Making HR services work for employees: The LEO Pharma experience

  • Manos Katantonakis
  • Customer Stories
  • Solutions
  • 2020
June 04, 2020

LEO Pharma

Since LEO Pharma was founded in 1908, our company has grown to become a global pharmaceutical organisation, with over 6,500 employees working from 60 countries worldwide.

We’re focused on creating a united workforce, with a common vision and strong values, but it’s not straightforward when we have such a diverse network of people.

Until 2017 our HR operation relied heavily on email to communicate to our employees and deliver HR services. Our efforts were inefficient, with a lot of duplication, and naturally increased the risk of human errors.

When I joined our company to head up the HR Technology and Process Group, my team was already focused on creating a more sophisticated, strategic HR platform.

Not only did we want to improve our ability to provide support to our workforce, we wanted to deliver a more uniform HR experience to all employees. This meant an employee experience rich in information, instantly accessible and highly efficient.

As the HR team, we also wanted to increase transparency and extract more meaningful, actionable data from the business, such as re-hire rates and how many consultants were on contract at a given time.

We saw a great opportunity to move to a new HR platform that could handle the back-end complexity of HR service delivery, while giving every employee the meaningful experience they were looking for.

Driven by the employee experience
We started small, but with ambitions for the journey ahead.

LEO Pharma was already using ServiceNow for IT Service Management (ITSM) and although this was not deployed with HR in mind, we saw the opportunity to trial a new HR enquiry service, developed in-house, within the ITSM module.

This service was simple – we provided employees with a form, similar to the one they use to log an IT query, to make various requests and enquiries – creating some basic self-service workflows built on the  knowledge bank we were creating.

Even this basic implementation proved very successful and the efficiency benefits were immediately clear. It triggered an interesting domino effect internally. Suddenly the procurement, finance and facilities management teams wanted to replicate similar enquiry services for their operations.

However, while this service centre approach showed promise, and was highly beneficial for employees, it wasn’t giving us the data on the business we really wanted as an HR function.

Taking it to the next level
The natural next step was to build a dedicated HR service, focusing our requirements on the employee experience.

How could we make it as easy as possible for our people to find information, to raise queries, and to get the resources they need without massive amounts of back and forth? And could we do this while also delivering on our more strategic data requirements?

ServiceNow’s HR Service Delivery solution, built on our existing ServiceNow® platform, was the obvious approach to eliminating our employees’ frustrations. The solution enabled us to deliver more efficient and intelligent services to employees, and has been fully developed with HR in mind, can scale with our future employee experience needs, moving us well beyond the initial solution we created.

We started with a pilot implementation, making our global HR services, based with our team in Denmark, available on the new platform.

It was going to be a big change for our employees. We were moving them away from using a simple enquiry form to a true self-service platform. We were delivering our global knowledge base through a simple and easy to navigate portal – with a consumer-grade search bar that would help people find the answers they needed.

Of course we still had the capability for people to make enquiries or raise issues – but the primary focus was on enabling a self-service experience.

What was most pleasing about this project was that our own team led almost all of the work. In fact, in the whole implementation process we only used 24 hours of external consulting time – everything else was done in-house.

In December 2019, after just three months, our new ‘AskHR’ platform went live.

Training, training, and more training
The next phase of the project was perhaps the most important – communication and training. With such a big change we knew we needed to provide clarity on what was happening and set expectations of what AskHR could and couldn’t do.

Our global training programme made sure every employee could take advantage of the full capabilities of the new AskHR service, even if that meant committing to multiple rounds of training for each of our global offices.

This initiative was also critical to starting a process of continual feedback and consultation with the business. We were able to communicate clearly what the vision for the platform was, and help people understand why certain things were being done.

It provided an invaluable channel for people to make suggestions and to engage with our team about how they would like to see the platform evolve. Moreover, this was a service focused on the employee experience, so letting our workforce take a degree of ownership of the platform rather than feeling like it was simply being imposed on them, was really important.

An overwhelming response
Since going live the impact and feedback have gone beyond our own high expectations.

After two months we ran a status report on AskHR. Even at that early stage over 1,300 cases had been created – a clear indication that people were engaging with and using the platform extensively.

Even better were the results of our employee survey. As many as 81% of the respondents said the platform was easy to use and 83% of employees were satisfied with the timely resolution of their HR cases. With an 80% overall satisfaction score for AskHR, it was clear we’d made significant improvements.

Equally important was getting the buy in from senior levels. Although they had initially seen ServiceNow as ‘just a ticketing system’, we were quickly able to show them the value of the efficiency and automation potential of the HR platform.

Altogether it was hugely encouraging response. But development and enhancements to our approach are key.

We are now running our survey at regular intervals, giving us another channel to have ongoing conversations with our people and the business, and a vital feedback loop to support continuous improvement of the platform. By the end of 2020 we want the survey metrics to hit a minimum of 85% across the board.

Rolling out a truly global servce
We are now moving on to the next phase of the programme – adding localised content for each of our local and regional offices, aiming to start adding chatbots to improve the self-service features, and launching a mobile version of the platform.

Ultimately the end goal is to integrate AskHR into an even more comprehensive ‘employee central’ platform. Our vision is a completely integrated service centre, where people can access all services from IT, HR, and other functions in the business in one place.

It’s been an amazing achievement so far. Indeed, only five months after we went live, ServiceNow and the AskHR platform is enabling LEO Pharma to be far more agile as a business.

As we continue to work toward our end goal this is only going to get better – enabling us to provide an incredible service to our people.

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