Business Improvement - Transforming Global HR Processes (Case Study)
Updated: May 24
The right employees are an organisation’s key asset and offer core competitive advantage. Treat them so and develop them, so they can aspire and with the right strategy and leadership you can become a global leader. Employees are the customer interface to deliver client value and nowhere is this more evident than in a global energy organisation with over 90,000 employees, based in over 90 difference countries. If the HR function can manage key employee life-cycle processes, to get the right people, with the right skills, into the right country, at the right time, this will impact project delivery and enhance client value. This is especially true if 7,500 of these employees are expatriate and they bring specialist knowledge and skills not yet developed within the country.
Lean business and process improvement was deployed globally across the organisation as an enabler, to improve wider organisation process waste removal, simplification and efficiency. The HR Executive deployed Lean to improve processes around the employee life-cycle, build process improvement capability and apply those skills in everyday work to create a culture of continuous improvement.
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients” ~ Richard Branson
Transformation Approach and Success Foundations
Delivering a major transformation successfully in any organisation is always a challenge and achieving sustainable organisation benefits does not happen by luck. Central to this programme’s success was the alignment of the organisation’s portfolio, business and process improvement and change management. With these core enablers in place, a highly skilled team with drive and determination was developed to ensure success.
1. Programme Sponsorship and Strategic Alignment: Without senior executive and programme sponsorship, to ensure alignment with the organisation’s strategy and its portfolio, most programmes are likely to fail.
~ HR Executive
~ HR Global Programme Sponsor
~ Transformation Specialist
2. Improve Global Employee Life-cycle Processes (5): Five global HR Employee life-cycle process were chosen and improved: (1) employee off-boarding, (2) local transfer, (3) on-boarding, (4) international transfer and (5) training. The successful delivery of these projects was dependant of the following elements:
~ Global Process Sponsor
~ Project Delivery Methodology
~ Global Project Team
~ Project Management Work-Stream
~ Change Management Work-Stream
~ Communication Work-Stream
~ Business and Process Improvement Specialist
3. Develop Business Improvement Capability and Culture: Core to delivering the transformational change within HR were three key elements: developing business process improvement capability, improving all HR processes and developing a continuous improvement culture.
~ Lean Practitioners (LP)
~ Local Lean Process and Business Improvement Projects
~ Lean Practitioner Training Capability
“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement…” ~ Marie Curie
Business Improvement Transformation Strategic Benefits
In less than eighteen months, five global employee life-cycle global process improvement projects were implemented, reducing process waste, rework and radically reducing cycle-time. Benefits were not only realised within the organisation and its employees, but also within their families. Twenty plus LPs were trained every quarter, with the highest trainee to project delivery conversation ratio experienced in any business improvement deployment globally. Local business and process improvement projects delivered incremental improvements and started to embed the culture of continuous improvement within the HR department. Internal LP training capability was created, with the ability to further develop the culture of continuous improvement. The HR Department developed its central cog to service and support the wider organisation globally. Credit can go to a group of highly skilled, experienced and motivated HR professionals led by proactive sponsorship and a focus on change adoption.
“The right employees are an organisations key asset and offer core competitive advantage. Treat them so and develop them, so they can aspire and with the right strategy and leadership you can become a global leader.” ~ Peter F Gallagher