HR, payroll and finance consultancy Phase 3 particularly impressed the judges with its feedback from clients, and its customer satisfaction and retention. They said the firm demonstrated a ‘perfect combination of people engagement and data-centric solutions’ but also commended the other consultancies on the shortlist.
Phase 3 is an independent HR technology consultancy and managed services provider, supporting clients with HR, payroll and finance solutions. During 2020 and 2021, the company doubled in size and it is on track to almost double its revenue this year. It achieved 100% growth in payroll customers and all customers have renewed contracts.
One of its key client successes has been with FE Fundinfo, where it rolled out an HR software system across 12 countries in a bid to improve operational efficiency and give greater transparency to global HR data. The organisation now has a ‘single source of the truth’ for HR data, is compliant with relevant regulations and HR teams have been freed up to spend time on higher value tasks.
Another customer has benefited from an overhaul of its payroll systems, with Phase 3 reducing its HR operation costs by 50% and successfully migrating three platforms to just one. Furthermore, the company is no longer at risk of regulatory non-compliance. Energy regulator Ofgem also relies on Phase 3’s HR administration support, and has been able to redeploy staff onto other internal projects thanks to the consultancy’s support.
Caerus Executive’s founding partners Dr Frank Douglas and Jennifer Powell have experience of being the only Black professionals in certain senior roles, and the company has become the go-to for many clients who want to build inclusion and improve culture. Its clients include M&C Saatchi, Network Rail and the CIPD.
A notable client success has been with Warner Music Group, which wanted to improve inclusion, retention and progression among under-represented groups. Caerus led a total review of the company’s leadership behaviours, HR policies and processes, and the company has since recruited over five Black and ethnic minority employees into its most senior ranks. For Network Rail, Caerus investigated the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses in race equality and provided a robust model of engagement and assessment. Law firm Hogan Lovells worked with the company to investigate why – despite aggressively recruiting from under-represented groups – its retention of those individuals was not as high.
Caerus clients have been shortlisted and won a number of awards for their commitment to diversity. In the past 18 months, all new client wins have come from other client referrals. One client said of the company: “The quality and impact of work Caerus has provided has been invaluable both to me as a D&I professional and more broadly to the firm and our people.”
HR Solutions provides outsourced HR consultancy to more than 450 organisations. In the last six years, the company has grown from eight employees to 42 through a merger and five acquisitions. Its most recent addition is a new health, safety and environment division, including the acquisition of an H&S company called Essential Safety.
The company can offer services including contract templates, an HR solutions knowledge base, forms and letters. Clients include a beauty salon supplier, a direct mail printing business and a digital marketing company – many do not have the time or expertise to run HR in-house so look to outsource it to HR Solutions. One client said: “From a cost perspective, if we had to bring HR in house, we would be looking at potentially a significant salary to have one person on board.”
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Another said: “HR Solutions overhauled everything we were doing from an employment viewpoint, and we now have the confidence that what we’re doing is correct. It gives me that extra peace of mind that if one person can’t answer the question, there is a whole team to support us.” Over the last 13 years, HR Solutions has also worked alongside a number of membership organisations to offer HR packages and services to their members. Membership organisations include Hiscox Insurance, TechUK and the PRCA.
Innecto Reward Consulting
Reward consultancy Innecto is supporting a growing number of clients to deliver more equitable pay solutions in their organisations. It recognises that companies with a strong commitment to environment, social and governance (ESG) goals tend to outperform those who only meet their legal obligations.
One client it has supported in this regard is The Prince’s Trust, which felt its pay and grading structure required a refresh as it struggled to retain talent. Innecto helped the charity understand how its current structure had evolved and conducted internal research on what employees felt to be important. It discovered the organisation had a pay gap compared to the rest of the market and helped it benchmark its roles to be more up to date. The Prince’s Trust now uses Innecto’s Reward on Demand service and is looking towards building new pay bandings and progression routes.
Another client, the&Partnership, wanted to establish pay equity across its group of marketing agencies. Innecto worked with the company to establish a pay equity report by gathering data and communicating this back to key stakeholders and employee resource groups. The company said the intervention had provided “a new level of awareness in pay decision-making”.
Jungle HR works with a range of businesses on inclusion, business transformation and capability. One of its key solutions is its tribe5 diversity and inclusion maturity methodology, which helps organisations to take stock of where they are in D&I and to build and embed positive inclusion practices. It also offers a free diversity and inclusion scorecard containing 40 yes/no questions about organisational culture.
Other solutions include Inspire Inclusion Strategy Sessions and the ‘Tick box to Transformation’ inclusion accelerator, a seven-week masterclass. This includes weekly masterclass sessions that guide and inspire companies on their inclusion strategies. Clients also receive access to Jungle’s Learning Academy, which contains videos, guides and learning materials. Whatever the solution, clients receive a ‘Working Together Charter’ so they know what to expect and Jungle holds governance meetings with clients so they can give feedback.
Jungle HR supported insurance company Partners& to identify and set inclusion objectives, introduce an inclusion pledge and share these principles with clients and partners in its ecosystem. Partners& subsequently won an award for its commitment to inclusion at the UK Broker Awards. Jungle also believes in giving something back: it has raised over £10,000 for charity and helped more than 8,000 women through educational sponsorship and microloans.
Peoplewise is a consultancy specialising in strategic talent management, assessment and development. One of its key client successes in recent years is Cadent Gas – the UK’s largest gas distribution network. Cadent separated from the National Grid in 2016, taking with it many of its structures and processes. Realising these were no longer fit for purpose, the company worked with Peoplewise to build a new strategy, operating model, capabilities and culture.
The strategy identified five key areas, including the definition of new values and building a values-led culture. It referred to research theory of how ideas and practices spread through populations to inform how employees at Cadent would adapt to change over a period of time. It targeted the executive team (known as the innovators) to cascade change from the very top and help drive transformation. Early adopter employees were identified to road-test and champion the new values.
Peoplewise delivered workshops, helped build champion networks, led leadership events and developed social learning activities. These practical activities have helped bring on board more resistant groups in the organisation and embed the values into the organisation. It also built a series of metrics to track progress and measure success.
The TCM Group
The TCM Group started life in 2001 as a conflict resolution consultancy when the business benefits of mediation were less known and understood. According to the CBI, the costs of conflict to business are £33 billion annually, while 60% of companies that use mediation see a significant reduction in formal grievances.
CEO David Liddle has published a number of books on managing conflict and in 2013 launched The Resolution Framework, an approach centred around restorative justice. This framework has been embedded in many organisations including the London Ambulance Service, Aviva and the Nationwide Building Society.
In 2020, Engage Leadership delivered a three-month Values Based Leadership programme with the objective of developing a culture driven by positive behaviours, integrated at multiple levels within the organisation – starting with leadership. The programme was so successful that 100% of employees felt proud to be an employee at their company following evaluation. Since launching the Resolution Framework in 2021, transferring to an informal mediation framework has saved Nationwide hundreds of thousands of pounds.
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