Fair salary model

Fair and transparent salary criteria
Wage developments and payrolls will be plannable far into the future. We no longer evaluate according to individual performance, negotiation skills and estimates. But rather according to facts.
Apps with love AG

No more salary negotiations.

Salary negotiations can sometimes feel like a carpet bazaar. If you’re confident and are good at selling yourself, you’ve a good shot at a higher salary, regardless of whether a less confident co-worker is better at the job. Even when a company undertakes to make salaries fair, they can still remain rather opaque when they are based on estimates and negotiation skills. 

Disadvantages of classic salary models

  • The criteria based on which other may earn more/less are unclear

  • Complicated and repeated salary negotiations

  • Classic salary models are based on evaluation and are therefore debatable

  • Unfair wages are possible, since some people are better at negotiating than others

  • Unequal wages between men and women

  • Future expenditure for positions cannot be planned

  • Salary transparency is made difficult because of the individually negotiated wages

  • No matter how high or low the salary is, there is often a feeling of unfairness 

Sample model without numbers, iteration #3

This is how the Awl salary model is put together 

We no longer evaluate according to individual performance, negotiation skills and estimates, but rather based on facts. Our new wage model is based on a basic salary for all employees and on four criteria that increase the basic salary individually: Training, loyalty, responsibility and experience.

1. Basic salary

All employees are paid the same basic income

2. Training

Type of training

3. Responsibility

Areas of activity in which the employee mainly works

4. Experience

Professional experience in a specialist area pertinent to the company

5. Loyalty

Years in the company since permanent employment with contract

6. Company success

The whole team participates in the company’s success when business is going well

7. Additional performance

Non-monetary services offered by the company

8. Awards and medals

Awards for outstanding services in various areas

Criteria 2-3 raise the basic salary incrementally by several hundred francs. In the salary discussion, the criteria are gone through together and the level at which the employee currently finds themselves is established. The basic salary deviates only in the case of lateral entrants with no specialist training. This lower basic salary then mutates after three years into the regular basic salary.

The office as a living space

A salary is often seen as compensation for work performance. However, if the employees are given the opportunity to develop, manage their time themselves and adjust it to fir their lives, the office can become an extended living space. The monthly salary loses relevance; freedom and self-determination are the true values that determine quality of life.

Among other things, we offer six weeks of holidays, flexible working hours, home office, massage, lunch, professional development, a voice in the company and much more.

Playful recognition for individual performance

Playful recognition for individual performance An awards system provides us with the possibility of expressing mutual recognition in a fun way and rewarding outstanding performance. These awards are handed out for outstanding work in a project and for loyalty to the company. For the annual medal, which is first awarded after 3 years, the employee is allowed to make a wish, which will be fulfilled by the company. These sorts of things play a major role, according to studies at least. The effect of honorary titles was examined in the IBM research centre in Zurich and in a call centre. The result: employees who were awarded worked better afterwards. Those who aren’t don’t work any worse. At our company, fun is at the forefront of this ritual. 

Res Finger
Apps with love Medals
Project orders and loyalty medals

Advantages of the Awl salary model

No more salary negotiations

We don’t have salary negotiations or discussion anymore and we evaluate criteria that are important to us in the company.

Creating transparency

Even if we don’t announce every salary for all to hear, the model is the same for everyone and everyone is able to calculate approximately what the other salaries are. The employees’ own salaries can be estimated for years to come, since it develops from year to year.

Better work climate and motivation

Since everyone is classified according to the same system, no one has to wonder anymore if somebody else is being treated better. The criteria are transparent and fair and apply to all.

Increasing flexibility

The figures in the model can be adjusted. When the company is doing better, either a success bonus can be distributed or the basic salary adjusted. Other companies, too, can enter their own figures into the model for a customised solution.

Raising productivity

The long wage negotiations are eliminated. Salary expenditure can be planned better and the administrative costs are lower.

Creating salary equality

It’s the model that generates the payroll, not the managers. The salaries have been equalised in such a way that there are no more extreme outliers. This results in gender-neutral salaries that are based on criteria that apply equally to all.

Till Könneker

There is often a latent sense of injustice that we can take off the shoulders of employees. It is not a question of wage transparency but of transparent and fair wage criteria.

Till Könneker


A salary system that is seen as being fair enables better teamwork, and good teams attract good people. The salary development is clearly evident and in this way we hope to find employees that can identify with our corporate culture – employees who want to determine their own life-work balance and employees who, thanks to the transparency, have faith in Apps with love and who actively contribute to the company’s success with their joint efforts, thus also increasing the monetary wages for all. No matter how high or low the salary is, there is often a latent feeling of unfairness, which we have been able to lift from the shoulders of our employees. For our company, it means that the salary expenditure can be planned realistically, is equal and fair, and a lot of time can be saved in salary discussions and admin. Of course, our model isn’t perfect yet – there is no perfect salary model – but it is a new approach that fits our culture and our values.

Till Könneker
Till Könneker
Creative Direction | Co-Founder
Has a dreaded eagle eye and watches over the quality of our products. Often indulges in his thoughts and forges plans for how Apps with love can reach the next level without losing a life. Loves cats, kids and liquorice.
Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sánchez
Head of HR
Finance & Administration
Her smile isn’t just show – she’s friendly and laughs a lot. But don’t try to play her or there’ll be no salary and no sweeties. Her many years of experience makes our lives soooo much easier.
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