Switching to employee-led career development sparks company-wide change at Rewind

February 13, 2023

About Rewind

Headquarters: Ottawa, Ontario
Industry: Software Development
Company size: 51-200 employees

​​Since 2015, Rewind has been on a mission to help businesses protect their software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud data. Over 100,000 customers in more than 100 countries have used Rewind’s top-reviewed apps and support to ensure their businesses run uninterrupted. Rewind enables companies to backup, restore, and copy the critical data that drives their business.

Business problem + Pando value add 

  • Established equitable process for career progression 
  • Optimized employee-lifetime value and profitability at scale 
  • Increased employee engagement score 
  • Upleveled 17.6% of their workforce in June and 19% in December

It started with a meeting between two former colleagues at a restaurant discussing an in-browser webpage editor. Within a year, that idea transformed into a company that offers on-demand backup and restoration for Saas and cloud data. Since 2015, Rewind has been building apps that allow companies to protect the mission-critical data that drives their business. 

During a high-growth time in the business, Rewind partnered with Pando to make sure their team was developing in a continuous, equitable way. As they grew their workforce from 75 to 135, one of their main goals was to continue to attract, retain, and develop the best talent. But beyond that, Rewind wanted to create an equitable process for career progression and empower all employees to unlock their potential. And in the long term, these efforts support another key goal—optimizing employee-lifetime value and profitability at scale.

Prior to implementing Pando’s career progression system, Rewind’s Senior People Partner, Lauren Song, noted that the company's performance management and career development were typical to what you'd find at most startups and corporations. 

“We reviewed performance on a quarterly basis, and level-ups didn’t really exist. Promotions happened randomly when managers determined their employees were ready. Obviously, that would mean that there was some level of inconsistency in how many people were getting promotions within each department. We loosely kept track of how it happened, but in general, it was inconsistent and tied to quarterly performance.”

To make the shift from old-school performance management to employee-led career progression, Rewind and Pando honed in on these key strategies:

  • They aligned promotions and compensation adjustments with levels and career development using Pando’s job-leveling frameworks
  • They created career frameworks that were actionable, measurable, and trackable using Pando’s role-based competencies
  • They gave managers tools like competency-based feedback and manager/employee assessments to develop their people at scale
  • They created parallel tracks for Managers and Individual Contributors across all functions

The road to results 

Two key factors worked in tandem to drive Rewind’s goals forward. On the Rewind side, managerial buy-in was absolutely crucial. Before employees ever saw the system, managers had to be the first adopters. They had to believe in and advocate for the platform and the renewed talent development philosophy. Song recognized the way Rewind’s managers showed up in this process, saying, “We’re really lucky with our managers because they care so much about their team. For them, it wasn’t much of a shift—just a quick and easy adoption.”

Pando made sure Rewind’s managers weren’t going through this process in a silo. The Customer Success team stayed in lockstep with them throughout the onboarding process and beyond. By providing proactive, action-oriented support, the CS team helped drive internal adoption. 

“Pando has been really great at offering very hands-on support. They’ve really been involved in the buy-in from our company. Pando is also so quick with feedback. We’d share a suggestion or an idea, and then the next thing we know, it's actually done.”

Shifts and successes 

In order to hold themselves accountable in the first year of using Pando, Rewind set more frequent cadences for assessments, calibrations, and subsequent upleveling. The results in 2022 speak for themselves. 

In June, Rewind leveled up 17.6% of its workforce, and that number jumped to 19% in December. Those numbers are obviously strong but consider the path to get there: Each person reached that milestone by owning their growth. Through the lens of their career framework, they worked with their manager to understand the projects, trainings, mentorship, and consistent behaviors necessary for growth. They asked their manager and peers for regular feedback on the competencies they were working on. And they logged their achievements, projects, and goals in real-time.

One of Rewind’s primary goals was to increase employee engagement. This was a key metric used to measure the success of Pando’s partnership, and it presented a particular challenge because this score had been mostly stagnant for quite a while. Within the first year of implementation, they finally saw a breakthrough to an 8.4 engagement score. Song credited Pando as a key contributor to reaching this feat. 

Song noted that Pando also enables Rewind to efficiently track diversity growth data, which is a key measure of progress for the team. Their DEI committee can directly identify the departments and groups of people that are getting promoted, which is then reported to the broader team. By filling in the gaps in this data, the team can coordinate more concerted DEI efforts. 

When it comes to the daily actions and behaviors that shifted as a result of Pando, the main one Song pointed to was consistency and comfortability around growth conversations.

“When we were talking to our employees across the company, growth conversations were happening very inconsistently. Some teams were having conversations around growth on a regular monthly basis; for others, it was bi-weekly, and on some teams, it wasn’t happening at all. Since implementing Pando, we've seen that process become standardized across the company. Growth is becoming a lot more comfortable to talk about.”

The impact

Creating behavior and mindset shifts is an incredible challenge to take on within an organization. And Rewind didn’t have to take on that challenge alone. By stepping inside the organization to drive adoption, Pando showed up for Rewind in a way that helped them create tangible change in the organization.

“I think previously, people may have thought, ‘Well, my career is just based on what my manager thinks about my performance.’ And Pando really does create a shift to a more comfortable environment where growth is talked about regularly. That's something we've always strived for, but Pando actually helped us put that into practice.”Lauren Song is a Senior People Partner at Rewind. She is passionate about fostering and building great work cultures where people love where they work.

Lauren Song is a Senior People Partner at Rewind. She is passionate about fostering and building great work cultures where people love where they work.