Transforming HR to Build a Workforce of the Future

December 22, 2021
2 Minute Read

A global media company, which had grown by acquiring nearly a dozen different agencies, wanted to implement a more strategic, centralized HR function. RGP helped them define, develop and execute shared centers of excellence for core HR services, as well as the rollout strategy, change management and project management, with metrics for advancing their operational maturity.

Our client’s company encompasses multiple different agency businesses, each with a traditional, decentralized HR function, encompassing HR, business partners, people planning, training, employee engagement and employee communications. All were acquired by our client’s parent company, but each maintains their individual systems and ways of doing business.

To gain operational efficiencies and transform the way they manage HR to support the workforce and workplace of the future, our client wanted to elevate HR to a more strategic, enterprise level and establish centers of excellence that could serve the entire company with a consistent set of systems, processes and data.

The leadership team was clear on the vision—and also aware of the many pain points, including: 

  • Culture: There was a lack of adoption of the new ways of working and the new organization structure. Each agency wanted to maintain their independence, which is not unusual in an M&A situation.
  • Talent: They weren’t certain whether they had the right people in the right roles and regions to support the new operational model. 
  • Leadership alignment: Different agencies didn’t want to lose their independence and decision rights—so not all leaders were aligned. 
  • Technology:  They needed to get everybody on the same HCM systems and processes, including performance management, talent management, and learning and development.  .

Our client asked RGP to help deconstruct the current state of their HR operations—including policies, rules and day-to-day business processes as well as their systems and organizational structures—and then bring all that together into seven dedicated centers of excellence.

Creating Strategic Roadmaps, Roles and Responsibilities

Our team included experts in change management, HR, operations, and talent and performance management. Working with leaders from the various departments, we not only helped to define the centers of excellence, but also the rollout strategy, including the required systems and procedures and an 18-month roadmap for implementing them.

This included documenting the relationships and interdependencies between each initiative. For example, our client was implementing a new performance management and cultural engagement platform that impacted multiple departments across the different agencies, with associated policies, procedures and processes for performance management, employee engagement, resource planning and talent management. 

We also designed a project management toolset using Smartsheet, which includes project governance tools that track all changes. So, if someone wants to modify the vision or the operating model, they have to follow the governance process. This ensures that people aren’t “going rogue,” which is of critical importance, as any change now impacts multiple organizations. 

And finally, we helped define key metrics for optimizing their processes and advancing their operational maturity. Based on industry-standard benchmarks, these metrics are built into their project plan so that as they finish tasks, they can see the resulting progress along the maturity curve.

Modernizing HR for the Future of Work

Whether it’s driven by M&A, as in this client’s case, or by macro trends such as the gig economy and more flexible working models, forward-looking organizations are redefining their HR services to support the workforce of the future.

And many, like our client, are realizing the benefits of this more strategic operational model. In addition to supporting a better employee experience and improving their ability to attract and retain top talent, they’re also raising the level of service to their internal customers while gaining operational efficiencies and cost savings. 

Together, they’re building a more inclusive, organized and efficient HR organization—and delivering a positive workforce and workplace experience.

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