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Insights from an HR transformation journey

by Emma-Claire Kavanagh on 21 Jul 2017

HR transformation journey

BIE’s HR Team were privileged to recently be joined by a room full of senior HR leaders to listen to the HR Director and HR Transformation Programme Director of a large UK multimedia company as they delivered an insightful and enlightening presentation on the journey they had been on throughout their company's two year HR transformation.

Below is a top-line summary of what was presented.

Background to the challenge

The multimedia industry is fundamentally built on change. Changing audience needs stimulates changes in their preferences and habits. This constant need to keep up with the change can lead to the creation of cutting edge technology, however it also means the competition is much more intense. In order to stay competitive, organisations are looking to achieve the maximum value possible out of the amount they spend on professional support.

BIE’s role was to identify an HR Transformation Programme Director to come into the organisation to review the operating model design and business case and to recommend how best to move the transformation forward.

The way forward for the HR transformation

  • There was a history of too many programmes and negative feedback. Therefore, it was decided to start afresh and simplify approaches to all different aspects of the HR process.
  • The aim was to create a “one organisation” feel where collaboration, working as a team, and supporting each other was central.
  • Previous HR programme failures had created a lack of confidence and trust in some members of the leadership team, making them resistant to change. So upfront honesty and clarity was required.
  • Therefore, an implementation plan and timeline was established, so changes could be tracked and be seen to be taking place. This guaranteed the “one organisation” feel was in place in terms of policy, systems, and processes.

Key changes to the HR model

  • All dispersed HR activities were brought together into centralised teams to provide more synergy and deliver a unified HR service.
  • All HR admin and recruitment services, which were previously outsourced, were brought in-house.
  • The provision of employment advice was transferred to line managers throughout all business functions.
  • HR Business Partner roles were repositioned as more strategic, able to add higher-level value to the business.

Key benefits:

  • 33% reduction in headcount
  • Cost per hire down 27%
  • 30% lower HR costs overall
  • Improved HR value benchmarks
  • Consistent service model
  • Agreed service levels put in place
  • 9000 queries per week now go through to shared services
  • Platform established for ongoing improvement

Key takeaways:

  • One of the biggest challenges was implementing the new system and collating data. This took a huge amount of time.
  • When approaching a challenge that stakeholders don’t think is achievable, take it on at an earlier stage in order to drive higher levels of engagement.
  • Budget to build a team you can retain for the duration of the programme. 
  • Nobody will thank you for saving money, they will only focus on the success of the transformation and whether you delivered the change.

How to approach your business transformation

Topics: business transformation, Change