Role of HR in digital transformation journey at Broadridge
Without core digital capabilities in place, theres a lot of money left on the proverbial table
We use creative and lateral thinking tools to design fit-for-purpose digital platforms for collaboration
Broadridge is going through a period of rapid transformation as a result of significant changes in the market conditions. The financial services landscape, more specifically the capital markets space has been reeling under pressure since the crisis of 2008. Cutting costs to boost sub-optimal levels of Return on Equity (RoE) is becoming essential for our clients against the backdrop of tepid revenue growth and regulatory changes. Apart from short-term measures of headcount reduction to contain costs, banks are forced to consider long-term restructuring of operations to achieve alignment of costs with revenues. As they review traditional operations and outsourcing agreements, our organization is emerging as a viable alternative to mutualize costs through multi-tenancy of operations. This is emerging as a huge opportunity for us and also has a short time window. The ability to conceptualize, package and go to market with a product/service that takes advantage of this opportunity is key, and doing this with agility is going to be a big differentiator. This creates a huge opportunity as well as challenge to our associates to become both effective as well as efficient.
As our organization charts the future landscape and is devising ways to increase market penetration, expand into adjacencies and build/acquire capabilities, in-organic growth is becoming an increasingly potent way forward. As new companies come into the fold of our organization, synergistic opportunities can be leveraged only when integration is executed in a thoughtful manner. Without core digital capabilities in place, there’s a lot of money left on the proverbial table.
On one hand, the organization is transforming as a response to the industry structure changes, on the other, a whole new workforce is entering the workplace. They are bringing with them a host of capabilities, expectations and aspirations. Traditional organizations are forced to rethink conventional thinking and non-digital processes that the current generation of workforce loathes. This has emerged as a strong force pushing the envelope on traditional HR systems, processes and tools.
Collaboration as a competency
One of our key differentiators has been the ability to bring various parts of the organization together, be it different business units or various departments. We have been able to enhance productivity several folds and deliver more for less by enabling this culture of collaboration. When we compared this with the industry, we realized that we have developed a key repeatable competency in collaboration that has become a source of significant differentiation.
Implications of digitizing
More empowerment/less supervision: As the speed of execution increases, more decision-making gets pushed to the trenches and self-monitoring teams organize effectively needing very little supervision. Since results get delivered faster, success/failure gets accounted for within a much shorter span of time. The rapid feed-forward loop in many ways asserts itself within the framework due to the agile nature of operations. Leaders manage mostly by exceptions that are digitally tracked in a geographically dispersed environment. The enhanced transparency is a welcome change to the teams as gamification takes effect and a spirit of challenge and fun is introduced even in the most mundane tasks.
Definition of leadership has changed: As teams take more control, the leadership role has transformed into mentorship. Leaders focus on capability build-out, structural problem-solving and relationship management. This needs a very different view from the traditional operational view required by the leaders. As data generation is growing, they need better analytics tool to uncover patterns to protect franchisee and create differentiating capabilities.
HR is less tactical and more strategic: The role of HR takes a whole new meaning in the new scheme of things. They provide digital capabilities for most operational needs to the leaders and the teams. This enables them to sit down with the leadership team and help strategize the talent agenda and build long-term capability.
Role of HR in driving transformation
Collaboration: Collaboration as a competency has been deliberately introduced into the system. Human Capital usually doesn’t get hired or trained for this competency. And pervading the whole organization with this competency is a whole new game altogether. We use creative and lateral thinking tools (by Edward de Bono) to design fit-for-purpose digital platforms for collaboration. This democratized access to the platform takes away the need for any hierarchy-based decision making. As a result, when one team member in a business unit has a particular need, he/she has the access to experts across the whole organization, breaking silos of business unit, geography, department, skill set etc. As of today, 40% of the organization is actively using the platform generating significant value to their individual businesses as well as evolving cross-business initiatives. When a leader in one business unit has a need to crowdsource a project but due to IP protection needs has to source talent internally, this becomes a great platform to find and utilize “magic time” of associates in different business units within the same organization.
Ideation: One of the most discussed differentiators for a Global In-sourcing Center (GIC) like us is the ability to move beyond the confines of cost containment and process ownership. To move up the value chain and become an innovation hub, for Broadridge, this has been a journey in itself. Very few GICs can claim to have matured this ability. This has been possible because of the interventions made to enable every associate to ideate and mature a new innovative idea from its genesis to being the next multi-million dollar business. We have instituted an ideation portal that brings the right experts at the right time of the lifecycle of the idea. We have more than 2000 ideas in the portal; about 15% of them have contributed to generating new revenue dollars. It has also been instrumental in motivating a lot of associates, generating a sense of ownership and pride, and aligning them to the big picture.
Career path: We have instituted an award winning career path platform that imbibes the essence of expertise building at its core. For a technology-based products and services company like ours, it is very important to hire, retain, develop and recognize expertise in the system. We have put in place a platform that empowers the associates to choose a career of their own and develop relevant competencies.