Promoting talent from within is a point of pride for every company. When a company hires for the best and brightest talent, it’s natural to expect those folks to blossom at the company. Yet, the promotions process is anything but straightforward.
There’s most likely a steep learning curve for new managers looking to advocate for star team members, so oftentimes they’ll look to human resources to guide them through the process. But even then, the process differs among teams, organizations, and companies – and Atlassian is no different. With the goal of reaching 25,000 employees by 2025, the company is in a rapid growth phase. To support that phase, there’s a need for structure and consistency in the promotions process across the company.
“It’s chaotic in a lot of different areas,” says Paul Biagio, Senior Manager IT, People Technology at Atlassian. “Promotions weren’t tracked anywhere across tools. Much of the information was on disparate pages that required a lot of manual effort to keep tabs on and understand.”
Jira Service Management (JSM) can create a flexible and friendly interface layer that integrates with simple processes as well as longer, more complicated processes. It’s a solution that’s tailor-made to wrap around the convoluted steps for approval during the promotions process.
Overcoming problems with the promotions process
One of the biggest challenges any company faces is how to bring managers and their teams up to speed on large, complicated processes. That standardization is invaluable for rapidly growing enterprises that need to move away from customized and complex solutions into systemic, long-term solutions.
It’s a solution that JSM can provide, using a simplified interface for users that have complicated processes. Teams and companies can build a logical step-by-step process that guides everyone through every possible scenario.
It’s a perfect answer for the problems that arise during the promotions process. Because while one team might have a simple process that only involves a conversation between a manager and the HR team, another team might have several complicated layers of conversations – managers for approvals, panels to approve the promotion, finance to discuss potential compensation changes, and more.
JSM is capable of harnessing and simplifying those processes into a single place.
How Atlassian uses Jira Service Management to manage HR data and processes
Atlassian’s IT philosophy is focused on streamlining processes through automation and, where possible, by using our own products. That’s the approach the People Tech team took when they arrived at JSM and ProForma as the best solutions to their promotions problem. Though JSM is often thought of as a ticketing system for IT issues, it’s a powerful data management tool, reporting dashboard, and automated reminder for people to complete tasks.
All of that integrates into Workday – Atlassian’s HR information system – where employee data is housed and updated.
For Molly Merkin, it made her job as an Atlassian HR business partner much less stressful. During Atlassian’s promotion cycle, she managed more than 300 promotions through a panel review process across the engineering organization – which involved more than 80 global members at all levels who review promotion submissions and approve them.
“It wasn’t a great use of time in terms of the amount of effort spent trying to wrangle information and people,” she says.
With the new platform, it’s much more manageable, she says. She estimates that the process cut half the amount of time she spent tracking, auditing, and managing the data. But what’s more important is the treasure trove of data coming out of the centralized process.
Turning information into insight
At a manager level, this platform built through JSM creates more transparency in the promotions process, giving them the opportunity to reward employees while helping them grow in their careers. But at a higher level (think workforce planning and building DEI initiatives), the platform gives insights into previously opaque, inconsistent, and confusing processes.
“Looking at promotion rates can be a healthy indication for how successful an organization is over time,” Molly says. “It helps leaders know, ‘How are my managers underneath me growing their people? Are they investing the time and resources to help their teams get to the next level?’”
Simply put, JSM can manage data across workloads and present it in new ways, including through integrations. For example, in Atlassian’s case, the integration point of JSM to Workday allows the tool to pull Workday data – things like time in role and performance ratings – into one ticket to help managers make informed promotion decisions.
Another nuance to this data is the promotion rates within specific teams. If one group repeatedly has 100% of promotions go through while others have only a 50% promotion rate, that disparity might be a sign of inequity.
“This process through Jira Service Management and Forms and the resulting data basically breaks down silos and barriers to create transparency that’s aligned to our values,” Paul says. “It sounds simple but something like this is fundamental to any enterprise company looking to sustainably scale.”
For more stories about Atlassian IT solving People team and HR problems, check out the Connected CIO page.