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Operational Excellence

GSK’s Large-Scale HR Transformation Programme

Arlette Halavage

Arlette Halavage

Head of Delivery Excellence and HR Transformation Deployment at GSK

Arelette Halavage, Head of Delivery Excellence and HR Transformation Deployment, GSK 

With GSK’s incoming ‘de-merger’ taking place 2022, significant business changes were deemed paramount in preparing for the transition. Most notably creating a new, standardised HR process and function – easier said than done as each business unit requires its own unique requirements and developments. So how does GSK’s new HR transformation programme look and what was learned?

The Transformation Programme 

Arelette begins by stressing that the transformation programme was largely built upon the “use of technology and lean methodology”. This had three wider impacts to the business, namely: 

  • Enabling process simplification 
  • Modernising the service delivery model; and 
  • Improving employee experience 

Consistency was key here and Arelette notes that to deliver the objective, creating new processes, designed for global consistency and global deployment, was paramount. Furthermore, utilising and optimising the use of current HR tech, as well as incrementally improving it was also deemed to be a critical next step.  

Deep diving into the wider HR process was interesting as it gave oversight into the details of the current HR process and what impact this had to employee experience. Not only was it curious to see what part of the HR service was deemed to be critical to employees on a personal level, but it was also used to identify repetitive tasks and therefore which processes could be automated.  

Arelette mentions that a cross-functional team lead this transformation project in HR. From consultants and global business owners to HR tech experts and RPA specialists, it was paramount to bring together the whole ecosystem so as to ensure none of the process was missed.  

So, What Was the Approach? 

After Value Stream Mapping, data cleansing, identifying waste, and understanding localisation requirements, “we then used agile deployment methodology and this enabled incremental delivery and flexibility to respond to change as we learnt more about our new processes” adds Arelette. This fostered real team interaction and customer collaboration. Big work was split into smaller tasks which allowed it to be completed much more quickly.  

Arelette, finishes with 3 key takeways: 

  • Lean and Agile are complimentary. A learn fast culture is encouraged and rapid improvement cycles can be achieved.  
  • Think beyond the main change. Plan for and imbed and sustained phrase, beyond any transformation. Create the system which allows for teams to collaboration, prioritise and work together. 
  • Keep it simple. Loose jargon, plan for best work, not perfection. This really unlocks team potential and results in a high performing team.  

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