COVID-19 Rewards Wargame

Move 2

November Briefing

Poltimore rode the first wave, with a lower negative impact on revenues than forecast.
There were no redundancies. People Cost savings were banked, and although there is some concern about 2021, the business is looking to expand.
During the first wave Poltimore became a supplier to a B2C Cleaning Products Limited, an internet start-up using the subscription model.
This firm experienced massive sales growth, initially because;
  • traditional consumer goods firms experienced supply
  • customers preferred home deliveries;
  • customers were attracted to a strong brand message about
    organic formulas, minimising CO2, zero plastic;
  • The company’s values are rooted in fairness and diversity.
Gain Capital advised Poltimore to buy the company.
The subscription model is transforming consumer markets. Exploiting this model could treble Poltimore’s revenues and profits in two years.
The acquisition poses challenges to HR and Reward, and some stakeholders.

Poltimore Digital

The new acquisition is rooted in talent who;

  • know the “secret sauce” of design;
  • are experts in digital marketing;
  • have developed a platform IP that recruits and retains
    consumer subscribers who contribute recurring revenues.
It runs as an Agile business. It buys in many services that Poltimore traditionally covers inhouse, (financial accounting, payroll, HR, software dev, system hosting, production and fulfilment). This allows exponential growth without the costs and overheads of building and running a large organisation
Recurring revenues in this sector give a valuation multiple of x10.
With just 200 employees, the subscription business could be worth more than Poltimore’s core activities on a tenth of its revenues and just 1% of it’s head count

Poltimore Digital Forecast

The Poltimore Digital business model has the potential for rapid expansion with a global reach.
The digital business generates higher margins through lower labour costs and has a higher valuation as a digital subscription business.

Poltimore Traditional & Digital
Organisation and Reward Comparison

The new digital business has an entirely different approach and philosophy towards work, jobs and reward. Many components of traditional models have been replaced by ‘Future of Work’ ways of working.

Poltimore Digital – Business Culture

The new company is a Future of Work organisation.
  • Activities are divided into small agile teams who have a lot of autonomy and authority. They work to a much faster “presumed approved” model of decision-making.
  • The teams employ highly paid skills based people with a strong mix of specific technical skills.
  • Reward is based on their individual skills plus their value to the team.
  • The culture is non-hierarchical, dynamic, agile, purposeful and collaborative.
  • Employees see themselves as independent, moving from gig to gig, focusing on interesting (and rewarding) work.
Poltimore intends to go global with this model. It plans to recruit, incentivise and retain 200 employees in an Agile Future of Work business unit. There is potential for friction with traditionally minded stakeholders. Activists are monitoring pay inequality and bias.

This is an Existential Change in Work

Poltimore Digital Business Unit Design

Poltimore Digital sets up franchise style digital marketing business units collocated with Poltimore Traditional operations.
Poltimore Digital needs no more that 20 specifically skilled FTE’s to operate in each of its 10 markets, although the physical location for each role is to be agreed The global reward budget is $30m per annum for these 200 FTEs.
The Agile business units buy in support services from Poltimore Traditional.
Poltimore Digital employees see their jobs and skills as transient. They expect to earn a premium on their skills and grow their earnings by reskilling and moving to new gigs where they command high mark to market skill rates.

What Total Reward framework should be in place?

Future of Workers expect flexibility in reward provision…
They like to have autonomy over their reward?
They view themselves as contingent, they don’t really care about hierarchy

HRIS driven hierarchies > to Networks

In the current HRIS (Workday), the total package for each position is reference logic; combining the job, the grade and location etc. For each job profile, grade and location, a pay range is calculated normally by reference to survey data (market data). Many non salary related reward items (such as Benefits) are linked to this logic.

HRIS driven hierarchies > to Networks

Using Future of Work principles, pre-defined jobs and grades will start to disappear.
It’s likely agile organisations will want to pay for specific skills which cut across traditional jobs.

How will Reward systems accommodate this?



Poltimore will not integrate the new company into its traditional HR and Reward framework but has decided to create a spinout that operates independently, although it must roll up into group for reporting (market and regulatory, finance and HR).
You have four hours to prepare for a meeting with the CEO. He is expecting radical alternative Future of Work solutions to support an Agile, faster moving, more dynamic, digital culture
Hour 1 – Devise a reward policy framework to support the ‘Future of Work’ model for the new business.
Hour 2 – Explain how this functions alongside the traditional HR and Reward model and whether it can be supported in the Poltimore global HR tech landscape or, if not, propose new systems.
Hour 3 – Forecast the impact this will have on the core business and wider society.
Hour 4 – Prepare for meetings with stakeholders where you will explain your strategy, manage their concerns and win them over.
Employee Opinion Survey
For Reward Framework





Personal Growth


Work Environment


Reward framework – Questions to consider:

  • How will you split the £30m across the 10 markets? Have you got benchmark data?
  • What are the philosophical principles underlying allocation of reward – market, economic, social, legal, political
  • Who determines the split between salary, benefits, pensions, bonus?
  • Will there be a standard price for a skill set irrespective of location?
  • Do you have a skills catalogue with pricing by location?
  • How will you record employee choices for benefits, pensions etc.?
  • Will you allow employees to make changes to their choices? How?
  • How will you connect to third party providers for benefits and pensions?
  • How will you measure performance?
  • How will you reward performance?
  • How will you identify key talent?
  • How will you ensure that key talent is retained?
  • How will you help employees develop all the skills they need to succeed?
  • How will you attract people who seem themselves as nomadic
  • Can you provide portability

Here at uFlexReward we use Digitalisation. This means that we record all policies, rules, and their dependencies digitally so that the system can analyze and make predictions.

#Digitalisation #HRTechnology #TotalRewards

A very interesting read, written by Josh Bersin, on the introduction of AI coaching into business.

Follow the link to read the article:

#TotalRewards #HRTechnology #FutureOfWork #AgileReward #PayEquity #GenderPayGap #HR #HRTech #DiversityInclusion

Back in January, Forbes published 10 trends for the next 'normal' working style. What can you see thats being applied now? Follow the link to read the full article:

#TotalRewards #HRTechnology #FutureOfWork #AgileReward

Contact Us

You can email us directly at