Is Your Workplace a Meritocracy?

workplace meritocracy

Harley Finkelstein, the chief platform officer at Shopify, has a new article in Fast Company that shares insights into the benefits of a workplace that functions as a meritocracy. Such a workplace doesn't place any sort of premium on employees with tenure, rank or an impressive resume -- all that matters is ability and, well, merit.

At Shopify, this culture starts right from the hiring process. Prospective coders, Finkelstein explained, must complete a coding test before the Shopify team even reviews the candidate's resume. "The reason for this is to ascertain the candidate's programming aptitude on an objective and unbiased level," he wrote. "The result of this exercise allows us to begin the interview process by evaluating candidates on their coding abilities exclusively, and only then we will begin to look into their background and past experiences."

New employees' compensation packages at Shopify are similarly determined based on their relative value to the company, which might mean that two employees in the same department are paid on a different scale. Under the meritocracy model, promotions and reviews still continue as usual, but tenure isn't emphasized as it might be in a traditional office.

From a productivity standpoint, I think this culture would incentivize new and seasoned employees alike to continually strive to do their best work -- and isn't that what it's all about?