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Everyone Can Make an Impact: An HR Revolution at Biogen

Nicole Lindenbaum by Nicole Lindenbaum   December 01

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On November 15th, I spoke with Adriana Bokel Herde on a webinar about her experience transforming HR at Biogen as VP of People Services. This was the second of three PeopleDoc webinars in a series providing you with a blueprint for modern HR Service Delivery. In our first webinar, we discussed why employees deserve innovation in HR with Lisa Nelson of Match.com and HR thought leader William Tincup. In this webinar, we focused instead on why HR needs innovation in HR, a topic near and dear to Adriana’s heart. Here are my key takeaways from the webinar:

 

 1. Every minute not spent on HR is another minute spent saving lives.

One of the things that strikes me most about Biogen is its commitment to the company mission – improving the lives of patients. This core mission informs every decision the company makes; Biogen is committed to infusing the mission in every aspect of the company – from culture to technology.

 

Because of innovation in HR, HR teams have the tools they need to provide better and faster services to employees. This enables employees to spend more time being innovative in the labs, and less time searching for answers from HR. As Adriana put it, every minute that an employee doesn’t have to spend on HR matters is another minute they can spend saving lives.

 

an-hr-revolution-at-biogen.jpg 2. Everyone can make an impact.

An “HR Transformation” can be a scary concept. It sounds large and looming; transformations are a major effort. But everyone can make an impact – even HR can impact the overall mission of saving lives indirectly by supporting employees. Adriana discusses the advantages of starting small. You don’t have to take on the major initiative all at once. Find some quick wins, and talk with people who have done this before. They will provide invaluable guidance and help you make an impact even faster.

 

 3. Consider the employee through their entire lifecycle.

Instead of viewing employee requests as isolated events for different departments, Adriana suggest thinking about the needs of an employee throughout their journey at the company, from pre-hire to when they leave the company. Think through the services they will need, regardless of which department is ultimately responsible for addressing the need. It’s important to provide employees with everything they need throughout their journey at your company so they can spend their valuable time on the company mission.

 

Final thoughts

Truly transformational projects fundamentally change how things are done. Today, at Biogen, HR is able to move faster and provide better services to employees. For example, it used to take 11 days from the start of contract preparation until it was filed. Now, with PeopleDoc, it’s just 1.07 days. To learn how Biogen did it, watch the webinar recording.

Watch the “Creating a Better HR  Experience at Biogen” Webinar
Watch the “Creating a Better HR  Experience at Biogen” Webinar
Nicole Lindenbaum
Nicole Lindenbaum

Nicole Lindenbaum is the Director of Product Marketing at PeopleDoc. She writes and speaks about HR service delivery, HR technology, digital transformation, and the future of work. With significant experience in enterprise software, Nicole has worked in both HR technology and document management software.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University and a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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