If a company cannot provide its employees a living wage, then it’s a clear market indicator that company should not be in business.
I do mean living wage. Not minimum wage or the lowest wage someone will accept, but a living wage which is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs (including food, housing, and other essentials such as clothing).
If the product or service a company is creating cannot support a living wage, then the market doesn’t value what you’re making enough for you to keep making it. This is a business failure. And let’s be honest, we don’t need to keep making truckloads of cheap products that end up in a landfill after a few minutes or days of use, while at the same time keeping employees trapped below the poverty line.
However, there are a lot of “successful” companies out there that don’t pay a living wage, and yet they do make a lot of money for their shareholders. In this case, it’s not a business failure, it’s a leadership failure. This is a misallocation of funding. Leaders should be paying a living wage to the humans that are needed to sustain the business before paying shareholders.
Imagine what the world would look like, what it would feel like, if everyone that worked a full-time job was given a living wage. How present your employees would be if they weren’t working multiple jobs to get by. The dignity in work your employees would have when they didn’t have to worry about putting food on the table or a roof over their head.