We've talked a lot about Big Pharma's cost-cutting efforts: selling off or closing manufacturing plants, laying off sales reps, consolidating R&D. But the cuts aren't limited to those functions. Administrative departments are shrinking, too. Just witness the latest from GlaxoSmithKline's human resources operations.
Glaxo is restructuring HR, aiming to cut costs and use technology more effectively. Right now, each of GSK's various businesses has its own HR team. Those teams will be merged into a centralized HR department to serve all the different units. The streamlining does include layoffs. There are no specific jobs numbers, just an aim to cut overall support-function costs by 20 percent.
Other moves: Replacing paper pay statements with online "total reward" statements that bundle in the value of vacations, health benefits, and the like. As one GSK official told Employee Benefits, a given worker might be paid £30,000 (about $48,000), "but their overall package might be worth £45,000." Employees can also opt to "buy" five extra vacation days a year by swapping salary dollars for holiday time--all reflected in that "total reward" statement. With industry-wide layoffs and continued economic uncertainty, it pays to accentuate the positive.