A Startup Quest towards a decent Reward System (part 1)

This is the first post in a series about installing a transparent, honest and efficient reward system at Kunlabora.

As a startup company, you get the opportunity to redefine how a company works. This not only means how we work on our projects, but everything that has to be done to keep the company thriving. Setting up a reward system turns out to be one of the harder challenges to tackle.

The Trap…

The problem here is that, in your goal to set up an honest system, you quickly fall into the trap of trying to measure all the do’s and don’ts of your employees. This is typically done by specifying some result areas and competences for each profile in your company. People are going to get scored on each area and competence, so these profiles have to be written out meticulously and carefully. As it turns out, it’s very hard to get a shared understanding about each result area or competence, and about what it means to get a certain score, especially at bigger companies where the scoring is done by different people for each project or division. When you want to do this right, you should gather a lot of facts and observations for each person, which you can then objectively compare to what you’ve gathered for another person. This should help you get an honest score for everyone.

Our vision

As you can imagine, this can become a very time consuming job, a job that has to be done each year, or —if you value continuous evaluation just like us— all the time. Surely we must be able to come up with a more efficient way of doing an honest job here. We’re a fairly small company and we aim to be very transparent; the numbers on our pay checks are open to all our employees. This is a thing we should leverage! Let’s try a different approach, let’s put everything on the table and involve everyone in our system…

Time to experiment!


As a company that takes interest in data science, we love doing experiments. Why? Because when we get feedback from these experiments, we learn whether we’re on the right track or not, and we can improve and re-iterate. In the weeks to come, we’re going to conduct several experiments and work towards a good reward system for everyone. Be sure to stop by our website from time to time, because we’ll be writing about how these experiments went in some upcoming blog posts.


As always, we’d love to hear from you. How do you feel about this approach; love it or hate it? How did other startups out there take on this challenge? Find us on Social Media and share your opinion!

Diestsevest 32/0c
3000, Leuven
+32 16 24 08 48
Connect with us