A new look on meritocracy in business

Posted by Marcos Tadeu
at Thursday March 9th, 2017.

Meritocracy. The word originated from Latin which means merit and power. Nowadays, this word, discussed exhaustively, besides of being a concept somewhat worn is distorted, unfortunately.

And do you know why it has been like this?

In the public sphere, the concept of the meaning of meritocracy has been unrecognizable, through oversight of public tenders, racial quotas and commissioned positions, not to mention the shameless practices of some of our top politicians.

Above all, in an extremely unequal society like the Brazilian one, it is difficult to treat as an exemption the personal promotion exclusively by merits.

However, when it comes to the private sector and, even more, to the competitive environment of large companies, meritocracy takes on another form, becomes an ally of the best managers and translates the merits into tangible and achievable results.  

In this post, you will understand how a new look regarding meritocracy only tends to benefit businesses, leading managers to take on a much more strategic than an intuitive role. See below.


Business meritocracy: A management model?

For being above all, a fair business model, democratic – and, that propels productivity – corporate meritocracy is being implemented in companies of renown in the international market. Beyond, this model works with an item that is well-targeted by professionals of any echelons: transparency, that is, those who present the best results deserve more than the one that does not present results.

To reach new levels by merit, based, of course, on the values and beliefs disseminated by the company, regardless of gender, race, social class, kinship, and any kind of classification that is not pertinent to the work environment. It is about a encouraged practive, and, moreover, translated into a carreer plan by the most prominent players in the world, in the most diverse sectors.

3 Advantages of the meritocratic management model

Over the years, the benefits of the meritocratic management have been recognized beyond the boundaries of the Human Resources Department, presenting strategic advantages. Understand some of them below:

Talent identification:

Meritocracy, when properly deployed and properly absorbed by the staff, acts as a filter, providing “clues” to managers about where the company’s top talent are, so they can reward them for performance. This management model also provides managers with insights into the performance of those employees who do not fit into the company’s desired profile by giving inputs on ways to motivate them or, in the latter case, causing them to reflect on a possible job or even a career change.  


Motivation is the fuel of any company’s productivity. From the moment in which employees not only become rewarded but start to recognize the relationship between merit and performance, they feel more motivated and thus become more productive and participative professionals. As Simon Sinek, marketing consultant and internationally recognized motivational speaker, would say:

“Working on something we do not believe in is called stress. Working on what we believe to be called passion. “


Stronger Branding

To having satisfied, and especially motivated professionals, undoubtedly has a positive impact on the corporate image of the company, do you agree? This is good for the Human Resources department, because there will always be a queue of candidates interested in joining the company, besides of favoring the results, as a strengthened branding becomes a pole to capture future clients.     

Communication: The key point of the application of the meritocratic model

The meritocratic model can not be implemented overnight, although there is a predisposition to the theme on the agenda of the planet’s main companie. This is because meritocracy requires, first of all, a clear communication between all levels of the company, in addition to a prior definition of criteria and rewards, always with a focus on the collective. The action plan, can not deviate from the culture of the company, in other words, its guiding values.

When the team does not clearly know the role of each, there may be a shock that will inevitably lead to unproductive disputes from many people fighting for the same purpose. At this point, technology is a vital aid in setting goals and deadlines that allow for a more impartial evaluation.Moreover, it is good to know that meritocracy is a slow process of corporate education.

Reward: The Foster of Meritocracy

In the previous item, we approach meritocracy as a slow process of corporate education.

But in terms of process, it tends to be slow or accelerated if it has the technical assistance of a consultancy. According to experts, the change in culture of a company takes from 3 to 5 years, depending on the commitment of the leaders who need, above all, to lead by the example:

Employee X watches his colleague gain a Y position simply because he meets the stipulated goals. Therefore, employee X understands that the only way to get to job Y is by meeting goals. And so on, until the cycle is configured as an organizational culture.

But reaching positions through promotions does not have to be the only rewards. Perhaps the greatest rewards, especially when there is a sequential overrun of goals, but the fact is that the manager has a range of options to foster meritocracy within a company. Check out some of the rewards that you, as manager, can adopt:

  • Various bonuses;
  • Corporate travel (participation in congresses, seminars, symposia, etc.);
  • Increase in salary;
  • Schoolarships;
  • Profit sharing;
  • Cultural incentives (tickets, discounts, promotions, cards).

Yes, as we have mentioned, a meritocratic system needs a deadline to be absorbed by the organizational culture; however, you have the option to count on differentiated specialists who have adapted the idea of meritocracy to an innovative platform that allows you to calculate each employee’s variable remuneration from their results, among many other resources.sos.  
How did you like this post? Do you still have doubts about the application of meritocracy in organizations? How about talking to one of our consultants about it? Leave your comment in the field below!

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