Syngenta reimagines its HR for an enhanced employee experience

Through its partnership with Capgemini, Syngenta standardized its global HR processes, leading to the introduction of best-in-class digital tools to achieve greater effectiveness and an improved HR experience

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Client: Syngenta

Region: APAC

Sector: Agriculture

Client Challenge: Syngenta needed to attract and retain an extremely high caliber of talent to work on improving global food security

Solution: By partnering with Capgemini, Syngenta transformed its HR function through consolidating its processes into a single way of working, before implementing a set of cloud-based, digital platforms and tools to achieve a more responsive and satisfying HR experience


  • 90% increase in employee satisfaction
  • 75% reduction in customer complaints
  • More than 90% of tickets being resolved within two days
  • 30% initial cost reduction in HR operating costs, followed by an additional 40% cost reduction

Transforming HR to support critical business objectives

As a worldwide leader in the agriculture industry, Syngenta has dedicated world-class science and innovative crop solutions to providing effective answers to the challenge of global food security. To achieve this ambitious objective, the organization needs to employ an extremely high caliber of talent. This means operating a highly effective and responsive HR function to overcome the challenges of identifying and retaining new and existing talent.

In 2012, as part of a global review, Syngenta began an examination of its HR processes within the APAC region, and identified an opportunity to enhance its ability to support potential and existing employees by aligning its methodologies across all regions. To ensure the success of the project, Syngenta required a transformation partner that would guide the creation and implementation of a unique solution fit to its needs.

Syngenta selected Capgemini as its partner based on the success of the two organizations’ existing relationship, as well as Capgemini’s well-established history of delivering effective global transformation solutions. Capgemini’s demonstrated understanding of HR transformation, digital technology, and the agriculture industry further singled it out from other potential partners.

Standardization creates the foundation for digital transformation

Syngenta and Capgemini started by conducting a thorough analysis of Syngenta’s HR processes to establish a shared understanding of the opportunities for improving performance and the challenges the solution needed to address. The study highlighted the need for Syngenta to standardize its processes and ways of working on a regionby-region basis.

From 2012–2015, the partners consolidated all of Syngenta’s HR processes into four global delivery centers, which included implementation of a service desk focused on Syngenta’s employees. Within APAC, this work started in China by aligning with the global approach to all HR operations. Beginning in 2014, the Capgemini Business Services team in China then expanded its scope to work with Syngenta in Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia applying the same approach in those countries.

During this period, the HR projects within the APAC region contributed to Syngenta’s recruitment of around 22,000 new members around the world. At the same time, the organization was able to reduce the cost of operations by 30%, while expanding the ability of its HR function to provide effective services more rapidly.

This standardization and consolidation created the groundwork for the partners to further explore
opportunities for improvements to Syngenta’s HR processes through other digital transformation projects.

Anita Ying - Regional Head of HR Operations, Syngenta China

State-of-the-art digital tools deliver a more fulfilling HR experience

In 2015, with the transition finalized and consolidation complete, Syngenta and Capgemini continued the HR transformation to support business change, strengthen Syngenta’s talent pipeline, deliver HR excellence, and shape the organization’s culture and leadership. More specifically, the transition enabled the partners to evaluate HR services in ways that hadn’t been possible before – most notably by measuring employee satisfaction. This in turn made it possible to identify areas in which services needed improvement and to set about creating the right customer experience for HR service users.

A new operating model for next-generation HR

This led to Syngenta’s “HR Next Generation” project, a new operating model supported by innovative technology that reflects Syngenta’s commitment to improving the accuracy and efficiency of its operations. By combining new automation technology with the existing expertise of HR teams that maintained the human element of the customer experience, the partners executed a widescale update of its processes across the APAC region from 2016–2018.

Going live in mid-2018, the HR Next Generation project focused on upgrading three of Syngenta’s core legacy HR technology platforms used to deliver an enhanced employee experience across 90 countries. During the project, the partners introduced Workday, ServiceNow, and RightAnswers to provide a new set of tools better fit to Syngenta’s needs.

On top of these core technologies, the partners also modernized Syngenta’s entire HR landscape by implementing a range of digital tools that enabled the business to deliver more effective services to its existing and new employees. These tools included the SumTotal Learning Management System (LMS), ESCRIBA, the SumTotal compensation tool, a transversal digital coach, a Power BI global command center, and UiPath automated payroll file production robots.

In addition, Syngenta and Capgemini transitioned control and daily management of HR operations over to Syngenta teams, beginning with Indonesia and Thailand in 2016 and then continuing with Japan, Vietnam, and Korea in 2018. This involved a comprehensive knowledge transfer that provided Syngenta’s APAC teams with the necessary expertise concerning the new technology and regulations to enable them to provide effective support within the transformed system.

James Eastwood - Global HR Delivery Director, Capgemini

Enhanced employee satisfaction at reduced cost

The three-phased transformation program and “One HR” team mindset has led to a substantially improved perception of Syngenta’s HR operations and a range of tangible outcomes, including:

  • 90% increase in employee satisfaction
  • 75% reduction in customer complaints
  • More than 90% of tickets being resolved within two days
  • Anywhere, anytime access to real-time information and less time spent on HR administration
  • 30% cost reduction in HR operating costs from 2012–2015, followed by an additional 40% cost reduction as a result of the “HR Next Generation” program
  • Reshaped learning services administration with cloudbased technology and service catalogue.

In 2018, Syngenta and Capgemini agreed to extend their contract through 2022, thereby cementing a successful and highly effective 10-year partnership focused on the delivery of a best-in-class customer experience. Together, the partners will continue to follow their “One HR” team mindset that combines both organizations as a single team to continuously exchange information and expertise. By combining Syngenta’s impressive drive for innovation with Capgemini’s knowledge of digital transformation and HR processes, the partners will continue to demonstrate their leadership abilities and commitment to a superior HR experience.

About Capgemini

Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, digital transformation, technology and engineering services. The Group is at the forefront of innovation to address the entire breadth of clients’ opportunities in the evolving world of cloud, digital and platforms. Building on its strong 50-year+
heritage and deep industry-specific expertise, Capgemini enables organizations to realize their business ambitions through an array of services from strategy to operations. Capgemini is driven by the conviction that the business value of technology comes from and through people. Today, it is a multicultural company of 270,000 team members in almost 50 countries. With Altran, the Group reported 2019 combined revenues of €17 billion.

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About Syngenta

Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. With 28,000 people in more than 90 countries they are working to transform how crops are grown. Through partnerships, collaboration and The Good Growth Plan they are committed to improving farm productivity, rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities.

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