The objective of career pathing is to show employees that they are successfully building their skill set and adding value to their role at the organization. It seeks to fan the flames of intrinsic motivation and is a worthy goal. So if an employee grows from a grade 4 Teller I to a grade 5 Teller II, then as they continue to progress, it would be natural to assume they’d become a grade 6 Teller III.
However the objective of market pricing is to show how the market values a position based on its essential functions (taking asset size and location into consideration as well). The reported midpoints don’t always align with the grade movement assumption associated with career pathing.
Fortunately, there is a determining factor: While observing a Teller II and Teller III, are they doing materially different things 30% or more of the time? Or is the designation between the two positions more job enrichment and/or peripheral duties? It could be anything from vault duties to the III being the go-to person in the absence of management.
If the Teller III works a cash drawer most of the day, the salary grade would be the same as the Teller II, even if they have different check hold levels. The difference is that the III should be paid above the midpoint, as they are obviously high performers.
The takeaway is that when you are career pathing, moving the grade is not always the answer. Many times, it is more appropriate to enact a practice of paying higher in the salary range to reflect different performance levels and extra duties. You don’t even have to take away the title.
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