Interview With Jeff Phipps- Striking The Right Note

Human Capital spoke to Jeff Phipps, Managing Director - UK & Ireland, ADP, the global leader in payroll processing and end-to-end HR solutions. Jeff is a member of the ADP's International executive leadership team and is responsible for ADP's operational and strategic business activities in UK & Ireland. He spoke about the changing order of job roles in the days to come and the possibilities and opportunities that this brings about for organisations globally.

 

Today’s workforce, which comprises a greater percentage of millennials, want enhanced digital interventions at the workplace, and at the same time, desire personal contact. How do you believe organisations can strike the right balance in ensuring that the employees get the best of both worlds?

 

Honestly, I really do not like the “millennials” label. Rather than try to stereotype a global group of people merely on the date range of their birthday, we should recognise that we have a wonderful set of unique characters, talents, and experiences. The right balance starts with recognising and respecting our differences, and then asking how we can understand our diverse needs, and help each other along a journey where we are honest about knowing exactly where we are heading or how to get there. That then taps into the second and key part of the equation which is ensuring a culture of continuous learning.

 

A colleague recently said that their job would not exist in ten years. I said that was great because most people do not want to be doing exactly the same thing ten years from now. What was important was how he was going to develop to capitalise on new opportunities. I am an optimist who experienced digital transformation my whole life, and feels that humans will continue new industries, new jobs, and new ways to add value.  

 

“The right balance starts with recognising and respecting our differences, and then asking how we can understand our diverse needs, and help each other”

 

The biggest hurdle for an organisation when it outsources its HR processes is in terms of lower employee morale and satisfaction. As a pioneer in HR solutions, how do you convince prospective client organisations to overcome such impediments?

 

I see it as an opportunity to improve morale and satisfaction. When companies come to ADP, they recognise that things have either not been going well or they are being distracted by activities that are not core to their business. They are looking to ADP to bring in expertise that will lead to improved processes and enable their employees to focus on their business, relying on ADP to ensure that pay and other critical HR activities are taken care of. This is possible because the people at ADP are passionate about their clients and their community both inside and outside the office. Of course, we have great technology at ADP, but I invite clients to meet our people and then decide.

 

According to you, what is that ‘breaking point’ for organisations to realise that they need to outsource their HR processes? Why do you believe organisations should seek such services from ADP?

 

Simply put, when a company is distracted from its core activities, and is spending too much time on payroll and HR administration then that should trigger an alarm. I would also say that in a world of increasing regulations and concerns around data privacy and security, finding the right people with those skills can be difficult and expensive as the principle reason that clients turn to ADP. I believe that the investment in technology will only drive this further as companies want access to the best technology and services to serve their employees at an affordable cost.

 

One of the organisations’ perceived perils of HR outsourcing is that it alters the organisational culture. How would you respond to such a statement and how do you counsel organisations in overcoming such a perception?

 

I believe the key role of HR is to support the evolution of a culture that best supports the aim of the business. HR can give insights and shine a torch on best practices within and outside the organisation, so the effect of HR should be a positive one from a cultural perspective. If we look at the Standout tools that enables better communication, understanding and collaboration within organisations. From personal experience of using the tool, I can see my work relationships and engagement improving and my team performing better than ever. The advice I would give to any organisation is the same I apply to my own projects – be clear about the desired outcomes, be honest about the risks and weaknesses, and leverage the experience of John Kotter who taught us that when you think you have communicated enough, you have probably covered ten percent of your journey.  

 

“HR can give insights and shine a torch on best practices within and outside the organisation, so the effect of HR should be a positive one from a cultural perspective.”

 

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