The only thing I knew for sure when preparing to make my announcement to raise the minimum wage at Gravity Payments to $70,000 was that this is the right thing to do. I was nervous and scared, but knowing I could not go another day without finding a small solution to help solve income inequality pushed me forward. After I had made the announcement, I was relieved to hear the hoots and hollers, back slapping, and high-fives from my team, but what happened next was unbelievable.
We received an outpouring of support from every corner of the world from those who were inspired to start taking bold actions of their own. One of our clients owns a business down in Federal Way, WA. We were able to save him over $7,000 on credit card processing and instead of keeping those savings, he took that money and some of his profits and gave everyone in his company a raise.
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Another business owner down in Florida assessed his situation and ended up giving his employees a 35 to 50 percent increase across the board. Even big companies including Facebook and Salesforce have reassessed their wages choosing to raise them and close the pay gap between men and women respectively.
I wanted to share another amazing example of a leader who is bettering the lives of their team. After selling his firm, Nevzat Aydin of Yemeksepti.com, a Turkish online food ordering company, used $27 million in profits to pay out bonuses to his 114 employees instead of keeping it for himself. When asked why he made this decision, his response was simple, “If there is a success, we have accomplished it together”.
According to the Huffington Post and CNN Money, each employee received an average bonus of $237,000. Their typical wages were $1,000 to $2,000 a month meaning each team member got a 150 times boost in their monthly pay.
In a statement, Aydin said, “Some employees cried, some screamed, and some wrote letters of thanks.”
I love to see other CEO’s joining the movement where business should be about values and serving others. Others are beginning to recognize you can pay a living wage and not only survive, but thrive. These ripples are starting to turn the tides on income inequality.