HR Excellence

Reorganizing Human resources:
Of major importance to companies.

Human resources departments are more important than ever. They should work together as equal partners with other areas of the company and competently provide an ever-growing number of services, from answering personnel management questions to introducing strategic measures.

HR must see itself as an equal business partner to truly fulfill this role. Based on experience, this calls for drastic changes in structures and workflows. Reorganizing human resources is therefore a major area of endeavor.

Facing reorganization, many companies look to the HR Business Partner Model of Dave Ulrich and its three roles: business partner, competence center and shared service center. But making the transformation rarely goes as planned.

In large parts of the business community, the following situation is much more likely. Companies may have indeed initiated the roles model, but attended only sporadically to the development of the HR department. That route costs considerable time and money. The transformation often stalls at the halfway point, leaving the three essential roles only partly implemented.

Other companies are still waiting. They continue to pursue a similar expert model but are not sure if they should tackle the transformation to the HR roles model. Those involved usually know, however, that this step is absolutely essential.

The HR roles model:
Transformation with a clear objective.

Whether or not the shift to the HR roles model is already underway, it harbors the following inherent challenges that must be considered.

Processes: The roles model requires modifying and standardizing processes at the detail level to realize efficiency and savings potential. This requires a thorough understanding of the business and its processes.

Acceptance: The roles model is changing the working world dramatically. The new or changed roles and the related processes may have been defined, but often have not been appropriately anchored at the ground level, with the employees. Consequently the hoped-for effects, especially cost savings and quality improvements, remain out of reach. To motivate HR employees to embrace the new roles and workflows, the change process needs to be actively shaped.

Day-to-day operations: Introducing the roles model is a bit like open-heart surgery, because business must continue as usual even during the change process. Strict project planning and management is therefore essential to successfully master this two-pronged challenge.

Introducing the HR roles model requires a focused approach. It is the only way to successfully transform the HR organization in its entirety and attain the desired effects quickly and reliably.

Reliably achieve the desired results:
The phases at a glance.

CPC uses a best-practice approach to reliably implement the HR roles model for its clients. We rely on our many years of experience and bypass conventional practices, which simply haven't proven effective in the real world.

Instead, our approach aims to create value within the company, specifically in HR. Our model is organized into the following phases:

1. Determine the strategy. The first phase clarifies the strategic issues:

  • What challenges do the individual business areas present?
  • What is the HR vision?
  • How much does HR contribute to value creation and what should its contribution be in the future?

A precisely defined strategy is the foundation for successfully implementing the roles model. This ensures that the individual business areas of the company are appropriately supported in HR matters.

2. Define the products and processes. In the second phase, HR services are identified and detailed.

CPC helps our client define the HR deliverables as well as suitable metrics. We also help define quantitative and qualitative requirements. The result is a portfolio that portrays HR services as products. Based on those products, we define an efficient process model that becomes the bedrock for continuous improvement of all HR services.

3. Introduce the new structure. Firmly anchoring the new process, product and role structure is one of most difficult yet critical tasks.

To successfully change the business, CPC employs formats such as workshops beforehand to simulate specific business scenarios. During the training, each employee takes on the tasks of his or her real job. The format provides an opportunity to test whether the new structures will function and be accepted. It also improves employee interaction. Because they understand and accept the changes, the new workflows are quickly adopted in practice.

Finally, our consultants follow up on the actual introduction of the new structure and help with any necessary fine-tuning. Our clients can count on achieving the desired results.

Our benefits:
Get to goal quickly with the right approach.

CPC has many years of "boots-on-the-ground" experience and a wealth of proven tools, methods, and approaches that can be customized to the client.

  1. CPC's focused approach gets stalled HR transformation projects back on track and successfully completed with significant savings in time and money.
  2. HR excellence is embedded in our organizational, process, and project management competence, allowing us to implement HR transformations logically, with high quality, and relatively quickly. The value thus added by the HR department increases along with internal customer satisfaction.
  3. CPC also covers the change aspect so critical to the success of such transformations. Employees rehearse their new roles in real-world simulations, which in turn boosts their willingness to change in actual practice.


As part of the strategic realignment of HR services within Unify GmbH & Co. KG, the HR business partner model (business partner, consultant, service delivery, expert) was introduced in Germany.

The goal was to improve cooperation with the specialized departments and secure a consulting partnership of equals. The aim was also to improve internal HR cooperation with respect to balancing capacity peaks and distributing tasks transparently. To be able to address the requirements of the departments more purposefully in the future, the HR organization is also moving from a regional to a functional setup. HR Germany is serving as the pilot region for the worldwide reorganization of the HR areas.

The particular challenges included:

  • Reassignment of roles in the business partner model, including counter to previous positions and areas of employee responsibility.
  • Managers and employees were involved in the project at varying levels at the beginning.
  • The new HR model was being introduced at the same time the entire company was being restructured.
  • The employees have already been through a lot of change within the company and initially had neither confidence in the new model nor saw the need for it.


Set up a multi-level change management program to prepare all the employees and managers of the HR organization for the new model and support them during its implementation.

  1. Kick-off meeting with the entire HR organization to raise awareness of the necessity of introducing the new model and explain the new model from various perspectives.
  2. Reality training workshop of several days’ duration for the entire HR organization to try out the new model in real-world conditions and experience the interaction of the new roles and functional teams.
  3. Introduction of the learning organization within the HR organization to anchor the new model and support the employees during the change process.
  4. Use of different means of communication to ensure transparent and synchronous dissemination of information during the introduction.
  5. Development and delivery of specific training sessions to further train employees in performing their new roles.
  6. Support employees and managers in coaching sessions to reflect on personal change on an individual basis as needed.
  7. Establishment of a decision-making board with the managers and selected employee representatives for autonomous work towards implementing the change.
  8. Final closing event to reflect on the change process and reaffirm the employees’ ability to change.

success factors:

  • Participation of all employees in the HR department, from the business partners to accounting, in the program and the events.
  • Regular retrospection and lessons learned rounds to obtain employee feedback to plan the next steps.
  • Close accompaniment of the functional teams in their first joint endeavors with the new model.
  • Confidential communication with the employees and managers for real-time feedback and means of control.

“The results of the program are impressive. I could not have anticipated such a breakthrough.”

André Schiffer, HR Director, Unify, October 2014

The results:

  1. The employees accepted their new roles, actually practice them, and are working in the new functional teams.
  2. The employees experienced that they are capable of change and feel extremely well-prepared for the coming restructuring.

”It won’t work without emotional impetus. The key was to excite employees and hook them with surprising approaches.”

Anne Babilon, Manager at CPC


The project was part of HR@Unify – Navigating “The New Way 2 Work.” Recognized with the HR Excellence Award 2014 in the category SMB HR Strategy and Organization.


Portrait Michael Kempf
CPC Unternehmensmanagement AG
Am Flughafen
60549 Frankfurt am Main  


Portrait Anne Babilon
CPC Unternehmensmanagement AG
Am Flughafen
60549 Frankfurt am Main  
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