Workforce Management on a Global Scale

By Randy Keuch, Head of Total Rewards-Americas, Teva Pharmaceuticals

Randy Keuch, Head of Total Rewards-Americas, Teva Pharmaceuticals

Key Challenges in the HR Arena

The key issues for HRs in the past decade have been the challenges of “globalization”—“How do we become a global organization and manage our people globally?” They are constantly struggling to strike a balance between systems, programs, and messages at the global level and their local counterparts. Today, many global companies have global grades and are focused on motivating employees by rewarding their performance with the help of global systems and programs. The global managers, who share responsibilities of employees across multiple countries, are often bewildered by the “one-size-fits-all” approach of enterprises. Consider equity awards, the value of grants vary across countries and many companies try to standardize the compensation by clustering various countries in a group.

What seems demanding for companies is maintaining a global framework with global principles and values along with the flexibility to cater to the multi-cultural and multi-national needs. For instance, the Chinese workforce is accustomed to promotions every six months, shifting through different grades. As this is not the common work culture, it is extremely challenging to address the issue without disrupting the global platform and the global grading scale. As the systems are geared towards a generalized solution, they face major obstacle while dealing with exceptions which require more manual work to meet the needs of a local business in a specific country.


The aim is to reduce the number of matrices and pay mix grids to make it easier for a global manager to locate a particular employee and determine the compensation as per the country he is working in. Maintaining a thorough transparency to ensure not only that the managers can see and evaluate pay mixes but also the employees, is another major challenge faced by HRs today. HR technology is just beginning to address the need for greater transparency and assist employees in understanding the total reward packages. 

Technology to Meet the Challenges in the HR Landscape

The emphasis is on transparency and making employees aware of the offerings of the company which goes beyond just plain compensations and pay cheques. Employees prefer information that is personalized and is available at their fingertips on their mobile devices. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve at Teva. In the U.S., we have successfully built a total rewards portal called “My Teva Rewards” which conveys all the relevant information of an employee’s work and life while in Teva. This portal can be accessed by all the employees at any given time on any mobile device or computer. In case an employee decides to quit Teva, he can obtain all information related to his tenure at Teva on the portal; from the value of everything he receives as an employee of the company to everything that he forfeits. For instance, if you have equity, the portal will show the amount you had invested and its current market worth or if you have bonus it will tell you what you would leave on the table if you resign. It’s a holistic view of an employee’s achievements and his forfeitures that in turn help him determine what to expect from his next employer. 

The Role of Portal

The portal also provides a special feature which allows HRs to log into a system and probe into employee information, that is limited to the workforce population they are accountable for. HRs can mimic an employee who is willing to quit their job or is discontented with their salary, and analyse all information that is related to their job in Teva except his personal information. They can scrutinize their personal plan approvals, medical choices, spending accounts, balances, and also their loans. HR staffs get a suite of information at their disposal to counsel employees better and understand them on a more personal level. We also provide financial counselling free of charge to not only better comprehend what we must offer to an employee to help him financially, but also to remind him that he can always seek advice of a confidential counsellor at no cost.

We are also launching a concierge service to help employees manage student loans, debts, and to save money by assisting them in dealing with mortgages. Everything that we are willing to do is related to the well being of the employees. HRs face major trouble is taking stress out of the workplace. If we can train our employees and work with them to deal with this stress, then I think we can hit a home run. Our aim is to reduce the strain on employees and help them be healthy—physically, mentally, and socially. This enables them to drive more value to the company by being more productive.

Putting it All Together

In closing, it is worth recognizing that while everything we have discussed so far is on an individual and personalized basis, there is a wealth of aggregated data feeding our portal. Plan participation, claims, savings balances, and compensation data come together to benefit not only the individual but the organization.

This aggregated data can help Teva predict talent planning scenarios on how financially ready employee populations might be for retirement, on who might be likely to leave based on compensation/tenure/ratings/vesting, and on populations who might be likely to incur time off due to physical issues. Similarly, we can identify HR program areas ripe for increased promotion and targeted communication.

Working closely with our portal and analytics vendor, Conduent, we have the opportunity for holistic insight to assure we are measuring and impacting the outcomes that matter to Teva and our employees. The charts demonstrate the type of data and business impact review we can perform with our advisors Jeff Miller and Scot Marcotte at Conduent.

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