Desjardins Group,

HR Transformation

Stakeholder Alignment: A Key Component to a Successful HR Transformation

The Challenge

In a constantly evolving business context, HR functions are facing many challenges. At Desjardins Group, the HR function adopted a new vision to better meet the organization’s business needs. To turn this vision into reality, a major HR transformation program was deployed, bringing to light the need for a new business model.

To position itself as a true strategic partner, the RH function needed to review its business model, as well as to optimize its service offering based on value-added activities. The choice was made to enhance and simplify HR practices, reconsider each manager’s HR role, and completely rethink the operational model to support the service offering. This major transformation implied not only a review of all roles, responsibilities, processes and procedures, but also an evolution in HR systems and technologies to support the change in culture.

The Approach

One of the facets of Brio’s mandate for this HR transformation was to secure the constant alignment of all stakeholders, i.e. making sure they were all aligned with each other, and with the transformation’s overarching vision. Brio acted as an internal integrator and external observer in three key facets of the transformation: strategic, tactical and operational.

In a transformation, strategic alignment is essential. This must by a constant focus at every level of the organization, to ensure a common understanding not only for the transformation’s vision (target) and orientations, but also for its new HR model. Furthermore – and most importantly – strategic alignment helps operationalize the organization’s business needs through clear positionings maintained throughout the implementation. This is a key factor in legitimizing the transformation among different business units and aligning the various changes that are being deployed. To achieve this, we set up an advisory committee, brought all management committee members on board, and nominated a dedicated transformation promotor.

This tactical alignment – and, more specifically, the work organization – allowed us to ensure structural coherence, as well as the coherence of each person’s roles and responsibilities, in order to align and integrate HR operations with the new business model (governance, practices, processes and systems). At this point, the challenge consisted in optimizing the resources and experience offered to employees and managers. To achieve this, Brio took a participative and collaborative approach using boot-camp-style work sessions, involving HR employees and end users. The goal was to clarify and experiment with the new processes from start to finish. This allowed us to make continuous adjustments to properly respond to business needs, while making sure that practices were aligned and objectives were met in terms of minimum system spec configurations.

Rolled out in a systematic fashion, these strategies were adapted in real time, with a constant focus on implementation and operationalization in order to make this major transformation happen. The operational alignment we were aiming for was laid out on an integrated roadmap, providing an overall picture of major achievement sectors. This representation of all project fields (technology, user experience, global change management rolled out for each target group) allowed us to properly align the various tasks both within and outside the program.

The Brio Difference

Through its sheer size, the Desjardins Group HR transformation was ambitious. The implementation of a new ERP tool served as a springboard for a major cultural transformation among the HR team, as well as among users, managers and employees.

Brio committed itself to help the HR function succeed in its transformation by maintaining a constant dialogue among all stakeholders. Foregoing a centralized and operational approach in favour of a strategic, partner-based vision, the HR team now provides an enhanced user experience.