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THE NEW myHRIt’s not coming soon. It’s here now. (Thank goodness.)

When government officials around the world began issuing bans and shutdown orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Koch was able to identify employees affected by those orders in record time, thanks to a new technology platform called myHR.

“This new tool couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Koch Industries’ president and COO, Dave Robertson. “It has helped make our compliance and EHS teams more effective during this crisis, and is the leading edge of a real transformation for Koch HR.”

For the first time in Koch’s 80-year history, the company is equipped with an HR database that includes every employee working for every Koch company in every location. That’s a total of 130,000 employees in more than 70 countries. 

“When we began working on this idea three years ago,” said Walt Malone, vice president of human resources for Koch Industries, “we knew it would be a big improvement, but we had no idea it would become so valuable so soon.”

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Walt Malone is KII’s vice president of human resources


In November 2016, the leaders of several Koch businesses concluded that the company needed to make a major investment in better technology platforms. Topping their list of priorities was new HR technology. 

“When our business leaders looked across Koch, they realized we lacked connectivity because many of our companies — especially recent acquisitions — had different HR systems,” Malone said. “We couldn’t share knowledge easily, which meant people missed out on opportunities for better roles.” 

The inability to leverage Koch’s resources was also causing redundancies and inefficiencies in the HR capability, “all because we didn’t have ready access to the information we needed,” Malone said. “It was a wasteful situation.”


To solve those problems, the company began investigating a much more integrated approach. “We wanted to implement a truly global solution,” said Steve Feilmeier, Koch Industries’ CFO, “something to help our HR team think like one capability instead of a fragmented, decentralized collection of capabilities.”

Leaders also agreed there was a need for stronger data security. Farther down the priority list, but still worth pursuing, were better training and development tools, elimination of duplicate systems and less reliance on paper records. 

“On top of all that, we needed a scalable solution,” Malone said, “something that can work everywhere and anywhere.” 

With those short- and long-range goals in mind, the search for a new system began.


What the HR team wanted was a system that better served our key constituents: Koch businesses, employees, supervisors, candidates and the HR capability itself.

Ideally, the new system should help businesses integrate acquisitions faster, provide better insight into our talent and open roles, and allow greater access to employees and supervisors so they can make informed decisions.

Employees should be able to view important data — such as paycheck information — on mobile devices and have more transparent ways of tracking career opportunities with Koch anywhere in the world.

Supervisors needed easier access to employee information, better workflow and learning tools, and improved analytics to support their decision making.

For HR, the goal was a single system that could advance the transformation of the HR capability through better insight into talent and how to best deliver services to the businesses in a more strategic, scalable, and efficient way.

Delivering all these things would require a transformation of the way Koch HR operated.


Thanks to Koch’s majority investment in Infor in 2017, the transformation team soon realized that the best option for achieving Koch’s HR goals might just be in-house.

Infor is a tech provider known for creating streamlined, easy-to-use enterprisewide solutions. It had a great track record and numerous happy customers. But just to make sure it could provide the right solution for HR, Koch brought in a knowledgeable third party — the consulting firm Deloitte — to verify Infor’s potential. 

Deloitte not only saw great things in what Infor could do for Koch, but they also saw opportunities to leverage Infor’s capabilities at Deloitte. Although developing that potential took a bit longer than some had expected, by December 2, 2019, Koch was ready to implement the first phase of Infor’s global HR technology.


When myHR went live last December, several key foundational pieces were put into place: the myHR portal (Koch’s user interface); Infor Global HR (software which makes a variety of self-service transactions possible); Infor Go (a mobile app); Get HR Help (case management and knowledge); Birst Reporting (a reporting tool); and a series of scorecards and analytics for spotting trends.

The transformation of Koch HR involved more than just new technology. Three new HR Service Centers were opened to support the global enterprise in Katowice, Poland; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, China.

In addition, myHR content is now being provided in the eight core languages spoken by more than 90% of Koch employees globally: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin/Simplified Chinese, Polish and Spanish.

“All of this — and that’s quite a list — was just the first phase of our three-phase plan,” Malone said. “We wanted to start by building a foundational structure where all our employee information could be in one system.” Now that Koch has that foundation, Malone says, “we can accelerate the design and use of our leveraged capabilities (such as Talent Solutions, Compliance and Total Rewards), and strengthen the capability of our HR business partners.”


One of the key benefits of myHR is the way it enables self-service. Statistics compiled during the past five months reveal that employees are certainly taking advantage of those options. Since December:

  • About 70,000 employees (more than half of Koch’s global population) have logged in to myHR.
  • At least 20,000 of those logins were from mobile devices.
  • More than 220,000 transactions have been completed using the new system (at least 65,000 of them compensation related).
  • Knowledge sharing has increased: myHR online articles have been reviewed about 137,000 times.
  • HR Solutions has conducted approximately 18,000 chats, helping resolve issues more quickly than ever.

“What we are seeing is that our employees, regardless of their role, were fully prepared to embrace this new world of self-service,” Malone said. 

He also notes that employees are updating their personal information in the system. Supervisors are initiating compensation changes, submitting transfers and better managing non-employees. And Koch’s HR teams are now better positioned to strategically support their businesses. 

“I don’t want to suggest that myHR is a silver bullet for every HR issue,” Malone cautions. “We’re not promising perfection here. But it is true that we’re already seeing a huge improvement in many areas. And as we roll out the next phases in our plan, things should only get better.”

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“myHR delivers the foundation for us to advance our investment in human capital, enabling Koch to respond quickly to changes in the workforce — including gig workers, freelancers, contractors and traditional employees.”

Cara Channault-Reid, COO for Koch Global Services, believes the time it took for Infor to develop — and Koch to implement — myHR was well worth the wait.


By the end of this year, Malone expects to see implementation of additional functions focused on talent acquisition, “so we can do a better job of communicating openings and opportunities and then acquiring, developing, placing, rewarding, and retaining the best talent.”

After that, sometime in 2021 or beyond, even more advanced digital technologies are possible. 

“We’re investigating things such as new learning and development platforms, advanced predictive analytics and maybe even artificial intelligence and virtual training assistance.

“None of that would be possible if we hadn’t established a great foundation for Koch with myHR.”


KII chairman and CEO Charles Koch has made it clear that every Koch business and capability needs to rethink how to deliver value in a better way. “Change is not a choice,” he says. “It’s a matter of survival.”

Koch HR’s transformation is not the only example in the company. Koch’s legal and communications capabilities, and Koch Engineered Solutions — among many others — are already undergoing major changes. Malone is proud to lead one of the groups who are doing the same.

“Implementing the new HR Operating Model and new system has been a long and often challenging process,” he admits, “but we’re doing the right things for the right reason in the right way. 

“When you look at myHR as part of our overall strategy, we believe that employees will be better off, the company will perform better and our customers will benefit more because of this change.

“We want to make it easier for every employee to self-actualize by doing a better job of matching their capabilities with our opportunities,” Malone said. 

“We also want supervisors to have more efficient tools for processing role changes, movement of talent, visibility of enterprise talent or spotting trends that might become an issue.” 

Although Malone is proud of what human resources has accomplished, he’s also aware of the complexities involved in “getting it right” for 130,000 employees. And he’s careful not to assume that any tool can do all the work. “This is as much about changing how we work as it is about technology.

“As employees and supervisors, we still need to have conversations and share knowledge in person. A tool like myHR can never replace thoughtful actions and personal interaction, but it can improve and facilitate communication. 

“Bottom line, a change like this is all about mutual benefit. And that starts by making things better for every employee.”