What is HR Transformation?

Change Management

At FiveRivers Consulting, we’re all about HR transformation. And now is the time for us to define what we mean. How does it work, and how could it (quite literally) transform YOUR organisation?

Transformation is moving from one state to an altered state, ideally making things better in some way, whatever better looks like in practical, return-on-investment terms.

In our experience, there is much discussion surrounding HR transformation, and to be fair, the one thing that doesn’t change – not least in our fast-moving world – is the need for change.

So, let’s break down what HR transformation means, how it works in your real world, and what it could mean to you as a Human Resources Director.

FiveRivers Consulting has worked extensively in the often-complex world of HR transformation, and we know that your department sets the tone in the business – in actual terms.  Everything flows from HR: what people do, how they do it, employee engagement and development, productivity and behavioural alignment to goals – each and every aspect, really.

What is HR Transformation?

In basic terms, HR transformation is about reinventing how HR does business and how it permeates through the organisation. This means changing HR’s DNA - shifting to a new operating model and becoming more customer centric. It may mean automation delivering streamlined back-office HR transactions, analytics, talent and leadership, diversity, inclusion andcultural change.

This requires change not only in how HR operates, but also how employees, managers and leaders do their jobs and access the services in your department.

HR transformation needs an investment of money, time and a willingness to embrace doing things differently.  

At its heart lies the conversion from an inefficient, manually driven function where accurate real-time data is hard to access, let alone analyse, into a Gold Star team that functions at maximum efficiency.

What Would This Picture Mean to You?

People and processes underpinned by technology within HR fully able to SUPPORT an organisation. With everything and everyone aligned to that company’s goals and objectives. Those knots, twists, kinks and bumps that kept tripping up productivity are no more. Now, they’ve been altered. In front of you is a smooth, silkier, streamlined approach. And when this happens, you will know about it.

You’re likely to have reduced costs, perhaps increased market share, or even helped the business to innovate new products and services.

Welcome to a new level of HR maturity! Your journey from where you were, to where you are now.

And the trigger point?

Data. Reliable data.

Having it, mining it, using it, being in control of it.

The Data Dilemma

Are you firefighting? If you don’t have access to the information you need, your decision-making could be compromised.

This is a key area of life that really isn’t best left as it is.

Why? Because no manual processes can ever be fully joined up. They’re laborious process silos. And in our opinion, any and every system operating independently diminishes one of the most important functions in any organisation: the HR department.  

We’ll go further:

With one arm tied behind your back, your role as a strategic leader has a lesser impact. Your skills volume may be “loud”, yet its impact will be somewhat deadened with all the “background noise”. You’ll be knocking on a thick, plated glass window with very few people hearing you.

Consider the lack of the following:

·      Accurate, up to date absence data

·      Precise head count statistics

·      Department or network-wide employee data (if your operation is international, or multi-site)

·      Powerful, easy to use reporting systems

·      A networked training system

·      An enterprise-wide onboarding platform

As a business, these drivers could be that red flag pointing your way towards the need for HR automation, and therefore HR transformation.

How Does HR Transformation Work?

According to research from McKinsey, at least 70% of transformation programmes will fail. Let our knowledge and experience of HR processesand systems help to work as hard as you do.

Everything starts with developing your vision and case for change through a series of workshops and one-to-ones. Let’s look at the full picture of your HR processes and procedures.

This includes, but isn’t limited to:

o  Your business, the role of HR and your vision for the future


o  Where efforts and job roles are duplicated and/or cross over


o  Where and how manual processes are affecting productivity and its impact


o  How you use technology within HR; how it serves you (or otherwise), whether you have stand-alone systems, what they do and so on


o  The reports you need, and how you extract the required data to create them


o  How you use data generally, and where the gaps are


o  Building the case for change

We have some questions for you:

Where is your organisation now, and where you would like it to be? How will you know when you’ve got there? What does fully productive look like, for example? What do you mean by more efficient working practices, or by fewer reports pulled off Excel at the last minute?

Tell me more about HR Transformation

·      Better ways of working

·      Comprehensive reporting and analytics

·      Cross-site employment regulation and HR policy compliance

·      Consistent, standardised procedures

·      Better employee engagement – positive experiences with the HR function

·      Enhanced company communication

How would you feel, knowing that you have your very best people management methodology in place? With the right real-time data, you’ll  have solid foundations on which to base growth and development strategies.

Now, you can see one version of the truth, and one version only. And, there it is, at the touch of a button.  

How Do We Justify Our Investment with You?

Look out for our upcoming blog about creating a BusinessCase.

This in-depth overview is all about your people, your HR teams, their skills and resources, and the technology that they need, but may lack currently.

Also, it focuses on your strategy and how specific and explicit gains in efficiency can lead to measurable cost savings. Yes, they’re quantifiable.As a leader you need to know what’s not working. And, the steps to take to make it so.

Ultimately, the case is compelling: an authentic cost-benefit analysis for your organisation.

The journey starts with a single step, so let’s get started.

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