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Kinaxis keeps people at the heart of their global HR transformation with help from Stratford Group

Kinaxis CHRO Megan Paterson and Neil Crawford, lead of People and Culture Strategy Consulting at Stratford Group
Kinaxis CHRO Megan Paterson and Neil Crawford, lead of People and Culture Strategy Consulting at Stratford Group

Everyone knows what happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

Even if each cook has the best of intentions, they can trip over each other, duplicating efforts, while individual roles and responsibilities are muddled, and the quality of the meal  may suffer as a result.

Before Kinaxis embarked on an intensive project with the help of Stratford Group to transform its human resources service delivery model on a global level, Kinaxis CHRO Megan Paterson says she was noticing many of these issues in her “kitchen”. 

“I knew we needed help because although we had a good-sized team to support our exponential growth, things were still falling through the cracks,” she explained. “It felt as if we were tripping over ourselves.”

However, it wasn’t that there were too many ‘cooks’ – but just enough of them trying to do it all. With many employees coming from small or medium-sized companies, they were used to taking on more than their fair share of responsibilities. 

Everyone just wanted to help out, but it just wasn’t efficient and it wasn’t optimized,” says Paterson. Kinaxis has always put its people first, and with rapid growth and continued success, they wanted to ensure their HR department was able to scale for future growth without compromising on the service and standards they had already come accustomed to delivering, and employees and leaders had come to expect.

Luckily, Kinaxis had trusted partner Stratford Group to help them evolve and execute their new HR vision. Working alongside the Kinaxis team, the Stratford team familiarized themselves with the current people, processes and technology in HR, working from the inside-out to identify areas for improvement and success.  

As the lead of People and Culture Strategy Consulting at Stratford Group, Neil Crawford understood that there was a great opportunity to set a clear course for HR to support the company’s future growth.

We talked to all the key stakeholders, and there was this sense that there were a lot of overlapping accountabilities and the need to get everyone aligned around how HR can best deliver services for the future,” he explained. 

As it turns out, for a growing company with employees all over the world, a multi-faceted solution was needed. 

Over the course of 20 months, Stratford focused first on developing the HR Service Delivery Model and organizational design of HR at Kinaxis to ensure that everyone was aligned on how HR services would be delivered and roles and responsibilities were clearly defined. 

“It was a big change for many on the team. It can be uncomfortable to stay within your newly defined role and rely on a colleague to take on something you did yourself in the past.  But in the end, team members had a new-found confidence that comes with clearly understanding their role and the role of others in delivering value and achieving outcomes.” said Crawford.

At the same time, Stratford knew it needed to help Kinaxis safeguard their future growth and transformation, by providing all employees across the world with up to date,  consistent information available online at any time. 

“A lot of  information was being carried around in the heads of HR team members. We needed to take all the knowledge and information they’d acquired and make it visible and available to everyone at the organization,” says Crawford. 

To address this concern, Stratford partnered with the Kinaxis HR, IT and Internal Communication teams to design and implement a global HR Knowledge Base and Service Management platform using an application already adopted by Kinaxis.

“Before this, employees used to call their favourite HR person to ask a question – now, they have the technology, tools, and knowledge base so they can search to get the answer or they can issue a ticket,” Paterson explained. “I thought it was going to be a really big change to manage, but it’s been ridiculously smooth and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.” 

Now, Kinaxis can continue to grow globally, and their new processes and technology can accommodate it. 

Paterson says the overall HR transformation has been like night and day.

“As a leader, I can see what everyone is truly capable of, and the impact that each of them have. I could not be prouder of this team” she said. 

The process has also strengthened her team as a result, building confidence and delivering value throughout the entire organization.