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HR transformation creates magic

Enabling HR to keep pace with a dynamic retail environment changing at breakneck speed.

Pick n Pay Group needed the capability to optimise their workforces and to fill gaps at a moment’s notice to maintain differentiated customer service levels. On the other, workers increasingly expected the ability to quickly change their addresses, apply for leave, change shifts and complete common HR tasks on their own from any device, anywhere. This level of agility was beyond the reach of many on-premises systems, creating a dilemma for many retailers.

PnP is a retail business in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. PnP also operates one of the largest online grocery platforms in sub-Saharan Africa. With 35,000 employees, the retailer was facing several significant workforce challenges related to the ability to extend its on-premise HR system. PnP did not have extensive employee self-service capabilities in place and it had ambitions for empowering managers through real-time data and reporting that its legacy system could not support easily and cost-effectively.

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A true transformation

Building upon a long-standing relationship, PnP leaders worked with Deloitte to select and implement Workday Human Capital Management (HCM). The timeline for the implementation was aggressive, with the team aiming to go live with all of the desired functionality in only nine months.

The scope of the project spanned:

  • Wave 1: HCM Core, Absence/Time off, Learning, Reporting, Security and Data
  • Wave 2: Talent and Performance Management

More than a “lift and shift” from on-premise to the cloud, the project involved a true transformation of the company’s HR processes. Starting almost from scratch, the engagement team spent much time and effort standardising and redesigning the company’s global HR processes for greater efficiency in the cloud. Because PnP had a lot of customised functionality that users were comfortable with, the engagement team was challenged to communicate why standardising policies and procedures was not only necessary but also desirable. Another challenge involved the company’s distinct approach to absence management, which is likely to be encountered in other Southern African businesses.

A Workday first

PnP became the first retailer in South Africa to offer Workday HCM to its employees and managers. This accomplishment has positioned the company as a visionary, future-focussed leader in the market.

With its new cloud-based HCM system, PnP can:

  • Manage the organisation in a global, core HR platform
  • Meet the self-service needs of employees and managers
  • Eliminate repetitive tasks and procedures
  • Streamline and standardise processes via a global core HR platform
  • Maintain data accuracy and quality
  • Manage talent and performance
  • Empower HR to become a business partner rather than doing administrative tasks for the workforce.

Insights for action

Contemplating a similar HR transformation? PnP and Deloitte leaders share some insights from their Workday HCM journey.

Remember it’s often harder than it looks.

Do a deep dive discovery session to understand the pain points and what is required.

Battle focus fatigue.

Schedule regular touchpoints to keep engagement high.

Transfer skills from the beginning.

Introduce sustainability models very early in the process so that those responsible for maintaining and enhancing the system post-go-live can learn right from the start.

Build strong relationships.

Go past “client” and “implementer” labels to listen carefully to each other.

In addition to these benefits, the Workday HCM implementation also enabled

PnP to achieve its goal of diversifying its back-office systems. Chris Shortt, Group Executive - Information and Technology (CITO), PnP, observed, “The Workday product has modernised our business. It enables us to offer services that were inconceivable with an on-premise core HR system while integrating easily with our legacy back-office systems.”

Overall, the project demonstrated that anything is possible with a lot of hard work and a strong relationship between the client and the implementer. “Deloitte went through this entire journey with us side by side,” said Clare Mulliner, Programme Manager, PnP. “They were willing to listen and to develop a plan to meet our needs.”

Due to this strong relationship, PnP is well-positioned to sustain its HCM system moving forward. The company is also well-prepared to adopt Workday’s ongoing innovations, giving it the opportunity to continuously adapt to the future of work.

"PnP’s Workday project team was very engaged and committed to finding the right solution,"

says Glen Krynauw, HRT Director and Lead Engagement Partner, Deloitte South Africa.

"They both provided input and were open to suggestions, which helped us to create some magic in the Workday system to cope with their specific requirements."

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