top of page


The term "pecking order" comes from the chicken world. It is a system whereby birds arrange themselves to create order. The higher ranked birds will get the best food, water, and roosts while the lower placed birds will get the leftovers.

If we liken it to the workplace in our minds, we likely see colleagues and co-workers neatly arranged in order of ‘merit’. From the CEO down to the janitor, everyone has a place in the ‘pecking order’.

If there is not much clarity about the pecking order within your company, it is important to tackle this otherwise you are just a backyard flock owner, rooting out the very behaviour that could ultimately lead to the “stew pot”.

Whether you have or do not have a formal “pecking order” in place it’s time to do one now. Many companies have submitted their Employment Equity reports without utilizing any grading system. A grading system requires that each position within a company is profiled correctly too.

There are many grading systems that can be used from Paterson, Hay, Peromnes or the company may choose to design their own inhouse grading system.

The objective of a grading system is not to grade the employee but rather the job. A few of the important criteria that are included within each grade – problem solving / consequences of judgment / knowledge / impact of job / educational qualification and training/experience needed.

When a company is verified as for B-BBEE purposes if an employee has been placed correctly on a certain level, the measured entity is now deemed to indirectly have a grading system, the verification agency will now require the supporting documentation to verify the validity of the claim for an occupational level. What is the supporting documentation you may ask? Your employee job grading……

All entities that are being measured will have to confirm to this, irrespective of their size. Entities will also have to provide a headcount report exported from their payroll system to confirm the number of employees claimed.

Could we create a better way for you to lead your team than following the same hierarchy used by poultry?

Article by:

Tiffany Reed – SDF & HR Consultant

27 views0 comments


bottom of page