HR Transformation project for FMV implementing Simplified HR
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My name is Moritz Keller. I´m originally from the Swiss German part, so my mother tongue is Swiss German. I entered the company FMV “Forces Motrices Valaisannes” in August 2016, initially as an HR Assistant. After the Head of HR department announced in November 2017 that he was leaving the company, I decided to take this opportunity to apply for this position. So, as of February 2018, I am the HR Manager of this company.
Who is FMV?
My employer FMV is a state-owned company of the Canton of Valais (Switzerland). The major shareholder is the Canton in alliance with the municipalities, together owning more than 90% of the shares. Our headquarter is based in Sion. We have three core businesses.
The first is the production of Hydropower. We own 26 hydropower plants all over the territory of the canton, both in the German and in the French-speaking part. Secondly, we operate the electrical distribution network all over the canton, for both 65 kV and 16 kV. And finally, we commercialise our own hydroelectricity production as well as 3rd Party production and resell them to our customers.
A few key figures in our company. We have an annual turnover of more than 200 million Swiss francs. We employ 100 employees, so we are a small and medium-sized company. We have reproduced more than 1 terawatt hour of hydroelectricity a year. To compare: 1 terawatt hour represents one-third of the Verizon annual consumption.
Talking about our corporate strategy, we do not delivery electricity to households, but only to large-scale produces of minimum 100 kW/h a year. So, our strategy is focused on this. At one point in time, the market will be entirely liberalised, and that’s when we can deliver to retail.
Our vision is to be the leader of the hydropower production in Valais. We also invested in electric charging station for the electric cars all over Switzerland. So really starting to valorise our own production more and more.
The HR vision within FMV
The vision of our company and therefore for my HR department is to attract and retain key managerial and skilled employees. We must keep pace with other companies, that’s our main goal. We support the company’s strategy and achieve the company’s objectives with our HR strategy. This means we align our strategy with the company’s strategy.
To be an attractive employer in Valais, we need to develop and maintain excellent working conditions, because our goal is to attract skilled workers. Not only in Valais, but throughout Switzerland. That is a big goal. In relation to working conditions, we need:
- Flexible time management
- Good remuneration based on performance, based on what the market has to offer
- A nice retirement system, because we want to keep our personnel for a very long time
We now have a major problem with all retirement plans. It is a problem throughout Europe. We must keep up with it.
We also have the health and safety laws that we need to consider. We have employees who climb on the electric cranes every day. So, if the HR department doesn’t keep up with these laws, we have a serious problem.
One of the most important drivers is the company’s vision and strategy. Our HR department must align this. The market has not yet been fully liberalised. The economic situation of the electricity industry in Switzerland is currently suffering and we of the HR department must take this into account. We need to consult the company’s decision-makers with correct advice.
The main function of HR is to evaluate the needs of the company in terms of skills and personnel. We have developed internal skills, support and development plans and succession planning. We have an average employee age of 45/50 years in the company. We therefore face major challenges to replace them with well-trained young staff in the future. We steer annual evaluation processes and our company invests a lot of money each year in the continuation, training and education of our employees. This is truly an important value of our company. We carry out all operational tasks, such as pay and social security tasks. We also need to address employees’ problems and issues that can be used positively for the future.
What is the Impact that HR has on the Business? Which Expectations must HR meet?
We need to develop and define the HR policy and rules within the company. We need to adapt and align the HR strategy with the company’s strategy. This is a huge challenge. We have the whole compliance part. Therefore, we must respect Swiss labour law and various social security laws and comply with the requirements of these two laws.
In addition, we need to improve cost optimization and efficiency. Important is to decide how to allocate the companies resources to Human Resources. Certainly, we need to advise the decision makers as a true business partner, not only the top management, but also the line management with their daily problems in the operational business.
The key role of Human Resource Information System (HRIS)
The HRIS must support decision-makers and the HR department in their daily business. Especially the execution of the mission of the company. It should support us in handling huge amounts of data and most of this data is confidential. The system must therefore be GDPR Compliant. We really have this requirement and expectation of this tool.
HR Transformation Strategy
We decided to implement three modules.
- The first, the most important, is Employee Central. We want to give access to all our employees. To access, view and check their own data in Employee Central.
- We have also implemented Performance & Goals Management. All future evaluations will be carried out using this tool.
- Additionally, we have Compensation Management. Our bonuses and annual salary increases are calculated using the Compensation Management module.
Our aim is that these three modules supports us in facilitating all HR processes.
In the beginning we did not have an existing tool. We worked a lot with Excel sheets, like many companies. We decided to make a big leap into the future of HR processes, to optimise and simplify all the operational processes of the HR department. With the goal to gain more time to deal with the employee’s problem and develop the HR strategy.
Within the company we have this large system that we called 2.0 and next year we will implement a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. We have a lot of other IT tools that will be implemented. We are in the process of writing a new government policy within the company. So, all this together is called business strategy 2.0.
Furthermore, we wanted to purchase an HR tool that easily connects to the future enterprise results peering system. SuccessFactors have the big advantage that it´s working in the cloud. The interfaces with all future ERP systems will be easier. And especially if you are going to implement SAP, the connection is already in place. We also had good references. We found a person who is satisfied with SuccessFactors, so we decided to buy SuccessFactors.
Why Adessa Group as HR transformation Partner?
Our Top Management concluded all processes of strategy 2.0 and we certainly need an integrator for the SuccesFactors. Within the collaboration with SAP, they recommended us Adessa Group. Therefore, we have chosen Adessa Group to integrate and lead this project implementation of SuccessFactors within the company FMV.
HR Transformation Project Experience
The project started in June 2018 and will be completed in July 2019. Overall, this project was very well managed and structured. This was a great help for us. My HR team is certainly in a very intensive development process. I started in February 2018. My colleague, HR assistant, started in July. So with all this together and with this development process of the department, we had a very strong time pressure in the implementation of this application and a considerable workload for this young team.
How did the cooperation with Adessa Group go?
The cooperation with with the consultants worked very well. In general, this project was very well-managed and structured. I really appreciated Adessa Group’s quick reactions together with a great flexibility. All the consultants took our customer needs seriously in consideration. My team really liked that. That was a good support for me, as a young HR manager.
I really appreciated their wide and precious experience in the field. We have very good project management by the project leader. We had excellent answers to all questions about Employee Central, Performance & Goals Management and I am sure that this will also be the case for Compensation Management in the future. We have already started working together for compensation and the first questions have already been dealt with. I am confident about a good project outcome.
Stay tuned for our second edition!
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