A Client wanted to address the future of work and develop a more agile work environment by delayering their organization. Delayering is the process of removing layers of hierarchy between the highest and lowest levels to boost operational efficiency, decrease the wage bill and remove red tape. Delayering typically removes middle managers, providing senior managers easier reach over the entire organization.
Like all global firms, Unilever’s reward policies and framework are closely tied to grade. The Client wanted to reduce the grades and widen the reward bands for each remaining grade. It needed to remove multiple tiers of directors to a wider single grade. This would also link income progression to performance rather than chasing promotion to the next grade, and it simplified the job of absorbing new recruits as it is easier to drop them into wider salary bands than fitting precisely into a very layered grading hierarchy. The end point made sense but getting there would be an administrative nightmare, especially without digitizing total reward.
To minimize risk this normally requires one-to-one meetings in which every effected employee is walked through the new plan using their personal total reward in a before and after illustration. With so many that would be impacted, it was going to take a significant amount of time to talk to everyone. During this time, risk and frustration would grow in the people who had to wait longest causing significant productivity loss. As there was no global digital total reward system holding every country reward policies, spreadsheets would be needed to produce the before and after illustrations, which carried the usual risk of errors.
Through uFlexReward modeling and what if capabilities, the Client was able to delayer the grades to a new set of broader bands. On the employee communications roll out, uFlexReward automatically produced an accurate side-by-side comparison online that could be published to every employee on the same day. This included an onscreen modeler for employees to see exactly how their reward would change, in a consistent and familiar way, across every single unique package and model how performance (individual and business) would affect every aspect of their total reward package.
The Client was able to achieve an objective of a more agile workforce with less grades. An additional outcome was extensive cost reduction. The employee population was communicated effectively and highlighted the reason for the change and reward would be more based upon performance than in the past. The client estimated that without uFlexReward it would have cost them $650K in external fees with consultants to achieve the similar result.