July 16, 2022
25 min read

How to Implement Job Leveling Matrix in Your Company

In this article:

We can all agree that job satisfaction increases the productivity of workers and/or employees in a company. Most people thrive more and gain satisfaction from their jobs when working in a company with a clear structure and amiable work culture instead of a toxic culture and/or vague organizational framework. 

According to job satisfaction statistics, about 79% of workers in America agreed that company culture is an important factor in job satisfaction. Beyond the job titles and descriptions, most employees want a clear picture of what the company expects from them, how they can add value, their career hierarchy pathway, and the steps they need to take to secure a promotion or advance within the company. This is where a job leveling matrix comes in. When properly done, grading job can offer massive positive impacts.  

In this article, we will explain what job leveling is and tell you how you can implement a job leveling matrix in your business or organization. Read on if you'd love to learn more.

What is job leveling?

Job leveling is classifying or defining job responsibilities/roles and establishing career pathways/hierarchy within an organization while clearly stating the benefits of each stage. In simple terms, it is a way of assigning specific values to specific roles within an organization.

A proper job leveling system can help you establish your business or company's framework and boost productivity since everyone knows what you expect of them and what they need to do to advance in their career paths.

In addition, you can also include a salary structure showing the salary range for each level in your job grading process. This way, it can motivate employees to attain more.

What is a job leveling matrix?

It is one thing to set a clear path for your employees, and it is another to set visible measures and tell them what to expect on their way through the path. This is the purpose of a job leveling framework or matrix, and human resources managers often use it to achieve consistency and transparency across all levels of the organization.

Your job leveling matrix is a framework that comprises both job levels and competencies, and it could also include the salary ranges for the level and other additional incentives.

Job levels show the employees the hierarchy of the role. For example, for a Content Writing/Marketing department, the hierarchy may look similar to the list below:

 

  • Level 1: Content Writing Intern. This title often comes with no benefit or compensation. In a nutshell, an intern is a person who can become a junior after a certain trial period. Interns are not tasked with some complex things. Instead, they learn from others and offer assistance in simple tasks.
  • Level 2: Junior Content Writer. A junior level comes with about 1 or 2 years of experience. For this title, at least one language mastery is a must. A junior writer gets tasks from Content Lead. These are often pretty basic and straightforward. 
  • Level 3: Senior Content Writer. A senior level comes after 5 years of experience. This level entails being proficient in content writing and knowing aspects such as SEO and lead generation. Senior writers can work independently, handle complicated tasks, and mentor junior-level employees. 
  • Level 4: Content Marketing Manager or Content Lead. This title comes with at least 7 years of experience. Content Lead is a medium between technical and engineering roles. They manage people and establish connections between content departments and other parts of the organizational structure. 
  • Level 5: Head of Content Marketing. This managerial role comes after at least 9 or 10 years of experience. The Head of content marketing communicates with executive management and shapes the overall budget and strategy for the entire content department. 

 

On the other hand, competencies are skills, knowledge, abilities, behaviors, or any other factor that helps the employer differentiate the performance level of the employees regarding their roles and job responsibilities. Examples of competencies may include the under-listed skills or behavior:

 

  • Team building
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Conflict resolution
  • Communication skills
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to detail
  • Independent leadership
  • Situational awareness, and so on.

 

A job leveling structure could highlight the job level alongside the job description and competencies required for specific roles.

These matrices could vary depending on the company's size and its development plan. We know that small businesses' needs differ from larger corporations. We tend to have a proper job-leveling structure in more prominent companies than most start-ups or smaller organizations. All you need to do is tailor the job leveling matrix to fit your organization's needs. Now, knowing a job leveling matrix, let’s explore the job leveling framework and see how you can create one. 

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How to create a job leveling framework

Job grading works differently for various companies. Factors like size and growth stage play a vital role. For example, there are fewer job levels in startups, while enterprises can have numerous job gradings involved. To have a clearer grasp of the job leveling framework, it is important to know how to create it. There are the following steps involved:

 

  • Step 1: Objective Determination. This phase entails determining the issues employees face with their career progression. For instance, these can be misaligned competencies, unclear promotion variables, inconsistent job descriptions, and unclear roles along with responsibilities. At this point, building a job leveling framework requires fixing such problems. 
  • Step 2: Delegating Roles and Responsibilities. It is the moment to hire someone who will lead the entire department. This should be a person with enough years of experience, relevant skills, and up-to-date industry-specific knowledge. Proper role delegation help resolve issues with development and sets a clear path for employee career progression. 
  • Step 3: Stakeholders’ Input. When setting a job grading framework, listen to managerial opinions. Job leveling should be aligned with what stakeholders have to say. Knowing all concerns and opinions on the existing job grading matrix is vital for an effective job leveling framework to emerge. 
  • Step 4: Job Leveling Structure. You should understand that the job leveling framework acts like a beacon for professional development. That is why it should be linked to all the employees, from interns to the department head. The structure often comes with clearly-defined competencies for each level and position, an explanation of the different roles association, and an apparent definition of promotion criteria. At this point, a well-designed skills matrix can be of great help. 
  • Step 5: Lateral Career Movement. Notably, employees do not always want to move toward managerial roles. Some people prefer to stick to the technical side. At this point, good organizations have job leveling flexibility, which means companies offer an option for employees to work as individual contributors. 
  • Step 6:  Promotion Criteria. Finally, to have a job leveling framework, you cannot avoid having clear promotion criteria. It is paramount to ensure employees know exactly what to do to get a promotion. While competencies, KPIs, and metrics vary from role to role, the overall framework for promotion should be similar. 

 

The abovementioned steps represent the foundation of the job leveling framework. As you can see, it is often all about clarity, propeller goal setting, and sufficient degree of career-related flexibility. 

 

How can Effy.ai help?

Effy.ai is a performance management software. It helps introduce job levels or handle job grades with ease. The platform comes with a template library. There you can find the best methods for competencies evaluation fitted to different job roles and levels. Most importantly, the tool is free of charge.  

When becoming Effy’s client, you do not need to handle all the pains and gains on your own. Our customer care representatives are ready to help choose the optimal leveling approach and will ensure your job grading is up and running in no time. 

Benefits of job leveling

"Why is job leveling important?" you might wonder. The truth is, having a job leveling system in your business or organization is too valuable to ignore, as it can offer you both short-term and long-term benefits. Let's look at some benefits of creating a job leveling structure for your company.

  1. Saves your human resources team time: When your company has a job leveling structure, your HR managers or team won't have to go through repetitive processes to outline job descriptions, role expectations, and job responsibilities every time you employ a recruit. They can use an already established framework for every recruiting process, making adjustments and modifications where necessary as the company progresses.
  2. Saves your company money: When you value a job role correctly, you know what to pay for each job level after market comparisons and other necessary factors. This way, you won't overpay for a position. Also, when your employees feel underpaid for a position, they may leave earlier than expected, making you spend more money to carry out another recruiting process.
  3. Consistency: Having an established job leveling process in your business or company helps maintain consistency and uniformity across all job levels and departments.
  4. Promotes a healthy work culture: Clear organizational structures help promote a healthy work culture amongst employees. Everyone knows what they are supposed to do to add value to the organization, and there are no blurred lines or doubts about every employee's job description.
  5. Boosts productivity: We all know that happy employees are highly productive employees. When employees understand how to move ahead in their respective career paths, they will be motivated to do their best to achieve their goals.
  6. Transparency: A defined job leveling structure establishes transparency throughout the organization, ensuring uniformity and equity across all levels and roles.
  7. Keep your employees: Encouraging personal development through a job leveling system will increase your chances of keeping your employees. According to Forbes, 91% of highly engaged employees are less likely to leave for a competitor's company because they are satisfied with the professional development opportunities in their current companies.

 

These and many more are ways businesses and/or organizations can benefit from having a job leveling framework.

How to implement a job leveling matrix

Job leveling can also be referred to as "job classification" or "job grading"; however, it is not to be mistaken for job descriptions, as job leveling entails more than a position description.

When jobs are not adequately valued and leveled in organizations or businesses, it could lead to organizational problems like employees feeling less than engaged, compensation expenses for the company where jobs are valued too high, and several other instances.

Many organizations currently have a job leveling process or structure, while others have yet to enforce one. You have seen how having an effective job leveling structure can benefit your company, so now, let's tell you how you can implement an effective job leveling system and show how to do job grading.

1. Work with a team

If we are being honest, creating a job leveling framework can be time-consuming and stressful for the human resources manager. Therefore it is vital to building a team to help you achieve this goal. Your team can include representatives from different levels and roles in the company, so they can help you develop the framework.

2. Establish levels based on the size of the organization

As we mentioned earlier, the framework you will use will depend on several factors, including the size of your company. Note that the job leveling process for a large enterprise of over 1000 employees will differ from that of a small business of fewer than 50 employees. So depending on the size of your company, goals, and other factors— you should carefully tailor the levels to fit the needs of your business. Some organizations have 4 levels, some have 6 levels, and others have 8 or more.

3. Define roles, responsibilities and expectations

Your job leveling framework should precisely define each role, job duty, and responsibility across all the established organizational levels. Outline a job, clearly state its title, and determine the level it falls under in your job leveling system. Also, outline the competencies and expectations for the position and its benefits. Do this across all levels of the organization, ensuring consistency and uniformity.

4. Establish growth pathways

Your job leveling structure or framework should identify and establish clear growth pathways for every role. Employees should see how the next level connects to their performance at their current level and how they can advance their careers within the organization. For example, a Junior Content Writer should see that they can progress to being a Senior Content Writer and even up to the Head of Content Marketing position level if they perform well.

5. Develop helpful metrics

Just as mentioned earlier, showing them the pathway is not enough. Your leveling framework should also include KPIs that you can use to measure the performance at different levels. This will tell the employees what they need to do and how they can achieve it, including all the potential challenges they may face.

6. Get feedback

You can share the framework with employees and stakeholders to seek feedback when you are done. You can get their input through a survey or questionnaire; with Effy, you can get this done quickly. Engaging your employees makes them feel valuable, knowing that you carry them along and their contributions matter. You can also do this through one-on-one meetings when you need to ask certain questions and get the most out of them. 

As the company grows and some roles develop, make adjustments where necessary to align with the company's goals.

7. Carry out performance reviews

To track your employees' progress, you can carry out performance reviews from time to time. Let your employees know how they are performing and what they need to do to perform better while referencing the leveling system.

 

This will boost productivity, but it will also increase self evaluation among employees. You can easily get this done with Effy, as it has a product you can use to efficiently and effectively track your employees' progress

Conclusion

Now you know job leveling, its usefulness, and how to implement an effective leveling system within your organization or business.

We cannot overemphasize its important role in growing your business and ensuring your employees are motivated and productive. It's up to you to decide the best way to grow your business and increase revenue.

With the proper structure, you can save time, and money, develop your company & employees and achieve organizational goals.

FAQ: Job leveling matrix in 2023

What is job levelling?

Job leveling is classifying and defining job responsibilities/roles while establishing career pathways/hierarchy within an organization and clearly stating the benefits of each stage. Simply put, it is a way of assigning specific values to specific roles within an organization.

What does leveling mean in business?

Job leveling in business is defining and classifying the duties and responsibilities of your staff at the individual positions they occupy in your business. It is simply setting a structure that shows how your workers can progress in their roles while carrying out their duties and doing what you expect from them to advance the business.

What are the 4 job levels?

The levels within companies or businesses vary from one to another, depending on different factors, like the size and needs of the companies. While some may have 5 levels, others may have more than that or even less.

Generally, the 4 widely acceptable job levels are:

  • Level 1: Entry level
  • Level 2: Intermediate level
  • Level 3: Mid-level
  • Level 4: Senior/Executive level

What is salary leveling?

Salary leveling is a structure used to differentiate the many salary ranges for the various job levels in an organization. Most companies have uniform salary structures throughout the different departments of their organization.

Sometimes, this may mean that all Level 1 employees are within the same salary range across various departments. It may be unique to specific departments, other times, based on their duties.

An example of the first instance could be all entry-level employees of an IT firm earning the same salary range, regardless of whether they are in the Software Development department or Marketing department. While an example of the second instance could mean that all entry-level employees in the Software Development team will earn within the same salary range, which may be bigger or smaller than that earned by entry-level employees in the Marketing team.

Who is in charge of implementing job leveling?

Ideally, the Human Resources Manager or team are usually in charge of creating the job leveling framework and seeing how they implement it throughout the organization.

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