David Buckmaster
Senior Director, Total Rewards

Wildlife Studios saves 300+ hours and empowers managers with a modern approach to merit cycles

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Summary

  • Since 2011, Wildlife Studios has released 60+ mobile games that have been downloaded more than 2 billion times, and grown to 1,000+ employees around the world.
  • The company needed a scalable way to plan and execute bi-annual merit cycles while still supporting its desired strategy for salary, equity, and bonuses. 
  • Wildlife Studios evaluated and selected Pave as its partner to implement a modern approach to merit cycles that improved efficiency, reduced risk, and eliminated the need for hundreds of spreadsheets, while also empowering managers to make better compensation decisions for their teams.

Key Wins

  • Streamlined the merit cycle process for 300+ managers overseeing 1,000+ employees.
  • Eliminated two weeks of preparation leading up to their EOY merit cycle.
  • Saved 60 hours per person (300 total hours) on the People Team during its most recent merit cycle.
  • Empowered managers make data-driven compensation decisions and reward strong performers.

Background

Founded in Brazil in 2011, Wildlife Studios is one of the largest mobile gaming companies in the world. Its portfolio of 60+ games engages billions of players around the world. A globally distributed team, Wildlife Studios has expanded rapidly with over 1,000+ employees across Brazil, the United States, Israel, Argentina, and Ireland.

Challenge 

Wildlife Studios first mobile games, the award-winning Racing Penguin and Bike Race, hit it big with audiences. The company has grown significantly in recent years with the launch of multiple successful game titles such as Tennis Clash, Zooba, and Colorfy. In order to continue its growth trajectory, the company needed to implement a scalable process to reward and retain talent across the globe. This posed four big challenges for the People team at Wildlife Studios: 

First, the company needed to unify employee data from Bamboo and Carta in one place in order to build a complete and accurate view of employee compensation.

Second, it needed to empower managers to make data-driven compensation decisions and reward strong performers through semi-annual merit cycles. Previously, merit cycles were run entirely out of spreadsheets, which required 2 weeks of work for the Wildlife Studios People team, exposed the company to potential errors, and made it difficult for managers to engage in the merit cycle process. Compensation data is sensitive, and managing user access for hundreds of spreadsheets manually was no longer an option as the company grew.

Thirdly, they needed to ensure that they were able to adhere to global regulations impacting parts of their team, such as the Dissidio in Brazil which mandated a fixed percent salary increase by tenure. 

Finally, they needed a way to assign, manage, and review budgets holistically which became significantly more complicated as they grew the team and expanded to new countries.

“With spreadsheets you spend 90 percent of your time getting setup and 10 percent of the time on the actual process and making sure people are paid fairly and equitably.” — David Buckmaster

Solution

Wildlife Studios partnered with Pave to modernize its planning and execution process for merit cycles.  By unifying data from Bamboo and Carta, and making it easily accessible in Pave’s Plan product, Wildlife Studios was able to:

  • Significantly reduce the time required to plan merit cycles. The Wildlife Studios People team was able to save hundreds of hours by moving from a manual, spreadsheet-based process to a cloud-based automated process in Pave. The People team estimates that they were able to reduce planning time by two weeks overall. Moreover, they also reduced the time spent by the People team during the merit cycle process by approximately 300 hours.
“The Pave platform is structured enough to be implemented quickly, but flexible enough to meet my unique needs as a People leader. The alternative is using legacy tools that include HRIS modules that take weeks and a hefty consulting fee to make even the smallest change.” — David Buckmaster
  • Empower managers to be deeply involved in the process. Pave’s intuitive UI and fine-grained permissions enabled every manager to provide recommendations for their team’s merit increases directly in the Pave platform. Those recommendations were automatically aligned with the company’s compensation philosophy, resulting in outcomes that were fair and equitable for all employees. 
  • Streamlines approval processes. Once performance-based recommendations were in place, the Pave streamlined the approval process by automatically routing each update to senior management for approval.
  • Allow quick alignment to new global requirements. Pave’s adaptable platform was able to support the Dissidio in Brazil, which added an additional layer of complexity on top of Wildlife Studio’s existing merit cycle process. 
  • Enables clear budgeting and approval processes. The Wildlife Studios People team was able to easily assign and track budgets across five continents and 300+ managers in the organization. 

Empowering a globally distributed workforce through a cohesive & scalable compensation strategy

With Pave, Wildlife Studios has adopted a modern approach to managing compensation, which enabled its management team to properly assess and reward employees in fair and equitable ways.  

In addition, this new approach to compensation enabled Wildlife Studios to save hundreds of hours before and during merit cycles, even as the company rapidly scales across the globe. Now, the company has more time to focus on its most important asset – its people – and make sure that every employee is compensated fairly.

“As a startup, we need to be empowered to spend our time on the things that matter most. With Pave, rather than wasting time managing spreadsheets, we can focus on more critical aspects of the business, like making data-driven decisions when it comes to our employee’s compensation.” — David Buckmaster

Next, Wildlife Studios plans on using Pave’s Communicate product to help drive employee understanding of compensation and total rewards to ensure that each and every team member has a clear and easily accessible way to engage with their compensation.