Case Study: Driving Workforce Transformation at a Leading Manufacturer

November 13, 2018

Aon partnered with a leading agricultural, construction, and landscaping equipment manufacturer to  reimagine their workforce strategy and begin a transformation journey to build a new HR operating model. 


This heavy equipment manufacturer was seeking to achieve its next level of growth by driving technological innovation through its people. The company's strong culture and commitment to employees had earned it a long-term retention rate. However, the low turnover, paired with an imminent retirement cliff, was making it difficult to keep pace with technological innovation in their industry. Facing a fierce competition for talent, particularly in the areas of data science, Al, and machine learning, the organization knew it needed to approach its workforce strategy differently.


Business leaders knew that to drive digital transformation, they would need to transform the organization's HR function from being process-oriented into a partner that could help collaborate on strategic business initiatives, such as:

  • Designing the workforce of the future.
  • Planning a strategy to identify the right people.
  • Implementing a rewards and recognition program that would attract and retain key talent, particularly for critical tech roles.

Client Challenges

Facing fierce competition for talent in fields such as data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, the organization needed to approach its workforce strategy differently.

Partnering with Aon, the company has begun their workforce transformation with activities including:

  • Proposing a change to a shared services model
  • Developing a new model for its people analytics strategy to deliver relevant reporting
  • Advancing capabilities in employee management through utilization of new surveys

Aon Solution

Aon started by assessing the HR function, including interviews with key stakeholders, to illustrate the gap between what HR was delivering and what the business needed from the HR function to grow.

To free up time being spend on transactional, back-office administrative tasks, Aon proposed adopting a shared services model that supports consultation on strategic workforce needs and aligns dedicated experts to more effectively handle recruitment, selection, total rewards, and performance.

Additionally, Aon is helping the organization develop a new model for its people analytics strategy to deliver more relevant reports on talent supply, diversity and inclusion. The reports roll up into HR dashboards that show with metrics how HR is plugging into the broader business strategy and is helping to drive growth for the firm.

Finally, Aon is partnering with the organization to advance its capabilities in employee measurement, which includes a new-hire experience survey, engagement survey and exit survey. The surveys leverage text analytics to mine open-ended comments.


The company is just beginning to embark on its transformation journey and build a new HR operating model. With Aon's help, they are on track to change their stance away from outdated processes and approaches, toward greater collaboration and best practices. The company's leaders and decision-makers now have a better understanding of the digital talent issues facing them, and how this impacts their ability to grow their business and anticipate needs for the future.

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