Syngenta reimagines its HR for an enhanced employee experience

Through its partnership with Capgemini, Syngenta standardizes its global HR processes, leading to the introduction of best-in-class digital tools to achieve greater effectiveness and a better employee experience

Client: Syngenta

Region: Global

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


  • 58% to 90% increase in employee satisfaction
  • 75% reduction in customer complaints
  • Faster and more effective ticket resolution time, with more than 90% of tickets being resolved within two days
  • Anywhere-anytime access to real time information and less time spent on HR administration
  • Enhanced accuracy and efficiency of Syngenta’s HR operations
  • 30% cost reduction in HR operating costs from 2012-2015, following by an additional 40% cost reduction as a result of the “HR Next Generation” program
  • Reshaped learning services administration with cloud-based technology and service catalogue

Transforming HR to support critical objectives

As a worldwide leader in the agriculture industry, Syngenta has made feeding a rising population its primary goal, and 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, Syngenta reviewed its HR processes and understood the opportunity to enhance its ability to support potential and existing employees by consolidating its services across regions. To ensure the success of the project, Syngenta required a transformation partner that would guide the creation and implementation of a unique solution to fit its needs.

Syngenta selected Capgemini as its partner based on the success of the 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 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 region-by-region basis.

During the period 2012–2015, the partners consolidated all HR processes into four global delivery centers, which included implementation of a service desk focused on Syngenta employees. This eliminated region-specific ways of working and introduced a single approach to all HR operations, resulting in an expansion of HR services to cover around 22,000 members of the Syngenta organization. At the same time, Syngenta 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 among other digital transformation projects.

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 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 customer satisfaction. This in turn made it possible to identify areas where services needed improvement, and so to set about creating the right customer experience for HR service users.

The partners embedded a “One HR” team mindset, working together as one team not just to respond to queries and complaints, but also to identify and deal with the real root cause of problems and reduce recurrences. This “One HR” mindset enabled the partners to combine resources such as analytics, customer service skills, HR excellence, automation, and robotics that led to a range of tangible improvements, including enhanced user satisfaction, reduced customer complaints, and faster and more effective ticket resolution.

In 2016, Syngenta and Capgemini implemented automation projects across quality checking, data entry, annual compensation, and record filing. As well as delivering financial savings – including $340,000 savings in compensation statement production alone – automation has improved the speed and reliability of processes, and reduced the scope for human error. This has had a major impact on service levels.

A new operating model for next-generation HR

In 2016–2018, the partners planned, developed, and implemented their “HR Next Generation” project – a new operating model and technology for next-generation HR that reflects Syngenta’s commitment towards using technology to improve accuracy and efficiency, without removing the human element of customer satisfaction.

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:

  • Workday – replacing SAP as the beating heart of Syngenta’s new systems landscape, Workday acts as the core database for all people data.
  • ServiceNow – as Syngenta’s new case management system, ServiceNow enables tickets to be transferred between Infrastructure Services and Finance teams more easily. ServiceNow is also leveraged across other parts of Syngenta Business Services.
  • RightAnswers – knowledge management software that integrates with ServiceNow to enhance the agent and customer experience by resolving tickets faster and in fewer steps.

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:

  • SumTotal Learning Management System (LMS) – a global learning solution that delivers a strategic shift towards virtual learning. SumTotal LMS enables Syngenta to access their corporate learning programs from one single, easy-to-use site.
  • ESCRIBA – a digital document management system that eliminates manual work to substantially reduce contract generation time and improve accuracy.
  • SumTotal compensation tool – a new platform for enhanced, more consistent, and user-friendly compensation management.
  • Transversal digital coach – a new knowledge base tool that provides instant digital access to best practice management material, advice, and guidance.
  • Power BI global command center – a tool that consolidates and converts data and analytics from different sources into business intelligence, to speed up analysis and reaction time.
  • UiPath automated payroll file production robots – an automated payroll solution that accelerates completion of complex tasks by eliminating manual intervention, reducing cost and improving quality.

Continuing digital transformation success into the future

Building on the successful and impactful transformation of Syngenta’s global HR operations, the partners identified numerous opportunities for improved services, including the implementation of robotics and automation to enhance productivity and accuracy. To this end, in 2018, Syngenta and Capgemini agreed to extend their contract through to 2022 – cementing a successful and highly effective, 10-year partnership to deliver a best-in-class customer experience.

With this renewed agreement, Capgemini will extend its services to deliver its Digital Employee Operations solution to the agribusiness leader. As part of the contract remit, Capgemini’s experts across delivery centers in Nanhai, Krakow, Campinas, and Kolkata will work alongside Syngenta to continue transforming the full scope of its HR services in support of Syngenta’s 28,000 employees around the world. These functions include new hire onboarding, HR administration, payroll, compensation, learning services, performance management, talent management, and data analytics.

This extended collaboration will lead to cost savings, increased productivity, enhanced employee satisfaction, and an accelerated pace for the digitization of Syngenta’s global HR operations.

Enhanced employee satisfaction at reduced cost

The three-phased transformation program and “One HR” team mindset has led to a positively transformed perception of HR operations and a range of tangible outcomes, including:

  • 58% to 90% increase in employee satisfaction
  • 75% reduction in customer complaints
  • Faster and more effective ticket resolution time, with more than 90% of tickets being resolved within two days
  • Anywhere-anytime access to real-time information and less time spent on HR administration
  • Enhanced accuracy and efficiency of Syngenta’s HR operations
  • 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 cloud-based technology and service catalogue.

Together, Syngenta and Capgemini 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.

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Syngenta reimagines its...

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