Professional Development

Last modified by Justin Stern on March 23rd, 2020 at 02:11 am. 👴 This looks pretty old, ask if it’s still current!

People Month

People Month is our annual team process for formalized performance and compensation review. While individualized compensation review is straight-forward with a small team, this becomes more difficult as the company scales, and not everyone works directly with one another. Reviews are also difficult to manage when spaced throughout the year inconsistently — this isn’t a problem at 10 people, but at 24 people or more, it’s difficult to keep track of regular performance and compensation review. We instituted People Month to standardize this process, make it predictable and understandable, and to help put team members in the driver’s seat for their own career growth and compensation.

You may also find our compensation philosophy helpful in tandem with this document.


For the most part, you should discuss feedback and performance evaluation regularly through 1:1s — as you drive this agenda, you’re always free to ask for longer-term feedback, or discuss your professional goals! Likewise, you should tell your manager if you need different support to grow in your role. People Month isn’t meant to be a time for which you “save” feedback or discussions; instead, it’s more of a retrospective for what we’ve accomplished.

  • People Month starts with each team member completing a self-assessment in Lattice. This gives you a chance to reflect on the past quarter, as well as the year overall. Your assessment should be benchmarked against your existing role and level.
  • You’ll also complete upward feedback for your manager. This will be shared with them so you can both understand how to better work together, and how your manager can support your professional growth.
  • Managers will also complete an assessment for you during this timeframe. This assessment will be similar to the self-assessment, in that it’s benchmarked against your current role and level.
  • Once these self reviews, manager reviews, and upward reviews are completed (we allow a little over a week for this to take place), the assessments are shared. This allows you to have time to review the notes before your next 1:1 meeting.
  • In the next 1:1, you and your manager will discuss your assessments and progress. This is a great time to discuss long-term career goals, your progression towards those goals, and what support you’ll need to achieve them.
  • After this 1:1, your manager will share proposed compensation changes, if applicable. You’ll have time to review them before the next 1:1 so you can prepare any questions.
  • In the 1:1 following the assessment review, you’ll have a compensation review. This allows you to discuss any role and compensation changes with your manager.
  • In the third 1:1 of People Month, you’ll have a skip level 1:1 with your manager’s manager. This allows you to continue to discuss your long-term professional goals at SkyVerge.

Outside of People Month, we conduct informal reviews each quarter (with People Month’s more formal review replacing one quarter), which follow a similar process. These are not paired with compensation reviews.

Role & compensation changes

When assessing performance, you must meet all expectations and responsibilities of your role. If you do not meet all expectations of the role you currently hold, you and your manager will discuss plans to immediately meet these benchmarks — continuing in your role is contingent upon meeting those expectations consistently and independently.

Once you consistently meet all expectations in a role, you will be placed at the bottom of that role’s compensation band. As you start to master these expectations and responsibilities (consistently achieve at high levels of performance), compensation changes within that band, up to the maximum compensation for a role at that level. Our team role descriptions (private document) provide some examples of how meeting vs mastering the requirements of a role are different.

Simply meeting all role expectations and responsibilities does not place you at the top of that role’s compensation band, nor does it make you eligible to move to another role. Progress towards a new role requires mastery of the current role.

So for clarity, to make progress to the next level of a role (e.g., to move from Software engineer II to Software engineer III), you must:

  • demonstrate consistent mastery of all expectations and responsibilities of your current role.
  • demonstrate that you consistently meet expectations and responsibilities of the next role.

Once you’ve illustrated that you’ve mastered your role and have started to perform at the next level, you are eligible for a role or level change.

A few important notes

  • It is possible to move between roles outside of People Month! The goal of People Month is not to limit your ability to earn more or progress in your role. Rather, it’s designed to ensure consistency in performance and compensation review, and to streamline the management of those changes.
  • Compensation changes within a role (e.g., moving from the bottom of a band to the top of the band) can occur during People Month.
  • Cost-of-living adjustments are built into our compensation philosophy, and are not made ad hoc. Each year, we refresh the compensation benchmarks we use from PayScale to account for inflation or other CoL adjustments. So, if you were previously placed at the top of a band that was adjusted 1.5% from last year, your salary will also adjust by 1.5% (only if increased, downward changes will not affect your existing salary). However, our goal is for every team member to continuously learn and grow professionally, so it’s not often we expect team members to remain at the same “spot” in a role from year-to-year, unless the team member is already performing at the highest levels. 🙂
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