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Global Collaboration: The Pulse of the “HR Digi” Project

When the personnel data of 22,000 employees in 14 countries is to be brought together centrally and digitally, this means one thing above all: a mammoth task. After all, one declared goal was to free the employees in Leadec’s HR departments from manual tasks so that they could once again devote themselves to their true passion, creative HR work.

41 different HR systems worldwide, typing data into Excel spreadsheets and checking it, and the constant nagging question “Is the information here really correct and complete?” This or something similar is what work looked like in many HR departments at Leadec for a long time. Not unusual in a company that has grown over time and employs more than 22,000 people worldwide. However, efficiency looks different. And important issues such as recruiting, training, and retaining employees could not be dealt with optimally.
 

Challenge accepted

Initial considerations for a digital project that would consolidate all systems and allow comprehensive data access at the touch of a button were made at the end of 2021. The solution was then launched in mid-2023 – an ambitious project plan. “None of this would have been possible without our dedicated, global teamwork,” says Christof Baumgart, responsible for Global HR at Leadec. A core team of 20 people and an extended global team of 21 people, consisting of HR, IT, data security and communication specialists, worked together intensively. The teams defied language barriers, different professional backgrounds and time zones. “The collaboration was characterized by an intensive exchange, willingness to compromise and appreciation,” recalls Christof Baumgart. “That’s not something we take for granted when we consider the time pressure and heterogeneity.”

Actively shaping change

The implementation of the solution was not only a technical achievement, but also an example of successful change management. For example, project participants and employees were regularly informed via an internal employee app, and so-called “agents” supported the HR managers with all questions. And a catchy name for the platform was developed in the HR community: “HR connect.” It has been shown that broad and transparent communication has promoted acceptance and even enthusiasm for the project.
 

Go-live after 16 months

Instead of a gradual roll-out, the platform was implemented as a global “big bang.” “We’re live!” was the message just 16 months after the kick-off. The new solution serves three target groups: HR managers, direct managers, and all employees. They all benefit in their own way, be it through more efficient processes, transparent access to information or integrated learning opportunities through the Leadec Campus, Leadec’s own platform for further education and training. “HR Digi was not just one of the biggest IT projects at Leadec, it was a transformation,” summarizes Markus Hucko, COO at Leadec. “A transformation that would have been unthinkable without the commitment and passion of our diverse global team.” At Leadec, HR Digi will not simply be remembered as a successful IT project. Rather, it has shown that in a world that is becoming increasingly digital, human collaboration is still what makes projects fly.


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