Case Study

HR Transformation

The Problem

One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies had grown rapidly through acquisitions and rising product sales. Through the expansion, HR met the business’s basic HR needs but accumulated a wide array of different HR practices and systems from three large legacy companies. A new HR leadership team saw an urgent need to improve both efficiency and effectiveness.

In terms of efficiency, HR headcount ratio, spending per colleague and revenue percent were worse than the worst benchmarks and 75% of HR interactions were with other HR employees.

In terms of effectiveness, HR lacked new ideas and innovative responses to support the business as it faced the looming loss of patent protection on key products and a challenging external environment.

The Solution

RBL helped HR engage with the business to understand their needs from an outside-in perspective and to identify the capabilities the company needed for the strategy to be successful.

A cross-functional HR design team cataloged and categorized each HR output relative to the competitive advantage work. The work was then grouped by identifying where it should be located (enterprise, business unit, or manager and operations support) and work processes were designed within those three groups.

To staff the new groups, internal teams used HR competency research to create role profiles and matched existing talent to the roles, leaving some positions open for external talent to bring in new perspectives. In addition, the client joined the RBL Institute and sent multiple teams to HRLP to develop their senior HR talent. They also used the RBL HR Competency 360 assessment as a development tool for their HR professionals.

The Outcome

RBL supported the company in redesigning the global HR function to reduce costs and improve effectiveness of business support.

Working through the steps of a messy transformation, HR was able to reduce costs by 50%, including an estimated $42 million in year one cost reductions.

At the same time, clear accountability and focus for strategic HR roles enabled HR to improve business leader satisfaction with the services provided to support their business.