Implementing a global grading system

Frazer Jones’ Reward team hosted its Reward Directors’ Circle on the 21st April at our London head office. Over forty Heads of Reward from businesses such as Barclays, BP, Travelex, Arthur J Gallagher, Talk Talk and Pearson joined us for the insightful round table discussion.

We were delighted to welcome Roger Fairhead, Group Compensation & Benefits Director for SAB Miller, as our guest speaker. Roger led an extremely engaging discussion based on how SAB Miller tackled inconsistent approaches to grading, and how a new global grading system had been implemented with successes and failures.

Roger talked about the ongoing challenges companies are facing as global mobility becomes increasingly important. As organisations are beginning to see growth in international markets the demand for employee geographical dispersion is on the rise. The knock on effect for reward professionals is the debate around job grading and the consideration of local pay surveys.

Roger shared his experiences and uncovered the common problems teams may face when trying to determine the size of a job in relation to the size of a business’s operations. He highlighted the importance of using a consistent grade terminology, detailed job descriptions and ensuring all job evaluators are trained in the same methodology.

SAB Miller created their own methodology to grade the level for each role within each business unit of the organisation as they felt the one provided by the consulting firm they engaged with was too complex, however the framework that resulted allowed for a fairly consistent ‘mirroring’ between the two.

The topic of ‘implementing a consistent global grading system’ was extremely thought-provoking and lead to a great discussion on how the correct delivery of this evaluation tool can benefit businesses in all sectors. Although challenging, everyone in attendance agreed the process can help with the attraction and retention of key talent and create a career framework that is aligned with a business’s needs.

Interestingly the overall opinion from the room was that the difficulties SAB Miller faced were somewhat similar to those faced within their own businesses, so the collective sigh of relief, for us at least, proves that the importance of networking within the reward specialism is still a priority to

Jonathan Kitterhing, Head of Reward Practice UK, said: “This seems increasingly pivotal to aiding Reward Directors to understand the coal face issues and ‘workarounds’ seen across a variety of industry sectors”