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Managing Global Compensation & Continuous Performance in Financial Services

In no industry is human capital more important than in financial services. Engaging the workforce to accomplish the corporate mission and vision is vital, especially given the competitive environment and pace of change in the sector. 

Cloud technology is altering the landscape of the industry by enabling new competitors who are playing by a different set of rules. Automation and artificial intelligence are remaking processes and raising customer expectations. At the same time, increasing regulation is making compliance, risk management, and transparency more important than ever. 

As a result, it is crucial for financial services institutions to attract, retain, develop, and leverage their talent like never before.

This is the story of how the HR team at one major global financial firm envisioned and deployed a human capital management strategy using a best-of-breed technology approach to deliver a world-class digital performance and rewards platform.

In a major bank with a global reach and tens of thousands of employees, leadership knew that reimagining performance and rewards was the key to enabling their vision to drive growth across all their markets.

The bank envisioned an integrated talent management suite as the foundation of its Human Capital (HC) technology stack, to provide a full range of best-of-breed HC processes to complement its core SAP HCM solution. 

Reimagining performance 

The HR team had a clear understanding that performance management is key to how their people will grow, engage, and deliver, enabling the company’s wider business vision to drive growth. They knew they needed to reimagine performance for the world we live in today.

With a tight timeframe and the backdrop of a global pandemic to add to the complexities, decision-making needed to be quick but consider the local entity requirements and context. With a broad range of employee profiles across the organization, many different needs were evident, and it would take not just new technology but a concerted change plan and mindset shift to transform the ways of working.

Management and HR believed in the power of meaningful conversations to unlock growth, the continuous nature of feedback to empower team members, and the agile nature of goals. The company’s performance management strategy had the ambition to transform the way performance is understood and managed, and to make performance management into an everyday, line leader-led business process, one so embedded that it felt like a natural part of the way they work.

Continuous total rewards approach

The bank also believed that a strategic, people-centered compensation system is one of the most effective ways to retain a company's top performers and grow profits. A balanced compensation plan that rewards and incentivizes performance can also improve recruitment and retention efforts, positioning the company to achieve its business goals.

The company sought a cloud-first compensation management application that could plug seamlessly into its HC technology ecosystem and integrate tightly with the continuous performance management solution. 

This innovative approach meant that personalized rewards could be aligned to real-time performance data and feedback, skills, behavior, and goals along the employee touchpoints, giving employees a feeling of purpose and engagement. It also meant that the compensation budget could be continuously monitored as performance ratings were submitted and their cost impact calculated.

The solution needed to support the company’s global requirements across countries, languages, and currencies, and deliver full-function compensation capabilities to empower its line managers and employees. 

Best-of-breed technology for performance and compensation management 

Our Tandem’s continuous performance management platform and beqom’s continuous total rewards platform were chosen as best-of-breed point solutions to provide a continuously integrated performance and rewards platform,

Continuous feedback and coaching

To achieve the bank’s vision of embedded performance management, Our Tandem’s continuous performance management solution was implemented, enabling continuous peer-to-peer feedback and coaching. The goal was to transform performance into a line leader-led business process and establish a culture of continuous improvement.

Never forgetting that transformation is, at heart, about the people, the project put people at the center of the journey, including both line leaders and front line employees. From the beginning, the users tested the new technology and process to ensure it was the right solution to deliver on their ambitions.

Our Tandem enables crowdsourced real-time continuous feedback, regular check-ins, and agile goal setting, accelerating the capability of managers to provide timely and helpful coaching. With pulse surveys, structured 360 feedback and insightful analytics, the solution can measure the entire employee experience at every touchpoint.

Launching Our Tandem was a step-change in bringing performance and feedback into the flow of work. Office 365 integration was deployed so that employees and leaders could carry out all the key processes of this new performance engagement experience without ever leaving their email.

Within one week, 100,000 goals were created on Our Tandem’s platform, providing a truly intuitive experience for all.

Unified global compensation platform supports informed decision-making

The bank also deployed beqom’s continuous total rewards platform to manage total compensation for its many thousands of employees globally. Using beqom FlexFS, a compensation solution designed specifically for financial services institutions, the bank was able to consolidate all compensation processes, including salary and promotion increases, short and long-term incentives, and cash awards, across more than 30 countries.

beqom provided a cross-platform rewards solution that works seamlessly across the web, desktop, and mobile to provide contextual, proactive need-to-know information to keep employees informed and engaged. Managers are empowered to make informed pay decisions thanks to the availability of employee compensation history, including salary, bonus, and mobility data (international assignees and expats), alongside continuous performance management feedback.

beqom provides stakeholders with extensive reporting, enabling users to access both standard and personalized reports and dashboards that provide visibility into performance metrics and compensation, including multi-lingual/multi-currency dynamically generated letters and statements.

As a native cloud solution, beqom scales to meet both the current and future needs of the enterprise in a highly secure environment across geographies.

Continuous integration between performance, calibration, and rewards

In a fast moving industry like financial services, fresh data is needed on a daily basis in order to make the best decisions. To that end, Our Tandem’s performance results and ratings are fed daily into beqom to assess the impact on compensation. From the moment that a manager submits their review rating, the information is sent to beqom so that the Compensation team can start to see exactly the payout curve. 

As the ratings are updated in the moderation process, they are updated in beqom as well, enabling the Comp team to see the budget impact. The information on cost impact is fed back to the HR business partners and managers running the review sessions, enabling them to remodel as needed to adhere to budgetary guidelines without forcing “old school” calibration practices onto managers and making the process a collaboration with the business not strictly an HR process. 

beqom and Our Tandem together are part of an integrated employee Performance and Rewards view at the bank, which also includes its core SAP HCM solution.

The result: an innovative digital experience that drives top performance and efficiency

Using beqom’s industry-leading compensation platform and expertise in managing global compensation in the financial services sector, along with Our Tandem’s manager-led continuous performance management process, the bank was able to achieve its goal of delivering a world-class digital performance and rewards platform and excellent user experience. Benefits include:

  • Recruitment and retention: Ability to attract and retain top performers and hence drive performance and grow profits
  • Employee engagement and focus: Enhanced employee experience resulting in increased employee and manager engagement and client focus 
  • Efficiency and productivity: Streamlined compensation processes, yielding increased productivity
  • Continuous performance management: Transformed a traditional performance model into an agile, engaging, and intuitive experience that is embedded into everyday business
  • Integrated performance management: Tight integration between the performance and compensation systems, allowing wise and effective use of the compensation budget
  • Alignment of rewards with behavior: Alignment of personalized rewards with meaningful behaviors, goals, and skills
  • Engaging performance process: Tight link between performance and reward incentivizes managers and employees to engage with the performance and feedback process
  • Faster, data driven decisions: Ability to make pay decisions in the context of continuously refreshed individual and team feedback
  • Pay transparency and equity: Visibility across the organization regarding performance and pay, including ensuring pay equity
  • Planning and adaptability: Ability to proactively simulate the impact of changes, especially regulation changes, on the P&L
  • Accurate accruals: Modeling and simulation capabilities to forecast pay accruals in the dynamic banking environment
  • Deferred compensation: More accurate planning for deferred compensation by being able to model complex calculations around deferred bonus/long-term incentives
  • ROI: Return on IT investment (ROI) by significantly improving process efficiency
  • Cost savings: By enforcing budget guidelines, maximizing compensation effectiveness, and minimizing workforce requirements through digitization and automation
  • Compliance:
    A secure and compliant compensation solution with transparency and a full audit trail for compensation 

As this global bank has proven, there are huge gains to be realized from HR digital innovation that combines continuous performance with continuous total rewards.

Interested in achieving a people-centric performance and rewards culture? Download our free white paper, Continuous Performance Meets Continuous Compensation


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