Facebook to tie employee bonuses to safety, security goals
- Facebook bonuses will be based on how well employees help the company rout out misinformation and hate speech on its platform, reported Fortune. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the bonus program shift at an all-hands, media-barred meeting on Tuesday.
- Facebook said it wants employees to make safety and security on its platform a priority, and is aiming to do so through making it a more clear part of its compensation strategy. The way Facebook is run has "fundamentally changed," the company told Fortune in a statement, which required a shift in how its workers were incentivized, as well.
- According to Fortune, Facebook currently lacks a formula for weighting or assigning a dollar figure to the new bonus structure, but will let a compensation and governance committee determine the metrics.
As Fortune reported, Facebook's new bonus structure is a way to address the privacy breaches, illicit content and other problems with its platform and the super-charged scrutiny it has received from lawmakers, users and the general public. How Facebook achieves its socially-oriented bonus program also will be worth watching. The program is similar to a corporate social responsibility initiative, in that it addresses, in part, the public good, but it is somewhat novel in that it directly ties that initiative to employee bonuses — partly because that level of social responsibility may be seen as core to the company's future.
While Facebook has traditionally landed on best places to work lists, it has also faced internal strife over diversity and engagement initiatives. At the end of 2018, an ex-manager released a memo to employees that claimed the company is "failing its black employees;" and at the beginning of 2019, an ex-engineer claimed that workers at the company harassed her for criticizing the company's lack of diversity and sent transphobic messages claiming she should be fired.
Facebook is far from alone in facing diversity issues in the tech realm, but it is in a class of its own (perhaps alongside Twitter) in dealing with the public over how its platform is used. The bonus structure, while announced at a closed meeting and clearly meant to provide internal messaging, could also serve as a form of external messaging about what the company values — increasingly necessary as more candidates seek to align themselves with companies that reflect their values.
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