Continous Improvement Manager (People Systems) - UK and Kenya (updated Nov 18)

Human Resources & Talent Acquisition Edinburgh, United Kingdom London, London


Location: London or Edinburgh or Nairobi, Kenya 

Position Status: Full-time, Regular

Salary: London: circa 53K,  Edinburgh: circa 45K,  based on local benchmark for Kenya 

Applicants must hold independent right to work in the UK at the time of appointment. 

Please apply with CV and cover letter before November 29th. 

About Mercy Corps 

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact. 

The People Team  

The People and Strategy Team ensures that Mercy Corps has the people, strategies and learning that will enable it to be a world-class, cutting edge, humanitarian organization, creating transformational change in the world. We do this through: the recruitment, retention and development of the best global talent. Our aim is to drive strategic thinking and planning at all levels of the organization; create a robust body of research to guide us internally and externally and steward the organizational culture. To achieve this we align conversations on learning; keep the organization focused on what has the greatest impact; leverage our comparative advantages in the crowded and competitive international relief and development landscape; and assure we are constantly learning from our work and the external environment. 

The Position  

The Continuous Improvement Manager is a key leadership position in the People Systems and Analytics Team that is responsible for overseeing the prioritization, resourcing, and execution of new systems and process improvement projects. They are responsible for driving cross-departmental change to ensure People systems and processes are meeting evolving business needs.  The role will also be responsible for managing and developing a team that stays abreast of new technology capabilities, customer needs, and project/change management concepts.  System integrity, project/team management, and stakeholder management is of the utmost importance to this role.  

Essential Responsibilities  

Strategic Leadership and Management 

  • In concert with PSAT leaders and People Team leaders, develop and actively align team objectives, priorities and success metrics to department and agency goals 
  • Supervise team members, consultants, interns, and volunteers under continuous improvement projects 
  • Support team of business analysts to meet project targets and goals, and create associated development plans for all identified talent 
  • Responsible for keeping abreast of emerging industry trends and industry good practice in the following areas: HCM/talent solutions, process improvement and project/change Management 
  • Be a thought partner for the creation and recognition of opportunities for innovation 
  • Be able to identify potential risks and recognize early signs/symptoms of issues 
  • Be able to represent the People Systems and Analytics Team and the People Team in various systems forums and decisions 

Systems and Process Improvement 

  • Understand and continuously learn new and existing systems capabilities, functionality, and modules of Human Capital Management solution (UKG Pro)  
  • Partner with business units and subject matter experts to determine prioritization of People System functional requests to support People Team priorities, and validate / make revisions throughout the year as contexts shift 
  • Manage the intake, workflow, and prioritization of issues related to requests for new/improvement of People systems functionality (e.g. UKG Pro, JobVite, etc.) and new/improvement of People Team processes 
  • Review and oversee proposed system deployments and configuration changes and provide direct support where needed 
  • Oversee the development or revision of system user training, guides and resources to ensure lasting change for continuous improvement projects 
  • Accountable for the minimization of disruption and maximizing the use of vendor deployed system releases 

Project and Change Management 

  • Provide project and change management support to large, high priority initiatives in the People Systems and Analytics Team and the broader People Team 
  • Capture and manage scope, expected outcomes, timelines, resource allocation and plans for continuous improvement projects 
  • Accountable for successful and consistent completion of continuous improvement projects and bodies of work 
  • Develop and report progress on projects to business units and other stakeholders 
  • Manage transition experienced by agency stakeholders during system deployments and process changes through focused communications, creative interactions, and consistent storytelling 
  • Conduct comprehensive stakeholder analyses to diagnose the broader impacts of current and upcoming change initiatives 
  • Engage and support senior leaders on their role in change management. Coach team members at any level in supporting change efforts across the organization. 
  • Analyze the behavioral risks embedded in project plans, identify common themes and broader change management needs across the organization, and prioritize efforts to have the greatest impact on the agency 

Supervisory Responsibility 

Direct supervision of 2 Business Analysts. 


Reports Directly To: Director - People Systems & Workforce Insights 

Works Directly With: People Systems Manager, People Team Leaders, People Team Functional Owners, Country HR Managers, Project Sponsors  

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders 

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. 

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills  

  • 2-3 years' experience managing large-scale change initiatives and/or multi-region/geography system implementation projects  
  • 3-5 years' experience in business systems analysis or system administration required 
  • Project management certification (PMI, PMP, Prince, etc) or change management (CCMP, PROSCI, etc) certification preferred  
  • Proven ability to manage cross-functional teams and demonstrated leadership capability including ability to motivate and mentor others within the team 
  • Exceptional communication skills, including the ability to actively listen, gather relevant valuable information, articulate ideas effectively to diverse audiences & senior leadership, negotiate successfully, and manage conflict. 
  • Skilled at navigating complex problems and convening multiple, cross-functional stakeholders together to build shared ownership and buy-in. 
  • English fluency required, French, Spanish, and Arabic a plus 

Success Factors  

A successful Continuous Improvement Manager has the skills to rally team members around a common set of goals and objectives and make connections across multiple stakeholders to drive alignment and harmonization. They demonstrate a strong ability to lead, develop, and oversee diverse work and project teams with the aim of delivering successful business outcomes. The CIM provides clear, frequent, and concise communication to promote transparency both within the team and the agency. 

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions 

This position is based in Edinburgh or Nairobi and may include travel for team meetings, vendor meetings/conference, or occasionally to regional/country offices across the agency. Travel may be up to 10% of the time. The position will be supporting global stakeholders and will require work outside of a traditional schedule to accommodate time zone differences. Project and operational workloads may also vary and require increased hours during critical work activities. 

Ongoing Learning 

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient, and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.  

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today. 

Equal Employment Opportunity 

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.  

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work. 

Safeguarding & Ethics 

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.