Creating a rewarding journey through an Engineering Growth Framework.

Will Lewis
Aug 21, 2020 · 4 min read

This is part two in my series of blogs about our journey building an Engineering Growth Framework at Attest, this time specifically about how it improved our reward process! If you haven’t already you might like to check out how we started and built a Growth Framework at Attest.

Salary and remuneration is an often controversial topic.

In Engineering (I’m sure the same problems exist in other teams too), I’ve found the process of pay and promotions to be a subjective and opaque process.

Pay reviews are too infrequent. In an environment where engineers are building their skill set and experience rapidly, why wait a whole year or 6 months to recognise that? One of the most noticeable effects of this will be the demotivation of existing team members, leading to attrition, usually to competing hiring companies who at the time of hiring will inherently offer a more up to date reflection of where candidates pay should really be.

Salary increases can be awarded at the mercy of how loudly you or your manager shouts. If there is no clear and transparent way of determining your growth & development and how this links to pay, you’ll end up relying on your communication and negotiation skills to barter for a pay rise. Perhaps you’ll need to put together a dossier of evidence, or your manager will need to build a business case and sell the idea to other managers, either way it’s clear this is neither enjoyable nor fair to go through. This can also penalise minorities or less confident individuals who find it difficult to shout about their worth.

There is a better way!

Fortunately, with a growth framework, you already have a mechanism for quantifying an individual’s growth and development. The next step is to directly translate its output into reward.

Growth Framework
Growth Framework
Numbers and pay for illustration only!

If we look at the levels in the example above, including the levels cut off by the screenshot, we can work out that the overall level is 4.3. This is the average of all individual levels within the framework.

The overall level of 4.3 means this individual would be paid exactly .3 or 30% through our level 4 pay band. This number can change every time we go through the review process, where we gather peer feedback on these levels, meaning if the overall level goes up, so will their pay.

We’ve found the benefits of this novel approach to reach further than expected.

Having such a calculated and well-understood process unlocks the ability to have more frequent pay reviews. We do this every 3 months. This allows improvements and adjustments to happen sooner, to iterate quicker, while facilitating smaller and more attainable goals for individuals.

Such a methodical and quantifiable process brings inherent fairness. This fairness helps with challenges such as the gender pay gap, which is less likely to arise. Our colleagues peer review our frameworks, providing a more objective approach. On top of this, all our pay bands are published internally, further increasing transparency.

The result is a truly agile reward process, one that is fair, consistent, and enjoyed by the whole team.

Thanks for reading! Watch this space for the next article in this series, where I’ll focus on how our framework drastically improved our hiring process. If you haven’t already you might like to check out how we started and built a Growth Framework at Attest.

You can see our own Engineering Growth Framework at Attest within our Engineering Handbook!

If you’d like to chat about growth frameworks or anything else, feel free to connect and drop me a message

When folks read about our Engineering culture, we’re often asked about open roles. We’re always on the look-out for exceptional talent, whether designers, engineers, product or otherwise. Please take a look at our open roles, or if you don’t see anything suitable there, feel free to email us at talent@askattest.com to let us know you’d be interested in future roles; please attach your CV!

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