Customer Facing HR

Building a Customer facing HR Department


Our client is a medium sized player in the Financial Services Industry. Their operations cover the provision of Investment, Protection and Pension products. Like many financial service providers they are developing a broader product/service offering and have recently included Banking services in their portfolio. Distribution is conducted primarily through a Company Employed Sales team located throughout the UK and segmented into several customer facing channels, with a growing contribution from the Direct Marketing operation. The Business is in the midst of major change, the sleepy and comfortable organisation is changing into a dynamic athlete. Preparation for de-mutualisation has resulted in changing half the management team including the CEO, slimming the operations and focusing the Business on the customer. The new watchwords are profit, cost control and value add. The client was concerned that:

  • The Head Office Personnel function, with its historical focus on pay and benefits, was finding it difficult to keep pace with the culture change requirements. As a result the Young Turks in management were developing their own human resource activities.
  • The field Sales Recruitment and Training function was proving to be a drain on resources and wasn’t delivering a sufficient number of trained financial advisers to keep pace with the Sales team turnover.

Consulting Assignment

The client asked us to combine and restructure the Personnel and Sales Training/Recruitment departments to support the organisational objectives, including a review of the Personnel processes and strategy

Key Project Activities

The project consisted of an HR Audit to surface the issues and the internal customer requirements. Comparison of the existing HR programmes and practices with best practice models. The joint design of HR strategies structure and processes. Followed by the implementation of the proposals utilising client change teams.

The implementation focused on:

Having established the core Business Drivers, HR strategies were developed to support key business objectives and integrate existing initiatives.

The structure was designed to support the HR strategy, with the focus on creating a value chain of integrated activity. Eliminating hand-offs, ensuring synergy of effort. Roles, responsibilities and expectations were clarified:


Management Processes
Introduction of performance management principles. Creation of a balanced set of measures based on the key business drivers to create goal congruency. Operationalisation of the measures in a systematic plan-do-review process.

HR processes were designed by the change teams to deliver the strategy. The result was the elimination of duplicated activities and functional silos.

The new structure and job responsibilities represented a dramatic change from the past. We therefore developed new job descriptions and conducted a series of competency based interviews to select the most appropriate people for the new roles. Personal development plans were introduced to support this activity.

Client Benefits

The key benefits were:-