London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea: Reward

By: Karl Daly


We worked with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) to review and completely refresh their approach to managing reward and performance in order to better align it with the culture they have been building post Grenfell.  The approach to pay and grading was very complex and was not felt to reflect the level of equity and transparency that the Council wanted for the future.  It had not been reviewed for many years and so had been adjusted numerous times and become unwieldy.   The performance management and bonus arrangements were also reflective of an old culture focused more on individual rather than team performance.

What we did

  • We worked collaboratively throughout with RBKC’s in-house reward project team and together developed the approach and worked through the details.  The work was challenging and complex, but we managed jointly to deliver on the tight deadlines despite COVID and all of the work being carried out remotely.
  • We undertook a diagnostic piece to review the existing approach, developed outline proposals and worked these through with the Chief Executive and Executive Directors.
  • We created a new pay and grading structure which was much simpler (moving from 53 grades to 15), more transparent and better aligned with the management structure and the pay market.  We worked with the internal team to test and model the outcomes.
  • We supported the organisation to carry out the job evaluation and slotting of roles.
  • We helped to communicate the proposed changes through all staff briefings via Teams and supported the appeals process.
  • Following focus group discussions with the HR team, we developed a new, simplified approach to performance appraisal which linked to RBKC’s objectives to build a culture of learning and development and to enhance its focus on health and well -being.


This was a challenging time to be launching and delivering such a significant change.  But RBKC now has in place a more equitable, transparent and simpler approach to reward and performance management which better reflects the culture of the organisation and is easier for managers and staff to navigate.

‘ I am always happy to give an unreservedly positive reference for Claridade and this is no exception’


RBKC won a Highly Commended Award in September 2021 from the PPMA under the category of ‘Best Change Management Initiative’ for this project