Nanci Meadows, the People Champion of Hubb (an event management software company out of Vancouver, WA), recently shared their compensation printer test.

Here’s the printer test: If a copy of everyone’s compensation was left on the printer and anyone in the company found it, how would you react?

If you would blurt out profanity, be nervous, embarrassed or stuck figuring out how to try and explain away inequities, your compensation fails the test.

If you would be at ease, confident in and comfortable speaking to the why behind each person’s compensation as compared to their co-workers, then your compensation passes the test.

Does your compensation pass or fail?


Similar Reads: Workplace Compensation Trap – Fairness


If yours passes, high-five your team for a job well done!  Also make sure you have captured, clarified and continue to nurture what guides this compensation alignment.

If yours fails, make a list of all the specific ways in which it’s not aligned – who’s overpaid?  Who’s underpaid?  What’s at the source of the misalignments?  Does one manager tend to be more generous than another?  Did you undermine your values to hire a “Rockstar?”  Do you only give raises to those who ask for them?

If you’re looking for more guidance on how to pass the printer test, check out Chapter 14 of Culture Works – Crack the Compensation Code.  Here you’ll find out how to put a compensation structure in place that not only reflects both the character and competency contributions of your team members but also lets you fall asleep not worrying about printer tests.