary is about acknowledging the impact that our employees have

Pay decisions were being made by hiring managers in an inconsistent way, slowing our ability to scale the team. Keeping pay levels secret made some staff members feeling undervalued. And, it made no sense not to reveal our salaries on job descriptions; especially as we felt them to be competitive by industry standards.

These disparities made us recognise that, if we really care about treating everyone equitably – and we do more than anything – we needed a new way forward. We can’t simply give new candidates an uplift on their previous salary. Doing so only adds to the damage done by other companies, compounding pay inequalities. And we can’t tolerate our team’s pay being dependent on how confident they are at negotiating. How is that fair? 

A salary is about acknowledging the impact that our employees have, and the responsibilities they agree to: not whether or not they can persuade their way to better pay. So, we decided to make a number of key changes – as reflected in our policy of pay transparency.

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All Flash Pack jobs have public salary bands and options grants

Flash Pack now recognises and rewards employees using the following commitments:

1: We’ve created a performance and progression framework with the support of Justly, a company that helps startups demystify career progression and compensation. The model covers what knowledge and skills Flash Pack employees need at each available salary level, along with detailing the impact, communication and problem-solving skills required to move to the next level of pay. 

2: In tandem, we have built a compensation calculator that benchmarks all Flash Pack roles and levels against a large body of salary data canvassed from 3000 similar startups (rather than other travel companies, since the travel industry is significantly underpaid compared to other sectors). Roles are grouped according to the demand for different skills, and the location where hires take place. It’s more challenging to hire people in tech, so Flash Pack’s calculator reflects this, too.

 3: All Flash Pack job adverts have public salary bands and options grants (i.e. the right to acquire a set number of shares of stock in Flash Pack at a set price). Anyone interested in a Flash Pack role can therefore see what they can expect to earn, plus the options granted for that position.

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We hold levelling conversations with every current team member twice a year

4: Our transparency model has been updated to help us manage it more easily as we scale. After some research, we found that the majority of staff were choosing “more salary” as their preference over “more option grants”. So from October 2023, we’ve offered the “more salary” option to every new person hired as part of Flash Pack.

5: We hold levelling conversations with every current team member at Flash Pack twice a year, to explain why they are on a particular level of pay. This is also an opportunity to discuss people’s career ambitions, and the next steps we can take to support their personal growth. 

6: Lee and I, as founders of Flash Pack, share our salaries with the team to keep us accountable, and to ensure that we are not being distracted by low-impact work. 

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The question of pay transparency is an evolving process so if you have any tips or ideas on what you’d like to see us do to improve things – or perhaps a strategy that your own company is pursuing that works – we’d love to hear about it. Drop us an email on [email protected]

We are hiring across the company, with salaries and options published for every role. If you love all things travel and friendship as much as we do, come and join us – you can check out all our latest vacancies in the US, the UK and beyond by connecting with Flash Pack on LinkedIn; or come take a look at Flash Pack’s current job openings.

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