British Nuclear Group

Hiring Context

VMA Interim Performers recently provided a leading UK power generation and supply provider with an Interim HR Shared Service Specialist, Nigel Connolly. Nigel was recruited to project manage the design, planning and delivery of a HR Shared Service covering 8,000 employees. His role encompassed a feasibility study, business process re-engineering, employee and management engagement, a communications strategy, HR role redesign, service level development and evaluation, and employee training and development.

The Challenge

Following discussions with key stakeholders across the group, Nigel identified that the business should transition towards Ulrich Model of HR Shared Service Delivery, focussing on transactional centres of service excellence, change agents, and Human Resource Business Partners. Nigel identified that the business in general had little knowledge or experience of HR Shared Services, and in order to attain the buy in of key stakeholders, the clear presentation of the HR Shared Service Vision would be paramount.

The Approach

The communication strategy was critical to the success of the programme. There was a fear that "HR Shared Service" could be interpreted as meaning that HR roles were to be lost, and that HR advice would be delivered from overseas! Consequently, Nigel took on a very consultative approach to marketing and communicating the project and changes to be made across the business, utilising team meetings, the intranet, the staff magazine, staff briefings, and newly appointed HR Business Partner’s to cascade what Shared Services would mean to each individual employee, what and how changes would affect them, and that such changes would not reduce the quality of HR service delivery.

Nigel highlighted three business streams critical to the success of the Project: People, Process, and Technology. Weaving through these three areas were the "Transactional HR" processes.

Nigel identified where duplication was occurring and how individual processes could be streamlined and bottlenecks could be removed. Once in place, Nigel turned his attention to service delivery, instilling the philosophy that HR should perceive the organisation as a customer, and that through HR servicing their customers, the business could be more effective. Nigel went on to assess the structure of the entire HR function, and through carrying out a skill analysis of the team, created a training plan around the up-skilling of the team into new roles. The resulting service structure was a first line interaction with HR through the intranet (tier zero), a first tier of HR Service representatives taking general enquiries with an 80% fix rate and HR Business Partners to commercially deal with escalated case work, and drive through HR strategy.

Assignment Outcomes

Through the business transformation process, the structure of the HR function is able to deliver what the business actually needs and managers are now able to see the bigger picture and, utilise clean HR data to add value to the business. HR are able to focus on more proactive HR service delivery such as the creation of adding value to the bottom line, and are no longer getting tied up in transactional processes across the organisational structure.