Heathrow takes employee experience to new heights

February 3, 2023 | 2 minute read
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By: Ondrej Holub, Pierre POLYCARPE

As the largest airport in Europe, London Heathrow Airport is referred to as its own city boasting over 75,000 employees pre-pandemic. However, it was no stranger to the challenges affecting the travel industry in 2020, with passenger numbers dropping to levels not seen since the 1970s

Now, London Heathrow Airport has embarked on a rapid road to recovery. They aim to grow the same amount in the next five years as they have in the last 50 – the largest business transformation in Heathrow’s history. Core to the project’s success is recruitment, retainment, and growth of talent at speed, and the HR team needed systems that could keep pace.

The need for speed

After collaborating throughout the pandemic on digital transformation, the team pivoted their thinking to growth and recovery. Heathrow needed to recruit and onboard over 1,000 employees in time for the summer peak and required the right human capital management (HCM) solution to make this happen. Competition for talent is fierce and the new generation of digital savvy employees demand more from their employer than ever before. The (human resources) HR leaders know that London Heathrow is a great place to work, they just needed the tools to make it phenomenal.

Up in the clouds

Over the past two years, the HR team have worked with Oracle and Capgemini to replace their on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution with Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM and Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP. Moving to a hire to retire workstream, the HCM solution provides a seamless, integrated set of HR processes across every stage of the employee lifecycle. This transformation simplified and modernised employee self-service. Integration of data creates a single source of truth, providing increased accountability and empowerment for managers, now able to access data, anytime, anywhere

Positive employee experience boosts passenger experience

The transformation has evolved employee experience with increased data transparency, access, and influence. With thousands of deskless employees constantly on the move, mobile self-service is vital. This automation provides employees with instant access to payslips and holiday requests from their phone, reducing time-consuming and tedious HR processes.

Previously, frontline colleagues never had this level of access to data, which can now be used to enable faster, more informed decision-making. Managers are empowered and upskilled to carry out annual salary reviews and process rewards autonomously, gaining true ownership of their teams and boosting job satisfaction.

Combining the talent of colleagues with the power of technology has made London Heathrow Airport a more sustainable and agile organisation, better equipped to serve passengers. The partnership will continue to be a catalyst for change, with continual quarterly improvements ensuring that Heathrow stays at the forefront of HR innovation.

Hear from Heathrow’s People Director Jess Kirbell and Head of People, Systems and Processes Julie Dunn in conversation with Capgemini’s Jo Skewes and Oracle’s Brigid Lury. Grab the highlights in Oracle’s bitesize video or delve into the details in the in-depth webinar here.

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