Additional talent for radical transformation
Domo Chemicals acquisition of Solvay's European polyamide business suddenly added a thousand new employees from five European countries. After the integration, Domo Chemicals launched the Domo iD Program, a company-wide strategic transformation process.
Domo Chemicals wants to use the 'Domo iD Program' to achieve three objectives to become the paragon within the sector within two years: sustainable and financial growth, striving for digitization and perfection by the end of 2022, and reaching all Domo staff.
The HR team drew up a roadmap for the next three years. The most far-reaching project was undoubtedly the implementation of a global HRIS. HR can only provide a fundamental contribution to Domo's strategic growth via the far-reaching digitization of its services.
HR at work
Anja Beeckmans started in October 2019 as a freelance HR manager in the corporate HR team with the goal of preparing for the full integration of both company organizations together with the then CHRO. In early 2021, David Moonen via Waterfront was engaged as HRIS manager to lead the 'HR hub' project of Domo Chemicals. He specializes in the implementation of HR information systems.
After the acquisition, the former Solvay sites had lost access to their former HR system. The various Domo branches did not have one globally specific HR information system. The 'HR hub' project would integrate all local HR systems and HR Excel files from the nine countries where Domo operates into a single cloud solution. After several prominent market players had recommended their products, Domo chose SuccessFactors from SAP.
Complete HR digitization
'Our Human Resources Information System (HRIS) will allow us to manage all important HR processes ourselves in the future,' said Anja Beeckmans. 'This ranges from recruitment, onboarding, performance reviews and objective setting to talent development and succession planning, compensation, and learning. Moreover, the system will also contain all the personal key data about our employees. This simplifies the follow-up on our employees as well as reporting. This is how we can dramatically improve the employee experience of the just over two thousand internal and external employees.'
Investing in staff
The fact that not only CHRO Edita Gorecka and the CFO, but also other members of the Executive Committee, are on the steering committee emphasizes the strategic importance of this project. It is a strategic investment in the millions. The implementation will cost about eight hundred thousand euros over two years. Add to that a five-year license contract at two hundred thousand a year. And this does not even count the maintenance costs and the time expended by the HR team. They work on this project on top of their normal daily tasks.
David Moonen: 'We're now in the first phase of the transformation process. For us, this means initially outlining the HR processes, a lot of questioning of the future users, testing the configuration, and making the necessary adjustments. Moreover, all this is happening online in this covid era. Working together without human contact is not always easy. Many HR colleagues have not yet had the chance to meet each other in person.'
But both Anja and David are pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of the project's international core team. 'We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun together,' said Anja.
The advantages for the staff and managers are obvious. Anja Beeckmans: 'Each employee has access to updated personal information via the employee portal (the employee self-service) and managers gain insight into the competences and knowledge areas of each individual employee. The integration process for new employees is quicker and easier, which means they get settled in faster and are more productive. Employees have online access to training materials. Our employees' talents are clearly identified, which makes it easier to select the most suitable candidates for internal positions. The system provides constant feedback and coaching, such that objectives and their follow-up are clearly visible to both the employee and their manager. Moreover, staff get a better view of the organizational structure and are kept informed of internal vacancies and training opportunities.'
'The modular HRIS also offers many advantages for HR colleagues,' continued David Moonen: 'They carry out their HR processes not only faster, but also with better quality. As a result, they spend more time on other core tasks and strategic issues. Moreover, such a system facilitates the creation of intelligent reporting with KPIs and hard data for HR on the one hand and management on the other.'
'What we absolutely must not lose sight of in this type of project is the change management process,' emphasized Anja Beeckmans: 'When you fundamentally change your traditional way of working in a relatively short period of time, it's important that all relevant stakeholders are aligned. Everyone must be on board. Communication is crucial at all levels during this project: clarity in the steering committee, regularly updating the HR community, open and transparent consultation with the core team, and informing and training our two thousand employees.'
Tips for a successful project
At the end of the interview, we automatically come up with their personal suggestions for avoiding the biggest pitfalls in this HR process:
- Make sure you have a well-designed process. Never start with assumptions. You really must know and understand exactly what solutions are needed and who needs what.
- Choose an implementation partner you feel comfortable with.
- Make sure that everyone understands the contractual scope 100% to avoid misunderstandings and discussions.
- Make clear agreements with the suppliers and, above all, understand what you are and are not signing up for.
- Be realistic in the timeline and provide sufficient margin in your budgeting.
- Plan important meetings well in advance because detailed preparation (up to the week level) is crucial.
- Be aware of the huge dilemma between 'global control' and 'local involvement'.
- Have fun together.
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