‘Craft excellence’ | Shopify offers employees pay raises for upskilling as alternative to unwanted “corporate ladder” promotions

Shopify offers employees pay raises for upskilling as alternative to unwanted “corporate ladder” promotions

Shopify has introduced a new promotion program that assigns a score to each of its 8,300 employees based on their skills and impact, offering them promotions and higher pay if they can increase it.

The program, called ‘~Mastery,’ was introduced by Shopify in February, and is an attempt to transition away from recognition programs in which employees can only achieve promotions by moving up the traditional corporate ladder.

Under the scheme, employees are assigned a score that “approximates the sum of your applied skills, impact and rewards in your job,” according to a video shared in the blog post.

Shopify will evaluate employees on their “craft excellence,” measuring the skills each worker possesses and develops, and “net impact,” measuring how successfully the skills are applied to the company’s mission.

According to the video, if employees are found to have increased their ~Mastery score by consistently demonstrating their ‘craft excellence’ or ‘net impact’, they will receive a promotion, which comes with a pay rise.

It says this will be the most “common and celebrated” form of promotion moving forward.

Creating viable non-manager career paths

The e-commerce company says it designed the program to reward staff who wish to develop their craft and demonstrate skills development, but who do not wish to move up the traditional corporate ladder into leadership roles.

“In most companies, people can only advance by climbing the corporate ladder, often forcing them into management roles that steer them away from their true passion—their craft,” the blog post introducing ~Mastery says.

Shopify hopes this new scheme will help reward employees, otherwise known as ‘Shopifolk,’ without limiting them to “adjacent career paths they might not want.”

It argues that promotions and rewards for outstanding performance often “also means moving further away from the craft you love.”

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“Becoming a manager is great if this is what you truly love to do, but if you’re already on a path you love, and want to keep getting better at it, this is where ~Mastery comes into play,” the video states.

Recent research shows over a third of employees have no desire to become a manager.

Shopify’s video describes ~Mastery as an “infinite game,” suggesting employees may be able to continuously secure pay bumps every six months so long as they continue to hone their craft.

The company hopes the scheme will attract talent who are passionate about skills development, which it says is central to its product development.

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