Watson Wyatt's Global Grading System™ (GGS)

GGS methodology is supported by web-based software, providing multi-site, multi-user access to a secure, password-protected, individual client database.

GGS is a simple, easy-to-use methodology for leveling jobs across functions, business units and countries It uses a mix of typical job evaluation and ranking approaches to allow companies to determine a job's size, and consequently value to the organisation, without the need for time consuming job evaluation sessions or highly specialised personnel. It adds value over traditional job evaluation by streamlining decision-making, reducing bureaucracy and managing complexity, simply and efficiently. It can be used to build and underpin grading structures that in turn act as a platform for pay and benefits management. It can also be used in conjunction with competency frameworks as a foundation for career management programs.

  • It is culturally neutral
  • Web access to supporting software allows multi users in multi sites
  • The web system operates in several core languages (e.g. English, French, German, Italian and Spanish)
  • It assists with the management of mobile employees.

GGS provides a common platform for the development of HR and compensation and benefits programs.

  •  Facilitates the determination of policies relating to pay and benefits such as salary structures, share plan eligibility and company car allocation
  • Enables benchmarking of pay and benefits against the external market, specifically Watson Wyatt's global compensation databases
  • Provides a foundation for the development of, for example, career paths, performance management and succession planning
  • Supports the link to market data for broad-banded pay structures

Easy to use

GGS is simple and easy to use

  • It can be easily communicated and understood by users, employees & managers
  • Limited administration is required and the process can be paperless
  • It does not involve ongoing committees or detailed job descriptions

Its flexible

GGS is flexible

  • It can evaluate jobs that have a dual reporting line
  • Values jobs that contribute through both people management and professional/technical career paths
  • Can be applied across a whole organisation or to a business unit, country, or function
  • Supports organisational change

Watson Wyatt has developed the Global Grading System (GGS) - a methodology for facilitating job leveling across Job families.

The system is akin to traditional job evaluation, however much more flexible, and easier to implement, communicate and manage. GGS creates the organisational foundation for pay management, stock allocation, career development and job titling across the globe.

Traditional leveling systems have historically been perceived by managers as slow, complex and bureaucratic. The GGS methodology adds value by streamlining decision making, reducing bureaucracy and efficiently managing the complexity of jobs across functions, business units and countries. The methodology:

  • is easily explained and communicated
  • does not require committees or detailed job descriptions
  • can be implemented within tight timelines
  • is capable of differentiating the relative contribution of positions in different business units globally (with different turnover, business complexity and markets)
  • is underpinned by a contribution model that values both managerial and professional/technical jobs.

New web-based systems will reflect changes immediately. This process can be managed and controlled by the supplier of the product. On a web-based system all the evaluated jobs are automatically stored on one database, available at all times and accessible from anywhere in the world – with no need for integration of data.

How does GGS work?

The GGS methodology can be applied to an organisation of any size and industry. The application of the methodology comprises three key steps:

Step 1 Establish the grade of the company by assessing the following scope measures:

  • Business size (annual revenue turnover, the total assets, etc.)
  • Business complexity (diversity of products and services, etc.)
  • Organisational size (number of employees)
  • Organisational complexity (level of internationalisation)

The size and complexity of the company will determine the Company Grade (for example, a large global conglomerate could be a Global Grade 24, while a local operation could be a Global Grade 17). The Company Grade will set the grading ceiling and establish the framework for leveling all jobs in the organisation.

Step 2 Identify the band for the job by applying a series of questions through a decision tree. This decision tree is underpinned by the Watson Wyatt Contribution Model and reflects a dual career path (managerial and professional/technical).

Step 3 Determine the Global Grade. Grades are determined by assessing the job against seven factors: functional knowledge, business expertise, leadership, problem solving, nature of impact, area of impact and interpersonal skills. Each of these factors is leveled in a number of descriptors that provide a comprehensive tool to measure the relative worth of a job in an organisation.

The grading mechanics therefore comprise the establishment of the following:

  • Establish the ceiling for the top job
  • Establish the band in which the job falls
  • Grade the job by applying the seven grading factors.

The Global Grading software

The Global Grading methodology is supported by software which makes its application fast and efficient. Watson Wyatt has developed two software solutions designed to cater for different business and organisational requirements:

Global Grade Express (GGX) – A simple, single-PC calculator with no job database.

Web GGS – A web-based software that allows for multiple users with different levels of security and has powerful database management and reporting features.

Why GGS?

The GGS methodology offers an alternative to traditional, cumbersome job evaluation systems through a methodology that is quick and easy to use and adaptable to the changing needs of an organisation’s dynamic environment.

For more information

For further information about Watson Wyatt’s Global Grading System™, please contact Melanie Trollip at +27 (0)11 678 1158 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it