Blog Post
November 20, 2020

Six human capital management tips for transformational HR leaders

Essentra Head of HR Systems and Shared Services Rachel Mandley and Parkdean Resorts CFO Ian Kellett provide takeaways and proven tactics for HCM success.

Table of Contents

Change-making HR and finance leaders at two of the UK’s leading manufacturing and holiday companies have explained how they picked the right HCM vendor and led a smooth international implementation process, at Ceridian’s INSIGHTS 2020 virtual conference.

Rachel Mandley, Essentra’s Head of HR Systems and Shared Services, explained how Ceridian helped to consolidate the global manufacturing company’s five payroll systems and four different time and attendance systems to a single solution: Dayforce.

Calling time on global payroll burdens

Essentra operates in 33 countries, has 48 manufacturing facilities across the globe, and employs around 7,500 people. “We operate in so many countries, with so many different regulations. We had no single source of data across the organisation when we started our HCM journey,” Mandley told the INSIGHTS audience.

“To process our annual pay and bonus review, we had to collate spreadsheets from every single HR team, and manipulate those into a consolidated dataset. All of our HR teams would provide them in a slightly different format. It would take us weeks to consolidate that data and go through that process. We had really high risk, high cost, and high potential for error across our business,” said Mandley.

Parkdean Resorts CFO Ian Kellett explained in a separate session how a similar desire to transform archaic processes kickstarted the holiday park company’s digital transformation. With annual turnover equating to about £500 million, Parkdean Resorts employs 7,000 people in peak periods, and 4,000 seasonal team members between March and November each year. The company has 67 locations across the UK and two central support offices.

Driving people-powered customer excellence

Kellett detailed how the company underwent a major shift in how it approached technology, after completing a benchmarking process with consulting firm, PwC. “We have transformed into a digitally enabled, data-led business,” said Kellett. “Our primary focus now in all software acquisition and development is customer first.” That’s easy to say, but not easy to deliver, as we are finding,” said Kellett.

“Our major customers are our team members,” he added. “They are the biggest single influence on how our guests feel about their holiday park experience. In every compliment, you can guarantee that an individual park colleague will be named personally, and that tells you everything about how important they are. So our rigorous focus is on allowing our passionate people to create amazing memories.”

“We onboard 4,000 people every year. Historically, we couldn’t start your induction until you got on a park. But now, we can do induction before you arrive. It can all be measured, timed, and therefore paid for. Which means when you [the employee] get on a holiday park, you’re focused on giving the best customer experience possible.” — Ian Kellett, CFO Parkdean Resorts

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The company may need to hire more people, as the parks become busier, due to increased interest in staycations in the UK. “We’re offering a lot more in park in terms of activities. We’re a hospitality business and our hospitality begins with our people. Therefore, you fundamentally need a really strong HCM system to underpin what you’re trying to deliver. We believe the investment we’ve made in Dayforce will give us that,” he said.

Parkdean Resorts will launch its new payroll system in April 2021 and complete rollout of Dayforce by the end of 2022.

Sharing HR transformation lessons

Essentra’s journey with Ceridian began earlier, in 2015, following a competitive tender process. After a phased implementation across a number of countries, Essentra decided in mid-2019 to implement Dayforce across all of its remaining 28 locations. “We had full visibility of our global employee data by the end of November 2019, and had a solid foundation to build on,” said Mandley. Here are her tips for like-minded HR leaders who are about to embark on similarly ambitious implementations.

  • Build the right project team: Involve “absolutely everyone” in your organization that needs to have a voice, suggested Mandley. “Make sure you involve finance, operations, line managers, and employees – everyone should have a voice. Everyone should be represented as you go through implementation,” she said.
  • Set realistic expectations: Don't overcommit. Try not to let your scope increase. “It is inevitable that sometimes you sit in a meeting with senior executives and someone wants something that you can't say no to,” said Mandley. For this reason, HR leaders need to be realistic in managing expectations and communicating what scope changes mean.
  • Work to proven systems: “If your process doesn't fit with the way the system works – and the vendor is going to have to present a significant work around – ask if your way of working is right,” said Mandley. “You may need to say, ‘We need to work with the vendor’s system because this is how every other customer's working’.”
  • Do your homework: “Implementations are not handed to you,” Mandley told her INSIGHTS session. “There is work involved on both sides. You have a great implementation team that will work with you, but also there's responsibility on you as the customer. Know what your terms and conditions are. Know how your business operates. And know what you want from the end product.”
  • Communicate often: Regular check-ins are critical and key, even just to say everything's going okay, said Mandley. “It's easier to resolve an issue the sooner you speak about it. If you don’t say anything, it snowballs and then a week down the line, you've got a bigger issue.”
  • Set clear governance: Who's making your key decisions? Who says yes or no? Who’s the go, no-go decider? These are questions Mandley suggests all HR leaders answer to ensure HCM implementation is governed well. “Get that structure in place, because when you go live, you're in a business environment,” said Mandley. “If all of a sudden someone wants to make a change to the system, you then already have sound governance in place. You know who you need to go to sign that off and it becomes business-as-usual.”

Discover how Essentra manages more than 7,500 employees in 33 countries with Dayforce

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