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#260 – Setting Team Compensation

July 9th, 2021

Parabol Friday Ship #261 Banner – Its All About Those Benjis

This week we conducted a process to set executive compensation, this time including two new executive team members.

Back in 2019, just after we closed our seed round our then 3-person team met in Oaxaca, Mexico to set a plan in motion for how we were going to deploy the capital. It was also the first time that we adjusted our salaries openly and transparently. Nearly two years later, we’re now a 5-person leadership team and it’s time to adjust our salaries once again. A few weeks ago our leadership team met in Sedona, Arizona to discuss a variety of topics including how we planned to set and revise compensation for ourselves and the rest of Parabol’s employees.

We decided we wanted to continue leadership team salaries being transparent with one another—after all, all executives have detailed access to the company financial model and budget. We also adopted a rubric for setting initial compensation offers, organization wide:

  • Research comparable titles, then collect comparable salaries from one or more salary databases:
    • The 50th-percentile salary for the U.S., nationally
    • The 50th-percentile salary for the candidate's locality (or as near as possible)
  • Offer the higher of the two

We used this rubric to propose compensation changes for ourselves this week. Each leadership team member:

  • Collected comparable titles
  • Researched comparable salaries (and cited their sources)
  • And proposed a salary change

In rounds, the other team members:

  • Asked clarifying questions on the rationale behind the proposal
  • Reacted to the proposal

As of this writing, we’re at the stage where each proposer will revise their proposal to amend it with clarifications for the CEO to either accept or reject the proposal as “safe to present to the board of directors.” If the CEO thinks the proposal is unsafe, they work out the differences with the individual, in private. The final proposal will be made public to the rest of the team.

Next week our leadership compensation package will be shared with the board for comments before it’s officially adopted.

It remains to be seen how we’ll feel about the process after it completes, or, if salary transparency will extend into other teams within the company. One thing you can be sure of: we’ll share what we learn here!

Metrics

Metrics for Parabol Friday Ship #261

We expected a slightly slower week with the U.S. Independence day holiday, and that expectation came true. Usage was effectively flat over last week. We anticipate a continued “summer slowdown” through the end of August.

This week we…

shipped v6.20.0 into production. Product change need not always be large to be valuable. This week we shipped a new design for the Discussion & Takeaway Tasks panel that creates distinct controls for task creation (vs. leaving a comment). There were some other changes too, check them out!

Discussion Panel Task Button Design Update

conducted dozens of interview-related activities. Hiring is in full swing here at Parabol! Interviews were conducted, candidates evaluated, offers extended. It’ll be wonderful to update the world on our growing team, soon.

continued pulling the strategy through the business. As our company finalizes adopting our new strategy, we’re now refreshing key results to match our objectives, and developing a project plan to take us on our refined path.

booked two more in-person retreats. We now have an in-person Product retreat and Sales retreat on the calendar! Folks began buying their tickets this week.

Next week we’ll…

wrap up Sprint 83. Integrations and new feature design have the bulk of the team’s attention this sprint. We’ll be excited to share some design previews here soon!

Jordan Husney

Jordan Husney spent 20+ years helping technology serve people. His passion for collaboration, agile development, and remote teams led him to start Parabol, a free online retrospective tool.

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