“I Decide My Own Role”

Renewal of the Grading System with an Emphasis on Self-Disciplined Growth

AI inside Inc.
5 min readMay 10, 2022


Hello, my name is Yokoi, and I am the HR manager at AI inside. I previously worked in sales at a job advertising agency but decided to switch my career to HR. I gained experience in all aspects of recruitment, human resource development, labor relations, and system design before joining AI inside at the end of 2020. In terms of favorite foods, I love sushi, Napolitan spaghetti, and Soupless Szechuan Dangtan Noodles.

Since joining the company, I have worked on reviewing the personnel system. I am convinced that the personnel system reflects the company’s culture. The system is intended to promote individual growth, which also links to the company’s growth. In this article, I would like to introduce our grading system which was updated in October 2021.

Reason for renewing the personnel system

The previous personnel system was implemented in April 2020. It was not that the system was bad, especially since it had only been in use for a little over a year, and I feel that it might have fit in with the company more while we used it. However, it seemed that what we wanted to accomplish with the personnel system could not be achieved due to how it was designed. In addition, we wanted it to have more connection to our Mission, Vision, and Values, so we decided to update it.

The personnel system discussed here is about the evaluation and grading system. First, we abandoned setting goals for evaluation purposes and instead set up a system for employees to evaluate how much “impact” they were able to create. Second, we redesigned the grading system so that the employee’s grade is determined by the “job grade” (the size of the role they will take on.)

Deciding your own role, and using it to guide your growth

The grading system up to that point was based on a “comprehensive evaluation,” which was a combination of “performance evaluation” and “behavioral evaluation.” This was used to determine grade promotion and demotion. However, under the new system, eight different aspects are used to determine the job grade by defining the scope of the role each individual plays. These include the nature and impact of contribution, team building, and specialized skills, and the grade is set according to the job grade. This is done using the “job grade determination sheet,” and each individual’s job grade is raised if the points from the eight perspectives exceed a certain level after being converted into points.

There are two features of this new grade system.

1. Members can declare their job grades

Rather than the company deciding on the employee’s grades, first, each member considers and declares the scope of their own role. This is based on the idea that it is absurd for the company to determine the individual’s role.

The foundation of this idea is that creative work that will benefit society in the future, which is also part of our mission, can yield significant results through voluntary and self-disciplined work. In addition to the stance of “deciding your own role,” we believe that this contributes to developing a culture that’s uniquely ours.

2. Can be utilized as a guide for self-disciplined growth

The “Job Grade Determination Sheet” identifies which areas need to be developed to increase the role size. Consequently, paths to developing individual levels of responsibility and scope vary from one another, so this gives the employees discretion in the areas they want to develop. Members can compare the magnitude of the roles they hold in the present and will hold in the future so that they can use them to guide self-disciplined growth.

Members decide themselves how much responsibility they are willing to commit to in the next six months

Members decide the amount of responsibility they are willing to commit to twice a year in April and October for the next six months. This is based on a review of their previous work, impact, and performance they have achieved. After consulting with the supervisor and the C-level executives, their job grade is finalized. This is similar to how professional baseball players’ contracts are renewed for the following season based on their performance in the previous season.

Flow for job grade evaluation

While the job grade can be higher, it can also be smaller if one wants to temporarily reduce their role to match the current stage of their life. We often think that one’s career needs to continue advancing; however, I believe that careers can also change based on life stages. We believe that the most desirable outcome is to have the right career at the right time.

In this way, we can nurture the seeds of a diverse range of possibilities by respecting individual ownership and encouraging people to take the initiative in their work. Consequently, the company will be encouraged to grow further.

The most important thing at this time, we feel, is to ensure that all members are thoroughly familiar with the system. This will allow them to use the system as fully and advantageously as possible. Rather than being constrained by the existing frameworks, we will continue to challenge ourselves to consider what is best for the company and its members as well as keep updating the system framework as per the situation demands.

AI inside is looking to recruit new employees in a wide range of positions!

Open Positions (English positions at the bottom): https://herp.careers/v1/aiinside