Case study: award-winning HR Shared Services turnaround

Sat 17 May 2014 | Case Studies

Discover how  an HR Programme Executive called Andrew turned around an HR Shared Services function from the brink of being outsourced into an award winning function for a high profile FTSE 100 constituent.


If you are currently considering major, complex HR change within your organisation, Hensen Associates would like to introduce an HR Programmes Executive who may be invaluable to you. He recently turnaround an HR Shared Services function (supporting 100K employees) within 36 months, whilst:

  • Winning the European Award in “Excellence in Culture Creation” from the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network
  • Winning the Personnel Today Award for “Managing Change”;
  • Saving £3.2 million year-on-year across all HR services
  • Integrating an acquisition of 55,000 employees within 15 months

The Problem

The individual in question is called Andrew, and he achieved the above for a high profile FTSE 100 constituent within the Consumer Goods sector.

Prior to Andrew coming on-board, this organisation was experiencing a range of complex issues within its HR Shared Service. From a service delivery and cultural perspective the HRSS function was not only failing to meet the expectations of 100,000 employees they were supporting, but the operations team itself was fragmented, inconsistent and lacking true leadership and a pragmatic strategic vision. Advisers and Case Managers were also highly disadvantaged by non-customer led process which simply were not geared towards resolving issues and queries effectively. This created real tension between the front-line HRSS team and HR customers and resulted in low morale and disillusionment amongst the employees.

In fact, the engagement scores within the Shared Services were consistently at 40%. With the mounting frustration amongst the employee base of how the HR Shared Service was being managed the Executive Team discussed the route of Outsourcing to alleviate the problem as there didn’t seem to be any other solution.

The Solution

It was at this stage that the Group HR Director sought out Andrew to turn the function around. Andrew had previously been responsible for the largest HR transformation initiative in Europe which changed how 130,000 employees accessed HR services and created one of the most efficient HRSS functions in existence.

To understand the problems and frustrations, Andrew initially engaged Advisers, Team Leaders and Managers within the function. His authentic manner, ability to lead from the front and passion about improving people allowed him to not only gain the trust amongst the staff quickly, but also build the belief that it could become a world-class function.

The Results

Within 2 months, Andrew created a 3-year strategy and business case which would utterly transform the HR Shared Service. With four key pillars focused on Process, People, Customers and Technology – he also shaped the underpinning key initiatives and enablers to realise this strategic vision. Under Andrew’s leadership and over the course of 36 months, he achieved the above outcomes whilst also:

  • Implementing a Continuous Improvement Programme
  • Deploying Self-Service capability, Telephony technology and a T&A solution Interim Management, Consulting & Search for HR Transformation Programmes


One of the HR Directors had this to say about his contribution to the business:

“Andrew is a prime example of what a 21st century Leader should be. Someone who is able to lead HR transformation and pioneer complex change whilst truly winning the hearts and minds of his teams. He consistently leads from the front, tackles challenges head on and delivers. One of the top two HR Programmes Executive’s in the UK in my opinion.”


If you would like to find how Andrew could support your HR transformation programmes or have an information discussion about how Hensen Associates could support you HR change initiative in other ways – please contact us via the button above.