Henry Boot prioritises employee work/life balance with transformation of its people processes


Leading property, land and construction company Henry Boot PLC has undertaken a transformation of its HR function in collaboration with MHR, designed to streamline and optimise its processes to enhance the work/life balance of its people.

New employee focused services implemented through its iTrent system, including Total Rewards Statements and a holiday ‘buy and sell’ scheme, combined with an expansion of its Self Service modules and new levels of automation has resulted in better streamlined systems for holiday, payroll, benefits and pensions, a reduction in manual administration and increased engagement across the organisation.

The transformation project was carried out as part of a company-wide initiative called ‘One Henry Boot’, conceived in late 2016 / 17 to better understand what defines its culture –  ‘The Henry Boot Way’ – with a focus on its vision, purpose and values.

Rachel White, Head of HR at Henry Boot said: “Our people are central to our overall performance and success. At the heart of ‘One Henry Boot’ project was a strong commitment to identify what is important to our employees and put in place efficient processes and systems to improve their work/life balance and experience.

“By fostering close links with an experienced and knowledgeable partner in MHR we have been able to customise our software and introduce new tailored processes to meet the needs of the business and the support the wellbeing of our people.”

MHR carried out a comprehensive strategic review of Henry Boot’s existing HR and payroll processes to identify areas for improvement, and facilitated a trial of its latest software modules to enable Henry Boot to experience the benefits first-hand.

Following the assessment, Henry Boot introduced MHR’s Total Rewards Statement module to increase employee awareness of the value of the benefits they receive as part of their contract, such as Life Assurance or Permanent Health Insurance.

Rachel said: “The Total Rewards Statement provides an easy way to visually represent and break down all the different benefits and their associated value as part of our commitment to our people.  This can be fully customisable for the specific needs of our employees and so offers the flexibility we desire for our different employee groups.”

To further improve employee work/life balance, MHR extended Henry Boot’s Employee Self Service (ESS) module to accommodate additional activities, such as Learning and Development, to increase user engagement while empowering employees to take control of their transactional tasks and personal growth.

Meanwhile, a holiday ‘buy and sell’ scheme has been introduced as an additional benefit, giving employees greater ownership of their working time.

Rachel said: “We understand how much our people value extra time with family, or a bit of extra income when it’s needed. iTrent offers a solution that is completely flexible for the different needs of our people rather than a one size fits all solution. The fact that this is all available within the ESS module means we can save time on admin, and our people can remain in control of what they need and value.”

The transformation project has reduced the amount of queries Henry Boot’s HR team has to answer, freeing up their time for more vital tasks such as recruitment, employee relations and the implementation of ideas from the One Henry Boot project.

Rachel said: “We expect to make significant cost savings in 2018 due to the reduction in manual admin time, while we have already reduced the amount of paper produced by the team, and also the number of days taken to produce contracts, deal with administration of new employees, and L&D administration.”

Anton Roe, Chief Executive Officer at MHR comments: “We’re delighted to have supported Henry Boot through this transformation journey.

“The transformation project at Henry Boot is a perfect example of how working in collaboration with our strategic team, organisations can embrace new ways of working and innovate their HR processes to deliver business improvements while meeting the expectations of their people.”


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BDC 318 : Jul 2024