by Simon Porter
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a marked change in the conversations we’re having with HR leaders. Coupled with the rapid increase in the number of HR transformation projects we’re now working on globally, this suggests we’re on the cusp of change. More and more businesses recognize that to have the workforce agility, talent and skills needed to be successful in the global economy, they must modernize HR.
One such organization, Solvay, an advanced materials and specialist chemicals company with employees in 61 countries and a complex business operation, is a great example of such a company looking to the future.
When we first met with Solvay in 2006, it was a very traditional business, with HR processes to match. By 2018, having worked with them to modernize global payroll services, the project team knew that to continue to attract and retain the best talent, Solvay had to review its people processes.
At the recent Upgrade2Success event in Brussels, Rapheephand Leauphathanasuak, project manager at Solvay, explained to the audience that for the company to continue to ensure its employees can be as successful as possible, they needed to invest in digital HR; a modern user experience, akin to that most of us are used to at home, and HR processes that resonate with people living in the digital world, for example 360 reviews, personalized career advice, fast recruiting and fact-based people decision making processes.
Kay-Christian Schersich, Head of HR Technology, Uniper SE, mirrored this when he said of his company’s own HR transformation, “Many companies are so focused on customer centricity that they forget to look closer to home. To be successful, you need to make sure that your services are employee centric too.”
Solvay is moving forward with its HR transformation, which is scheduled for completion next year and Uniper’s digital HR transformation project is part of a wider ‘digital Uniper’ business initiative to improve and enhance its operations via digitisation.
For many more organizations, however, it’s not as straight forward and often, there remains one sticking point. Convincing the board. Why is this? Typically, the link between people investment and business performance is still not front of mind. Cutting headcount remains the cost-saving strategy, even people who have had heavy investments in training and hold a lot of knowledge. Alongside this, IT teams can be resistant to change. Cloud and as-a-service HR solutions are a step from the solid on-premise systems and they feel their autonomy threatened. Hosted services are often as far as they are willing to go, which is fine.
This can be the start of a journey that will realize the incredible performance that organizations like Uniper, Thyssenkrupp, Solvay and AmRest are now seeing. It is to share these successes, and to let these organizations to explain their HR transformation journeys why, in partnership with SAP, we set-up the NGA HR Upgrade2Success campaign.
With dates in Belgium, Germany and Canada already done, the next free-to-attend Upgrade2Success roadshows are this month, November 13 in Tampa the , Amsterdam the 22nd and Milan on the 28th. There are still spaces at each, and if your city has past or is not yet listed, we’re happy to set-up a virtual event for you. Drop us your name here.
The feedback from the first events is that supporting a business case with examples of the successes of similar organizations is a great way to “talk to” resisters. Solvay, Uniper, ThyssenKrupp and AmRest are just a few of the clients we can put you in touch with to talk about how they have or are currently in the processes of moving HR to the cloud. Each is realizing significant increases in productivity and workforce efficiencies, as well as process cost savings.
Once considered “brave” for starting their HR transformation change journeys when few others were, these organizations are now heralded as “beacons” of the future of work. As they and we will admit, not all is straightforward in an HR transformation project. There will be challenges, obstacles and resistance along the way, but it’s how the challenges are met on the way that highlight how essential it is to journey with an expert partner, such as NGA HR.
“The secret is openness, trust, partnership and the team,” said Kay-Christian Schersich of the Uniper / NGA HR, HR transformation project success.
At each venue, you will have the chance to talk to contemporaries who not long ago are where you are today. Some will even admit that on day-one they were still not entirely convinced that the move to a unified digital HR system was the right course, but interestingly, it’s often these people who’re the strongest advocates of digital HR because the results are evident, very quickly.
Energy company Uniper is putting its employees front and center by digitalizing and modernizing its HR function with SAP SuccessFactors solutions and support from NGA Human Resources. Now, employees will be able to access all the tools and services they need, on any device, for the best possible user experience. Meanwhile, data-driven insight will enable more astute workforce decision-making, sharpening Uniper’s competitive edge.
The journey of this vast German engineering company is to enable people in the business to work smart with common processes and systems. To do this, we’re helping them to streamline HR operations worldwide. They have approximately 92,000 employees across 290 group companies and 72 countries. This transformation will not only improve the quality of HR operations, it will free HR teams to focus on value-added HR processes such as workforce planning, recruiting and learning and development, which will maximize employee engagement and loyalty.
Alongside this, the company is also outsourcing payroll in certain countries, again in the name of efficiency and compliance. Our partnership with ThyssenKrupps started in 2015 and continues on.
Organizations like yours need to meet their employees where they’re most comfortable. Being flexible and nimble is critical to ensure that processes are efficient and compliant across an increasingly complex world.
Your journey to the future of work needs to start to accelerate if you’re to keep apace and we’re happy to be providing you and your business with the guidance, education and exposure to experts that you need to tailor your HR experience to what works best in your culture and your company.
If we don’t have the chance to meet you at one of our physical Upgrade2Success roadshows, we hope to meet you virtually very soon. I am confident that 2019 is the year when HR transformation is high on the change agenda for any organization looking to thrive as we hit the next decade. 2020 is the future.