Job grading exercise for Banks: three lessons learned !

Over the last few months we have had the opportunity to support a number of Banks with their job grading exercise and here are a few reflections that may help those who are ‘deep’ down in the exercise… or those kicking-it off now in emergency !

  • Take the time to update the job descriptions keeping the 5 grading criteria in mind. This is time well invested as the better quality the JD are, the easier (faster) the grading exercise will be. There is nothing worse than having to suspend the grading exercise to go back to managers asking them to review the content of the job descriptions of their teams.


  • Ensure that everyone involved in the job grading exercise have a detailed and common understanding of what each criteria means in the context of your company. For example in which case will you apply ‘Various tasks within a limited activity’ (complexity criteria level 2) versus ‘Various tasks in different fields of activity’ (complexity criteria level 3) ? It is important that each ‘assessor’ applies the same principles consistently across the organisation.


  • Do not neglect the positioning and communication to the employees. Although the impact of the job grading is often moderate it can generate emotional reactions at communication time. Ensure you have the support of your staff delegation and of the department managers to relay the key messages. Most of the time the complaints show that employees struggle to understand that the grade is attached to a position and not to a person. This is a real shift of mindset.