Background: The client is a globally active logistics company that has experienced continuous growth in the past and is now one of the most profitable companies in its sector. HR was originally strongly oriented toward to internal profit centers, and hence managed on a very local basis. The idea now was to standardize certain core HR tasks worldwide. As part of implementing a global performance and talent management system, the company wanted to harmonize target settings and give the business unit heads the possibility of cascading targets via the established matrix structure. In addition, internal talents were to be identified and developed so as to ensure a smooth internal talent pipeline and internal appointments to vacant positions within the company.
| We already saw the first candidates successfully placed in vacant posts while the project was still underway. Other project steps, such as developing explicit career paths and defining the placement processes, now no longer require on-site support from the consultants. Their expertise and flexible availability were key success factors in the project.Head of HR
Task: A small, effective team, comprising the interim Head of Talent and the Head of HRIS, were to define the performance and talent management system and then roll it out globally. In so doing, it was important to keep the regional HR managers, who had insights into the local situation, and the business unit heads at board level closely involved in the process. Stakeholder management was a key factor in the successful implementation in the local organization later on. Having an internal role on an interim basis was therefore particularly useful.
Role of hkp/// group (hkp///): hkp/// took on the role of Head of Talent on an interim basis, so that the project could be set up and the work that needed to be done defined. Our full-time input, five days a week, meant that hkp/// could act as an internal point of contact for any questions that arose, and also embody the project within the organization. The advantage of this approach over having an internal person in the position of Head of Talent was that technical questions could be solved whenever necessary by the hkp/// experts in Frankfurt. That meant that any issues relating to compensation or grading could be dealt with by the Head of Talent quickly and simply.
Challenges: As with many organizations that want to implement standardized global processes, the different regions already had local solutions in place, and these needed to be replaced. In the initial phase, hkp/// experts spent a lot of time agreeing shared goals and defining how to work together. This created an atmosphere of trust, which helped getting through more difficult project phases by working together.
Solution/outlook: The solution aimed for simplicity and a lean system that would be easy to communicate. In the first step, compensation elements were only loosely integrated into the new Performance Management process, the emphasis being more on identifying and developing talent. This approach avoided potentially heated discussions.
To date, the system has been implemented for around 15,000 employees, including the originally planned target group of specialists and managers. The system delivers the desired transparency and leads to regular dialogue between staff and managers, as well as within existing management groups. Some employees have already been appointed to internal vacancies. Explicit career paths with corresponding modules still need to be defined. The process for making internal appointments must be set out, so that candidates can pass through the relevant career modules in a systematic fashion. To this end, job families are currently being defined and management levels derived in a process of job leveling. This will create a basis for refining the compensation policy for senior managers, linking it more closely to the performance management system. Following initial implementation for the entire target group, further HR issues can then be addressed on this basis.
"At the heart of the project was the optimization of the performance and talent management process. Due to the close involvement of regional HR managers and business unit heads, stakeholder management was a key factor. That made taking on an internal role on an interim basis particularly helpful." (Frank Gierschmann, hkp/// group Partner)
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