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September 14, 2023

4 Tips For Building a Merit-Based Company

In today's business world, a fair and productive workplace is more than a utopian ideal: it's a necessity. Rooted in the word 'merit,' this approach emphasizes the weight of ability over traditional biases or favoritism. The shift towards meritocracy is not just an operational decision, but a commitment to recognizing and rewarding potential and performance.

As companies align themselves with this approach, it becomes important to understand the tools and techniques that can make the transition smoother and more effective. Let's delve into how one can build an organization where merit isn't just acknowledged, but celebrated!

Tips for Building a Merit-Based Company

1. Hire Based on Merit

One of the most fundamental aspects of building a meritocratic organization is starting at the very beginning: the hiring process. Traditional hiring processes may prioritize factors such as pedigree, alumni, or even appearance. Merit-based hiring flips this on its head, focusing on skills, experiences, and potential.

Structured interviews, where each candidate is asked the same questions, as well as skill assessments are just some of the ways companies can hire based on merit. To further eliminate biases, it may be beneficial to consider blind recruitment, where personal information is removed from applications.

By prioritizing merit over all else during the hiring process, organizations not only ensure that they are getting the best talent but also reinforce their commitment to a culture of fairness, equal opportunity, and excellence. 

Examples of Tools:
- HireVue

- Codility

- Applied

2. Set Objectives and Metrics

An organization, no matter its size or industry, needs a solid foundation of objectives and metrics to function effectively. They serve as the guide, helping each individual align their work with the company's overarching vision. 

Performance metrics offer tangible measures of success, promoting feedback and continuous growth. It's crucial to select metrics that are relevant, offer a holistic view of performance, and avoid superficial "vanity metrics". Using tools like performance dashboards and scheduling regular reviews ensures these metrics remain front and center, driving transparency and meritocratic values.

Examples of Tools:

- Jira

- Trello

- Tableau (or other data visualization platforms)

3. Communicate and Evaluate Transparently

For a meritocratic company to flourish, transparency is vital.

A transparent evaluation means that employees are assessed based on predefined criteria, eliminating any subjectiveness or biases. Tools that encourage regular feedback, from peers or managers, give employees insight into their progress, which they can also track on their own.

Additionally, open communication builds trust, with employees feeling valued and heard. Regular one-on-one between superiors and team members also nurtures conversation and dialogue. Employees should feel safe to voice opinions or disagreement. Alongside direction communication, having avenues like suggestion boxes ensures even those too scared to speak up can be heard.

Examples of Tools:

- 15Five

- Slack

- Officevibe

4. Recognize and Reward Merit

When employees see their efforts being acknowledged and rewarded, it not only validates their contributions but also spurs further innovation and dedication. Recognizing effort and results encourages higher levels of performance, pushing individuals to consistently deliver their best, and employees who feel their contributions are valued and rewarded are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Moreover, taking the time to give personalized feedback shows genuine appreciation and acknowledgment of individual contributions. This can be backed up with different reward mechanisms, such as bonuses, benefits, and promotions. 

When rewarding employees, it is necessary for them to understand what they did well. Always utilize any metrics or data to back up exactly what they succeeded at, especially if these align to the overall business mission. 

Examples of Tools:

- Bonusly

- Kudos

Posted by Noxx Team