Guro Ruud Cedell

Head of HR , Norconsult

Supernova Award Category: 

Future of Work: Human Capital Management

The Organization: 

Norconsult is Norway's largest – and one of the region’s leading – multidisciplinary consultancy firms for social planning, engineering design, and architecture. The company offers consultancy services for projects in areas such as energy, oil and gas, the environment, and transportation. The company’s consultants are engaged in all aspects of development, from initial concepts to master plans, engineering and operational support.

Norconsult has worked on international projects in more than 150 countries over the past 50 years. Annually, the company performs more than 20,000 projects for public and private clients both in Norway and abroad. The company has more than 3,800 employees and 97 offices across four continents.  

The Problem: 

Norconsult did not have a single source of HR information, creating a concern for data accuracy and reliability. Previously, the company used data from multiple systems – one for performance management, one for recruiting, and one for learning – across different geographies. It took weeks to get the necessary data, which meant that the numbers were often outdated by the time they got to the hands of the user. This made it especially difficult for the company to ensure that the latest data was presented to the board.

In addition, self-service was non-existent, causing duplicative work. Workers in the HR department were typically in the back office reconciling data rather than working on more strategic initiatives.

Norconsult also struggled to find information on the competencies of its people – each department sorted information about its people differently, on various spreadsheets, which made it challenging to match a worker to a new project. As a result, a lack of a core HR system resulted in time-consuming, complex talent management processes that limited visibility across the organization.

The Solution: 

Norconsult was looking for a solution that would provide real-time, accurate data; enable employee self-service; and create efficiencies for HR leaders and people managers. As a professional services organization that relies heavily on its people to enable client success, Norconsult needed to find the right technology that could support key talent management practices. 

Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) stood out for its global capabilities, user friendliness and flexibility of the software, and ability to automate business processes. With Workday HCM, Norconsult has a single system for HR that provides reliable data and makes it easier for employees to complete HR tasks, gives people visibility into the talent and abilities of others, and helps HR leaders understand necessary information about their workforce.

The Results: 

Norconsult has benefited from Workday HCM in four key areas, which include:

  • Systems Consolidation & Flexibility: As part of its move to Workday, Norconsult simplified its systems maintenance by reducing annual software licenses and hardware costs.
  • Increased Manager Efficiency: By streamlining administrative duties and providing managers with the information and analytics needed for management, strategic leadership, and development, Norconsult has reduced the time spent on non-value added, manual tasks.
  • Increased Employee Onboarding Efficiency: The security framework in Workday has allowed Norconsult to redefine its onboarding process. New hires can now access Workday before their first day to begin certain administrative tasks and have the opportunity to connect with other employees. This, along with offboarding optimization, has cut down the time managers, HR, and employees spend on administrative processes.
  • Increased Efficiency in the Project Bidding Process and for Billable Employees: By having one source of truth and using the power of self-service to create standardized reports with information about workers’ education, experience, and competencies, Norconsult reduced time spent on employee search during the project bidding process.

As a result of consolidating its HR processes into one single system with Workday HCM, Norconsult realized total savings of $460,000* and exceeded ROI projections by 56 percent in the first year.

  • Breaking this number down further, the value of time saved by managers in the first year of using Workday HCM is equivalent to $60,000. As a result of the improvements that Norconsult made to its business processes, 80 percent of time saved by managers was due to the compensation change process, 75 percent of time saved was due to a streamlined job requisition process, and 72 percent of time saved was due to efficiencies in the promotion process.
  • The value of time Norconsult saved in the first year by redefining the onboarding and offboarding processes using Workday HCM is equivalent to $120,000. Through efficiencies in onboarding, HR personnel and new employees saved 60 minutes, and managers saved 30 minutes. Through efficiencies in offboarding, employees saved 35 minutes, managers saved 30 minutes, and HR personnel saved 25 minutes.
  • During the bidding process, Norconsult saved 30 minutes per generated report and 15 minutes per process—due to self-service—which resulted in $280,000 in cost savings in the first year.

*This is an approximation since the original figures were in Norwegian krone and then converted and rounded in U.S. dollars

The Technology: 

Workday Human Capital Management (including benefits, compensation, onboarding, performance management, succession, talent management), Workday Recruiting

Disruptive Factor: 

The deployment of Workday HCM is the biggest technology deployment Norconsult has had to date. With such a large deployment, the change management process was critical, and the company went through great lengths to ensure that employees, managers, and HR personnel were well-informed and adopting new processes quickly. For example, Norconsult decided to provide short user guides about how to use Workday in place of classroom trainings or videos. To ensure that this was the best way to train its workforce on the new software, Norconsult ran ongoing assessments and made adjustments where needed. While Workday’s ability to automate business processes greatly benefits HR and administrative workers, it challenged the “old way” of thinking and changed the way work processes were handled without a core HR system. This required some additional effort to get people up to speed on the technology, and meant that the staff needed to have an open mindset and be willing to change in order to be successful. Overall, the biggest impact Norconsult has seen is having a single system for HR which provides the necessary insights to make key people decisions, keep the workforce engaged, and retain top talent. The company is growing rapidly - hiring more than 350 employees every year - and by optimizing key HR processes, Workday HCM enables individuals to be more efficient so they can focus on delivering a heightened level of customer service to their clients.

Shining Moment: 

From Norconsult’s perspective –

"We have one system, one structure, and one place where we can make changes and find the information we need. With Workday, we now know the competencies of our workers across different departments and geographies. We didn't know that before."

About Your Organization

Norconsult is Norway’s largest – and one of the region’s leading – interdisciplinary consultancy firms for social planning, engineering design and architecture. With 3,800 employees, the company is engaged in more than 20,000 projects, both large and small. Norconsult is a driving force for sustainable and creative solutions when developing tomorrow’s society.