I worked for a mid-sized company (approximately 300 employees) that emulated the Government pay scales and classifications. Each year, a cost of living adjustment was applied, and a new scale was published. Everyone received a copy.
You knew how much your boss made, how much your co-workers made and life was good, to be quite honest. It helped to distribute the work much more fairly and evenly.
I was originally concerned that I'd get stuck in a 'bracket', but they offered great training programs and promotions were quite common. The scales were geared so that any competent employee could advance at least twice per year (plus cost of living).
We had some really, really great managers there, I don't know how easy this would be to implement in a smaller start up company.
I'd like to clarify what I mean by
cost of living increase.
Many companies give certain allowances to employees. Some of them include transportation, home Internet connectivity, child care (especially for swing shift employees) and others.
Other pay outs are basically incentives, i.e. rewarding an employee for riding public transportation or a bicycle to work and home every day.
Its often more practical to provide a small increase year over year specifically for
cost of living, however this mostly entails
costs employees have to pay in order to be able to come to work in the basic sense. Its not practical to manage half a dozen
This could be delivered in several ways .. either padding a monthly pay check or increasing the company contribution to existing benefits such as 401k and health insurance.