Modernisation Programme

Brunel University engaged Practicus consultants to support its modernisation agenda across people, process and technology.

Cultural Transformation

Practicus consultants played a lead role in changing behaviour of employees in the HR and Finance functions and throughout Brunel. Our consultant led the change, business readiness and acceptance aspects on the implementation of a new digital solution requiring staff to behave differently and follow different processes. This was a move to improve control and governance through a digitally integrated solution to record, request and approve annual leave and claim expenses. We engaged with staff throughout the implementation, communicating benefits of change to all from leaders to cleaners. We set-up system demonstrations and training, and created a change network and governance board. With 80% compliance to new ways of working, we identified the non-compliant and worked with them to support acceptance (troubleshooting issues as required).

Employee Relations

When Practicus consultants arrived on Brunel’s technology implementation, there was a need to improve engagement between the change team and the HR and Finance departments. We set about building positive relationships between the parties. We listened to departmental staff concerns to understand and respond to their requirements. We appointed change champions and super-users to explain the benefits and build trust in integrated systems change and its purpose. We created a dedicated ‘engagement room’ where staff could drop-in at any time with any concern or issue about the new system and gain speedy resolution. We performed ‘pulse check’ surveys to promote continual and interactive staff feedback and delivered a suite of training options from ‘quick cards’ to demonstration videos.

HR Functions, process and design

To achieve strategic goals, Brunel wanted to change compensation structures. Our Consultant led the re-design of reward and recognition and wrote and set-up processes and procedures to deliver sustainable change. She ran a global mobility audit, performed job evaluation and pay benchmarking and other analysis, developed a strategy and gained leadership buy-in to it. The policies and processes our consultant designed and improved gave Brunel consistency in support of its focus on excellence in teaching, changing how the university measured and rewarded work. She implemented new structures on everything from global mobility supporting staff abroad, to revised pay banding for professors. She instituted a new reward manager post and introduced an employee benefits portal as well as Employee Assistance programme.

Dispute Management

A Practicus Consultant supported Brunel through four disputes. This involved ensuring managers were aware of Brunel’s policies and coaching them through processes and procedures to adhere to them. He managed disputes from investigations to hearings and from outcomes to appeals. He performed the role of independent manager carrying out investigations and supported others to establish whether there was a case to answer. He pulled together panels, compiled information packs and advised senior staff on conducting hearings, dispute resolution and avoidance. He coached staff on behavioural change and modification. Where disputes couldn’t be avoided, he managed them through to completion, working with budget holders, union representatives and external lawyers to achieve settlements.


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