Flexible working hours, home office whenever desired, vacation on a basis of trust and no more unpleasant salary negotiations. What sounds utopian to many at first is our standard at byte5. We have already achieved some of this, and we are working towards others. Our management has already been pursuing the concept of the New Trust since 2018.
At that time, I noticed that the satisfaction in the team was constantly decreasing due to rigid rules and specifications. So something had to change. The key word here was trust.Christian Wendler, Gründer & Geschäftsführer
A number of things have therefore happened in the meantime: In a first step, core working hours were abolished. The first step was to abolish core working hours, followed by flexible working, which means that all employees are now free to decide when and where they work. Whether in the office, at home or in a café - no problem. Then in 2019 there was another big change and unlimited paid leave was introduced. In 2021, the introduction of the pay panel will be the next logical step for us towards a company that actively lives its values of trust, freedom and self-determination.
With the introduction of the Pay Panel, we are pursuing the goal of creating a dynamic, uniform and, above all, comprehensible salary model that is based on the performance of individual employees. As our team is continuously growing, scalability should also be ensured and its implementation secured in the long term.
No more salary negotiations
Salaries at byte5 are based on the market and not on the negotiating skills of individual employees. This means that those who perform similar work in a similar position are also paid similarly. Deviations from this are based on individual factors, such as expertise or responsibilities.
Salary determination in the team based on fixed criteria
Since the team also works independently and self-determined on a daily basis, we at byte5 feel that a pure evaluation by the management is not appropriate. Therefore, the amount of the salary is determined in a multi-stage process in which the employees or an elected representation are actively involved.
Automatic salary increases every year
To ensure that salaries at byte5 adapt to market developments and that everyone in the team shares in the company's success, there is a blanket increase once a year - for everyone.
Our salary model is based on a multi-stage process and various parties are involved. First and foremost are the feedback interviews with employees. Alongside standard market reference salaries, the market situation and the economic situation of the company, they form the basis for the assessment by our Pay Panel. Not taken into account, however, are, for example, degree, gender, age or length of time in the company.
Feedback interviews are held four times a year for all employees. These discussions focus on professional expertise, management skills, personal development and behavior in the Second Family. Everyone receives extensive feedback: both superiors and colleagues give their opinion. Since not everyone works together equally closely, the significance of the feedback can be weighted individually. In addition, a self-assessment is carried out from the end of the probationary period, which is compared with the external assessment.
In order to constantly adapt the salaries at byte5 to the market situation, we track their development with the help of various tools. Since we are convinced that passion and ability are not necessarily linked to a specific degree, there are some special features at byte5: All team members, regardless of their actual degree, are classified at least on the basis of a bachelor's degree, from senior position of a master's degree. For a trained IT specialist in a junior position, for example, this means that her reference salary is based at least on a bachelor's degree. In order to prevent structural discrimination, we also consider only those of men when calculating reference salaries. Because for us, it's performance that counts, not gender! In addition, all salaries paid in one's own team can be viewed anonymously in the form of salary ranges. This makes it easier to classify your own salary and that of your colleagues.
The Pay Panel
The Pay Panel is a committee consisting of five people: four selected team members and the management. Representatives are recruiting, a team lead, a developer and the back office. The representatives from the latter two areas are elected each year by the entire team.
There are different triggers for a meeting of our panel:
Once a year, the panel meets to vote on a blanket percentage increase for all employees. If the return in the year in question is too low or the company is in crisis, for example, no adjustment is made. In addition, employees' salaries are automatically reviewed in various situations. These include, for example, role changes or the end of the probationary period. If none of these situations occur within a period of three years, the employee's salary is reassessed at that time at the latest. If, in addition, there is a pain and the desire for a salary increase, the panel can be commissioned to carry out a reassessment at any time, either by the person concerned themselves or via a third party.
Based on the results of the feedback interviews and the reference salaries, the Pay Panel submits a salary proposal. If the employee accepts this, the process is complete. Otherwise, all criteria are reviewed again and a solution is sought together.
We introduced our team-led salary model in July 2021 and also immediately assigned the Pay Panel with the annual blanket increase. The employees of byte5 were subsequently able to enjoy a 6 percent increase in salary. Our panel has also already submitted and successfully completed the first individual salary proposals. Even though our experience with the concept has been consistently positive so far, we will constantly gather feedback from the team and continue to develop the Pay Panel.