Rewriting the story of reparations

Relating to paying folks for the work they do it is normally easy. For tech firms, the story goes a bit like this:

  1. The corporate extends the supply (within the type of a properly bundled letter… form of).
  2. The worker accepts the supply (contract endlessly no matter any modifications in life).
  3. The worker does good work, and so the corporate pays the worker per contract (aside from that properly bundled supply letter that’s now a complicated mess of paystubs, fairness portals, advantages portals, and so on.).

And whereas the world and its folks modified, this story remained the identical for many years. However with Shopify, that now not is smart. We noticed a possibility to put in writing an excellent story: Flex Comp, a compensation strategy that modifications the inspiration of how we reward expertise. Here is how our story goes…

We constructed Flex Comp to assist outline the way forward for compensation at Shopify, and encourage it past Shopify, by specializing in three key components:


Bringing company to our folks was a basic precept for our creation. Why ought to the corporate determine for you ways a lot of your whole reward ought to be money versus fairness? It is mindless. Now, our staff can select how they wish to share their whole rewards. Saving to purchase a house? Get more money. Early in your profession? Chances are you’ll wish to purchase extra restricted inventory models (RSUs) or choices. We have additionally hit a one-year cap on fairness, so vesting begins instantly, and, as life occurs, allocation home windows will open a couple of occasions a yr. This implies your fairness is now not tied to the quarter you began, and you may modify your decisions as your wants change.


Underneath the outdated {industry} construction, it was tedious and time-consuming to know how a lot you earned. You may discover base pay in fairness in your pay stub and one other, made extra sophisticated by vesting schedules, stock-market unpredictability, and unimaginable bonuses tied to firm efficiency. Determining your annual take dwelling cost was a ache. Flex Comp lays all of it out, merely – our UX design bundles all elements of Whole Rewards for the primary time so staff now have a one-stop-shop for understanding pay.


We’re a mission-driven firm, and every thing we construct is in help of that mission—together with this new comp system. We’re tying rewards to mission, not markets or world occasions. As staff advance of their careers and make a constructive impression on our mission, their compensation will enhance (there isn’t a velocity restrict).

By Shopify, for Shopify

Armed with a powerful imaginative and prescient of what we had been constructing, we set to work. The continuing industry-wide realities we needed to function with weren’t sophisticated: compensation tied to market worth; geographic pay disparity for the worldwide workforce; And few decisions for a lot of. There have been as many causes for not pursuing it as there have been causes for digging into it. However that is the height Shopify space. We set a daring imaginative and prescient for what exists—after which we construct it.

Turning our product-obsessed mindset on itself, we gathered folks from almost each staff at Shopify to deliver this huge overhaul to life. The staff took on an formidable construct and timeline, even hunkering down in a two-week coding dash that noticed everybody from our founder and CEO to builders within the battle room, pair-programming late into the night time. A dedication to constructing the absolute best system that works for various kinds of staff at completely different jobs, geographies and ranges, every with their very own distinctive wants, was evident. And it paid off, with room to construct sooner or later.

The Way forward for Compensation at Shopify: A Foreshadowing

We tied our new compensation system to our mission—and as we iterate, we’ll deliver the 2 nearer collectively. For now, we thank our staff who help that mission once they select RSUs or choices with a 5% bonus on any further fairness. Sooner or later we’ll add components like charitable donations and retailer money – as a result of {dollars} that journey (from us to our retailers to their staff and past) are higher than {dollars} for the world. Our aim? A virtuous cycle that conquers all.

Simply two years in the past we launched our remote-first, Digital-by-design means of working Others adopted. Flex Comp was the following logical construct for Shopify to proceed constructing an organization for folks – based mostly on flexibility and selection. We predict the world we’re constructing will empower staff for the long run, wherever they’re. And our story is simply starting.

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