How Close Brothers Improves Efficiency and Modernizes Award Cycles With PeopleFluent Compensation

Close Brothers is a leading merchant banking group providing lending, savings, securities trading, and wealth management services to organizations in the United Kingdom. Originally founded in 1878, the banking group has a long history of providing financial support and advice to UK small businesses and high-net worth individuals.

The group is divided into three distinct business divisions: asset management, investment securities, and lending. With approximately 4,000 employees across the three divisions, Close Brothers needed to move away from complex spreadsheets in favor of a modern compensation management system capable of streamlining the award cycle process.

The Challenge: Upgrade an Outdated Process and Simplify Compensation Reporting

The group’s human resources team had managed its compensation processes using spreadsheets for years. While using this approach for each compensation cycle was technically viable, it was very labor intensive with so many employees to account for.

In order to modernize and improve the efficiency of its compensation process, Close Brothers decided it needed a dedicated software solution capable of managing compensation cycles and performance reviews for thousands of employees. Additionally, the group needed a tool that could assist its remuneration committee with compensation statistics and reports while keeping data secure.

The Solution: A Flexible and User-Friendly Compensation Management Software

In 2017, Close Brothers began seeking a compensation management provider that could help it to move away from its legacy compensation processes. The banking group knew changing from spreadsheets to dedicated compensation software could be daunting, so it sought a provider that would help ease the transition.

PeopleFluent Compensation was chosen as it could not only deal quickly and efficiently with Close Brothers’ headcount requirements, but because the PeopleFluent team also provided a vision for how the solution would serve the organization’s future needs. Accordingly, each time the Close Brothers team had questions regarding the system implementation or potential future use cases, PeopleFluent worked diligently to provide solutions, which lead Close Brothers to pair PeopleFluent Compensation with PeopleFluent’s performance management solution in 2022.

“We told PeopleFluent we wanted to make it as simple as possible for our employees to switch from our current spreadsheet system to the new software,” said Ben Ward, HR Systems and Data Manager of Close Brothers’ Banking Division. “PeopleFluent came back to us within days. Their proposal solved a huge user engagement problem for us. Our processes could stay the same. They just moved into the PeopleFluent Compensation system instead of being in spreadsheets.”

PeopleFluent Compensation’s flexible and user-friendly interface was especially appealing. The software automatically saves users’ work every minute, keeping records safe and saving HR teams from starting over due to human error. “It might seem like quite a small thing, but it’s a really impactful feature because it's solving an irritant for our team,” said Ward.

The Results: Smoother Compensation Cycles and More Time to Focus on Business Strategy

With the help of PeopleFluent Compensation, Close Brothers now has a modern, streamlined process for its compensation cycles—and outside of HR, most employees can hardly tell the difference. According to Ben Ward, “PeopleFluent helped us update our processes so seamlessly that employees outside of our HR department don’t even realize there’s been a major change. It’s made user engagement and implementation much easier.”

With the help of PeopleFluent Compensation’s user-friendly interface, Close Brothers’ HR team is able to work through award cycles more efficiently. The legacy processes would need to be checked many times over to ensure the numbers were all accurate. Now the HR department saves valuable time due to the software’s accuracy. The Close Brothers team has also found itself with more time for data-focused conversations regarding compensation strategy and alignment with its business goals.

“We talk more strategically because PeopleFluent Compensation’s ease of use gives us the space and time to do so,” remarked Ward. “We’re not spending time concerned about whether the system's performing. We know it's doing what we want it to.”

See How PeopleFluent Compensation Can Serve Your Organization

PeopleFluent Compensation helps you align your reward strategy with your organizational goals to motivate your workforce, boost retention, and elevate your employee experience. Download our product sheet or request a demo to learn more.

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