Bucket List #88: Lead A Global Business Transformation

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Hal Lanfear IV

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Global HCM Executive|Leader HR, Talent, Payroll and Benefits|Global Product Leader|Change Agent|Motivator|Mentor|Advisor

You and your organization feel you are ready or need to go through a global HCM transformation. That sounds exciting to me. How about I ask you a few questions:

Do you want to be a leader in your industry?

What is your long term global strategy?

Do you plan to continue to operate in a global landscape across multiple countries?

Do you know which countries you should continue to have operations in and which you should target an exit strategy?

A few additional things to consider when asked why are we doing this global HCM transformation? The big question: Global Payroll or Global HR first? What if the answer is they both need to be part of the project. Let’s start with some of the benefits and business impacts, but also look at the more complex items that may impact your implementation:

Let’s review some of the value and benefits behind a global HCM solution:

· Labor costs – knowing which plants and operations are running the tightest ship, where is the over time?

· Transparency – some of that is in the above numbers, but I am betting that some divisions would fight this increased visibility, as it would expose the true numbers.

· Global reporting – headcount, merits, benefits, bonuses, budgets, margins, losses etc. – it’s concerning when organizations spend $$M to implement a global system of record for better headcount reporting, but it happens.

· Global capabilities – let’s treat the U.S. like any other country, once we integrate the globe into one solution, the organization will have a different visibility to key business metrics, such as managing talent globally, insightful analytics and real data.

· Scalability – with all the M&A activity going and spin off divestitures, this can be done faster, more efficient and with less internal resources with the right partner.

· IT costs – depending on the current state, those with an on premise payroll or HR solution have heavy costs, the patches, upgrades, IT support alone is quite expensive. What about the value of economies of scale? Or the value of one true global partner to work with?

· Benefits – sincerely do you have a grasp of what you spend with your benefit brokers globally? Are there multiple of them? Is it handled differently in each region? What are your employee benefit costs globally?

· Stakeholder alignment – have you engaged all the right functions and teams together for socialization and awareness? What are the impacts, the benefits and value to this transformation for them? Organizational change management is absolutely mission critical for the project to be successful.

· Talent – do you have the right people in the right places? Do you have the proper succession planning and high potential programs in place? Are your overtime and labor cost fully contemplated? Do you have analytics, if so, which are used most?

Why make the change and push to have this investment approved? Let’s dive into that last bullet above, TALENT: Simply put, do you have the right people in the right places? Are you prepared to justify what direct impact would this have on my organization?

· Increased retention, do you have any clue the cost of turnover to your organization?

· Increased productivity, how? Perhaps having the right production lines in place, the right work schedules, days off, vacation allotment, resource alignment and control around overtime.

· Improving your customer retention and getting more referrals, this happens when your employees are happy, exceeding customer expectations and consistently going above and beyond.

· How important is onboarding, from the online or mobile application process, to the day the new talent starts their new job, every candidate is looking at this process and judging their experience. You don’t want to lose top talent in the first 90 – 180 days. Set the right expectations early and follow through.

· How involved is your HR leadership with productivity/production discussions?

· How closely aligned are the analytics and data insights from the global HR system of record being reported back to the business unit managers and initiatives? Is it reviewed for feedback and accuracy?

My team works with a lot of multinational organizations who often struggle with their global business case development. It’s not necessarily a total cost of ownership (TCO) issue, it’s more around aligning their investment with the key business initiatives and drivers. It’s important for business leaders to determine ahead of time and ask themselves what results are they expecting from this investment and project? Some other critical things to consider:

· What other projects should be taken into consideration? For example, when considering implementing a global HR system of record, have you considered the payroll implications? Oh yes, almost forgot didn’t you? Payroll has to be accurate, so it’s not if payroll will be addressed, it’s when will it be addressed?

· The HR system is not accurate unless payroll is feeding it in a timely fashion, bi-directionally.

· Consider the importance of time keeping and integrating those solutions? Mobile capabilities…value behind workforce management as a whole.

· How are you connecting all of these “cloud solutions”? Are you asking for IT to do more work and manage these integrations, feeds and multiple cloud solutions?

How are you handling the service and support of this technology? Do you have a shared services center in place already or do you need to hire the right resources to support this cloud technology going forward? What global support structure do you have in place for areas like regulations, updates and other changes to the technology? Have you considered the amount of work involved in supporting a cloud platform?

The importance of finding the right partner, that has experience in helping global organizations successfully implement HCM solutions is mission critical. I have seen too many companies do this unsuccessfully, which impacts project leadership and many other functions that were vested in seeing it be successful. Careers can be impacted during transformations of this magnitude, so choose your partners and teams wisely.

There is a lot of information in this article, many things to consider and to take into account. Best of luck with your projects.

Thank you for reading,

Hal Lanfear IV

Global HCM Executive|Leader HR, Talent, Payroll and Benefits|Global Product Leader|Change Agent|Motivator|Mentor|Advisor
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