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At Whole Foods, paychecks are public

At Whole Foods Market, worker salaries are not private. Anyone can look up anyone else's pay, from the newest store hire to the top executives.

It's part of an unusual philosophy by management. If you throw everything out in the open, the thinking goes, it empowers employees and motivates them to do more. At least that's the way co-CEO John Mackey sees it.

The policy has been public for years, but was in the spotlight this week after being mentioned in a new book on innovative management practices called "The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers."

But Whole Foods' practice doesn't mean everything is egalitarian. Some workers are still paid more than others. And some workers feel that's unfair. Just like any company, really, but at Whole Foods everyone talks about it a whole lot more.

"I'm challenged on salaries all the time," Mackey said in the book, as reported by Business Insider. "How come you are paying this regional president this much, and I'm only making this much?' I have to say, 'because that person is more valuable. If you accomplish what this person has accomplished, I'll pay you that, too.'"

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