Organization Strategy & Transformation Practice
HR Transformation & Alignment
Clients who engage with us in HR Transformation have a common set of issues and concerns that lead to an engagement with RBL. Those include:
  • How do we position HR to have more impact and more credibility?
  • How do we address the ongoing role confusion between our COEs and embedded HR?
  • How do we best determine what work to centralize and what work to decentralize?
  • How do we create the right role for our HRBPs?
  • How do we make our HR Shared Services more effective?
The most important thing to remember when transforming HR is that the transformation process is not about making HR easier or better, it is about how HR can be more effective in helping the business create advantage.
There are two primary ways that HR creates value for the business. First, it is by ensuring that the work they do that has strategic impact is well positioned and gets the time and attention it deserves. The second way HR creates value is ensuring that the day to day foundational work get done as efficiently as possible.
When HR organizations are designed well, their energy, time and attention is spent on helping the business respond to external needs of the business rather than dealing with issues inside the function. Our approach has 4 main steps:
Begin Outside In: Gain a clear understanding of the business context: customer needs, industry dynamics, external trends, and competitors. Fully understand how the business responds to the external demands and what the business model needs to be going forward.
Identify Business Outcomes: HR plays a key role in helping develop the critical capabilities that differentiate the organization. The transformation process is guided by a clear idea of what the business capabilities and HR priorities need to be to help drive business results.
Design HR: The design of HR is guided by a framework and process that creates clear roles for both strategic impact and cost efficient delivery of essential work. It answers the question of what work needs to be embedded close to the business and what work is best centralized.
HR Development: HR often spends all of their energy and resources building and developing others. Transformation efforts require that they devote time and attention to developing themselves. This involves assessing individual strengths, role placement, job rotation, and strategic training.
Effective HR Transformation will enable you to focus your energy on making the business more competitive and make HR a valued contributor to business success.

Client Insight & Impact

As a new CHRO took the reins at a Fortune 50 company, she realized that HR was more focused on optimizing HR than meeting the needs of the business. In capturing the current state, RBL’s activity survey showed that 75% of the work in what should have been HR’s strategic roles was not strategic work. That data drove a new HR organization design that created focused and robust strategic roles, freed-up by moving other work to COEs and shared services and creating selected embedded roles focused on day-to-day HR in the business.
RBL’s outside-in approach to looking at HR transformation helped a bioscience spinoff from a traditional healthcare product distributor realize that to compete in the bioscience industry, they needed to shift from capabilities in distribution efficiency to solution innovation. This realization changed how they were thinking about the adoption of the structure and processes they had inherited from the parent organization. Instead of adopting existing practices, the new company developed a fundamentally different structure and HR/talent processes in order to enable different capabilities and reinforce different behaviors in the new organization.
See more RBL Organization Strategy & Transformation client examples here.
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