Digital HR Case Study: creating a globally consistent employee experience whilst simultaneously delivering savings

Digital HR Case Study: creating a globally consistent employee experience whilst simultaneously delivering savings

Thu 23 Feb 2017 | Case Studies

If your company is looking to deliver a digital people strategy which reflects the same experience for your employees as it does your customers, you may find the following case study of interest.

Hensen Associates are currently working with a Global Head of HR Transformation & People Experience who successfully created a globally consistent employee experience whilst delivering savings of over £5million for a well-known currency exchange company.


The Global Head of HR Transformation & People Experience is called Martin and he’s a commercially focused Digital HR Change Leader with a track-record of transforming HR functions from the inside out to deliver a premium employee life-cycle experience. Key to his skillset is his ability to realise the potential of digital HR tools such as Workday and extract their value in a way which HR can fully utilise.

Martin was hired in this example partly due to his technology change experience, but more importantly he had previously led an initiative to create a global, converged way of working at a FTSE Telco – impacting 7,000 people in 30 countries. With a track-record of delivering non-technology led people change, structured programme management approach and understanding of technology, this made Martin the ideal candidate.

Martin possesses an MSc in Organisational Behaviour and is a regular speaker at industry events such as the HRD Summit, HRTech conference and Workday Rising.



The company was Private Equity owned and the medium-term goal was to sell – so there was a burning platform to modernise HR, reduce the headcount and create a responsive/agile organisation. If Martin had not succeeded, the Private Equity owners would not have derived the desired value from the sale.



Modernisation of HR was the first step in meeting these strategic objectives of the business. Martin launched, steered and embedded a global HR transformation initiative which resulted in the implementation of Workday along with a suite of recruitment and learning cloud technologies and new operating model which included a new off-shore Shared Service centre.

The programme consolidated over 1200 HR process into 180, with many of the HR processes now completed on handheld devices – which reduced the HR cost base by 25%. In these terms, the HR transformation was very successful. However, simply implementing a range of new technologies didn’t automatically translate to added value in the employee experience, or improve business performance.

What Martin and the Executive Team realised that although standardisation had served a very positive purpose for HR, they needed to leverage the technology tools to create a more personalised experience for its employees. The needs across the workforce in Corporate functions, Digital, Shared Service Centre, Wholesale or Retail locations were diverse both in expectation and need. When extrapolated on a global basis, the gap between the most extreme situations widened considerably.

Furthermore, HR hadn’t maximised the value they could derive from their data to strengthen HR business partnering. They weren’t capitalising on the information they now had access to, to identify what organisational changes or learning interventions could be executed to empower their employees to align their ways of working to the organisation’s new digital approach.

Without pro-actively addressing how their 8000 global employees could respond to the new digital economy and mirror that digital environment in the employee experience, their strategic outcomes wouldn’t be met. Fundamentally, the organisation would continue to be negatively disrupted by new market entrants in its sector – which would have meant a continuing decline in revenue and market share loss to new digital market entrants.

With the global HR transformation completed and new operating model in place, Martin established a ‘People Experience’ function with a mandate to create a holistic, first-class employee experience across the entire workforce. With the new function in place, he took operational responsibility for Resourcing, Talent & Performance, Strategy, Analytics and OD whilst being ultimately accountable for all design and implementation of people solutions.

At the heart of this, he created a compelling Employee Value Proposition which would serve as the organisation’s promise of what employees could expect from working with it. Innovatively, the EVP was ‘crowdsourced’ internally to ensure it captured hearts and minds and was centered around work benefits the organisation was committed to uphold, improved relationships with Line Managers, ongoing learning opportunities and management of performance.

With the EVP serving a dual purpose of driving more customer-centric behaviours, Martin worked closely with the Executive Board, CHRO, HR Business Partners and the wider business to bring about this fundamental step-change. With a genuine interest in how technology can impact the employee experience and commercial outlook, Martin identified and implemented a set of changes with his team which maximised the value of their new HR model.

Over 20 months he established a new attraction strategy at employee level which utilised new social media channels, underpinned by their dynamic EVP. When a new employee was onboarded, the transaction was completed digitally and they had access to a ‘social hub’ where they could create their own blog posts and access organisational news disseminated by Martin’s ‘People Experience’ team. They were also able to access HR policies and book holidays on their handheld devices. Martin’s team also established monthly engagement surveys.

By prioritising the ability to access data through establishing an Analytics capability within the People Experience team, Martin enabled the business to use staggering insight and launch highly targeted people interventions which would have a positive impact on the ground. For example, he used data to identify Talent Attraction and Retention issues, resulting in the launch of highly targeted financial incentive schemes, saving £0.8 million to reinvest in the business. Critically, he also changed the learning model which ultimately enabled front-line staff to acquire 1 million digital customer records – a fundamental business metric imperative to the sale of the business.



By the end of this project, Martin had:

  • Saved £4 million annually through a new workforce planning strategy and delivered the underpinning people change plan
  • Leveraged the technology platform to build a social media recruitment approach, reducing hiring costs by 40%.
  • Enabled the business to capture 1 million digital customer records, through change of Learning model.
  • The HR transformation programme won ‘Nimbus Ninety Cloud Innovation Award’



Martin is currently looking for his next project and will be free to interview w/c 6th March. To find out more about him, or to discuss any related HR technology initiatives in your 2017 strategy, please email or call Hensen Associates on 01189 901137.



To download this case study, please click here.