Innovation culture…doable or black magic?

Innovation culture…doable or black magic?

We keep hearing it all the time…in order for shared services to be successful, they need to be continuously improving and innovating. But what is a culture of innovation? And how do you create one? Is it even possible?

A culture of innovation is when innovative ‘thinking’ becomes a cultural trait, second nature.

It is actively encouraged, and people live and breathe it from the bottom up.

It’s not just black magic, but in order to do this successfully, there are some key things to consider:

1 – Innovation should be encouraged across the entire workforce.

From the board to the cleaning staff, innovation should be encouraged from every employee of your business, with no exceptions.  We often think that ideas and innovations are created in brainstorming sessions. Make innovation a core responsibility of everybody’s roles and ensure it is reviewed frequently, don’t push it aside as an end of year objective.

2 – Empower your employees.

If you are going to set innovation as an expectation of your people, you need to properly equip them with the knowledge and tools to be able to do so. You also need to facilitate how people can share their thoughts and ideas in a positive and constructive way, to ensure they feel their voice is being heard and to make sure they know that no idea is a bad idea. There are a number of ways you can do this – either in 121s or group innovation sessions. Some businesses have suggestion boxes or an innovation section of their internal intranet.

3 – Take action.

There is always a risk that asking for innovation can lead to endless conversations with no real take away. The biggest impact that you can have on your culture is to take action. Now I’m not saying it is practical that every idea should be taken to prototyping/testing but, it is practical to show that all ideas are taken seriously and investigated, and giving a decision/outcome is critical to continually encourage people that their ideas are valued.

4 – It is ok to fail, as long as you learn!

Not every idea will be a success. Failure is inevitable. If things don’t fail, then the chances are you aren’t taking enough action on your innovation. Not every idea will be a success – and that’s ok!

The key here is to review the failure, figure out what went wrong, what could have been done differently and learn from it!

There are some organisations who do innovation really well. Amazon is a great example of this – where innovation has almost become a science to them. Everyone at Amazon is encouraged to submit improvement ideas through a simple template and are given sponsorship to try new ideas.

I would be really interested to hear how your company encourages innovation, as well as your opinion on any companies that do this really well.

For all things HR Shared Services, change and transformation and if you would like to feature in our ‘Insiders Story’ blog, email me on kate@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Kate Wass our HR Shared Services specialist here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professionals join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.  

Shared services: should we go hybrid?

Shared services: should we go hybrid?

I get lots of questions about the difference between BPO and SSC, so I’ve put together a simplified answer to help you out. Could the hybrid model be the way to go?

When large organisations grow, relocate, merge, acquire, or even consolidate different entities, typically there are two options on how they manage their operational processes.

The most popular option is a Shared Service Centre (SSC), however more and more organisations are now exploring the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) model.

The difference between Shared Service Centre’s and Business Process Outsourcing is that an SSC is an internal function of an organisation, and a BPO is typically an outsourced provider based offshore, and an external solution.

Business process outsourcing

BPOs tend to offer greater productivity due to technology, process and advanced systems and AI. With labour costs in these locations offering a more cost-effective solution in the long run, however the initial set up of an outsourced model can be costly initially, but over time will see a ROI.

This can be setup quickly and effectively, however, as long as your process isn’t completely unique, as BPOs tend to offer a more ‘one size fits all’ model.

The most popular locations for a BPO is India, Philippines and Central-Eastern Europe and SSCs most popular locations such as Europe and USA. With lower labour costs, and huge talent pools, it is an effective and more cost-effective solution when done right. With a BPO, you wouldn’t need to hire, train and retain your staff, but simply move into this model, and become operational in a short period of time.

BPO offers organisations scalability and opportunity for growth, as most tend to offer a 10-20% cost reduction to an SSC model.

Whilst, outsourcing can be implemented more quickly, not all vendors can offer the same quality service as an SSC. For example, if the vendor is based in Eastern Europe or Asia, Language barriers could also affect the quality of the deliverables.

Shared service centres

The SSC model offers a more bespoke solution and tend to give a company the ability to run systems like an internal service provider, allowing it flexibility. Companies make efficiencies through process standardisation, technology improvements and centralisation of services.

The SSC model offers more control over decisions, enabling a better service to the customers, suppliers and internal users.

A Shared Service Centre can closely monitor the performance and quality of the work done, which gives more control over the service being offered, however, having to install and maintain a new infrastructure can be costly, let alone having to train the employees.

The hybrid model

The big one – the hybrid model – is when organisations may opt in for both solutions and use a combination of both. Combing different models to ensure you are working towards the organisation’s goals, with lower risk activities such as Cash Allocation, Accounts Payable Processing and Reconciliations tend to be offshored. There is less room for error with these tasks and involve more processing than communication.

Typically, their more administrative functions and processing work would be outsourced, and the more strategic responsibilities are kept in house. This has many benefits – you’re getting the best of both worlds and in house and outsourced teams are a partnership and therefore work together for better results.

It’s a new buzz in the industry, but could the hybrid model be the future?

If you would like to discuss further, email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professions join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.  

Your first 30, 60 and 90 days in a shared service leadership role

Starting a new role in shared services can be a little overwhelming. Imagine starting a new position managing a team in excess of 30, 50 or 100 people, with new systems and new processes, in a completely new environment.

Where would you start? Most of your first 30 days is a learning curve, and a chance to absorb as much info as possible. Break it down into smaller chunks…

30 Days

  • Introduce yourself:

First impressions count. It is important that you understand your team, and they understand you. What are their frustrations, what makes them tick, and what motivates them to go that extra mile? It is important to understand the dynamics of the team initially and they understand your reasons for being hired. Most managers within a shared service are appointed to make change and drive efficiencies within their function. The whole team need to understand the journey you’re on as they will be a fountain of knowledge to help you reach it.

  • Define your role:

Why have you been appointed? Most roles within shared service have a purpose, and you need to define your existence in the role and what you are there to achieve. The team need to understand your motivations too, so you need to be transparent around this and what you are trying to achieve. This way the team will understand why changes are being made.

  • Understand the business and culture:

What is the business strategy? What are the business’ long term goals? Is it to reduce costs, headcount, make processes more efficient or to grow the team to manage an acquisition? Whatever it is, your team in most cases need to be aware of it, to understand your vison and to help you achieve the journey that you’re on. Understanding the product or service of the business is key, as you will need to think outside the box and consider any challenges that the business may face, and how that will impact the wider shared service.

  • Evaluate your own performance:

Monitoring your performance over a 30, 60, and 90-day period is important. Set yourself achievable objectives, short and long term based on what you have set out with your line manager. Once you’ve set yourself these objectives, it is important not just to deliver them but to go above an beyond.

  • Plan…plan…plan….

60 Days

  • What were your observations in the first 30 days?

Start by looking back on your first 30 days. What have you achieved, what objectives did you meet/not meet and how realistic were they?

Did you identify any risks, skills shortages or areas for improvement? This is the perfect time to reflect on your observations and speak up.

  • Implementing new strategies/processes

What needs to be changed? Is it people, process or systems? This is where you will need to consider the changes you want to drive, and again what impact this may have on the wider business. Most importantly, your team, key stakeholders, and wider business should all be ‘bought in’ to the change agenda and just as importantly your customers and suppliers should be too, if the changes could potentially affect them.

  • Start building your own personal brand

It’s important to start building your own personal brand and be recognised for doing things well. You want to use this next 30 days to really step up and show people why you were hired, and what you do well. By now you should have established relationships within the business and have started to help develop your team and potentially upskill them in in certain areas. By now you should understand your key stakeholders too, and how much influence is needed.

  • Get some feedback

It is important now that you obtain regular feedback to ensure your vision aligns with your line managers. Talk around your observations, and future planning, and some of the key points you’re considering changing.

  • Plan, plan, plan…..

90 Days

  • Create an internal comms plan

Align your plan with the business, and create your own strategy and objectives to share with your team and stakeholders, so they have a clear understanding of the journey you’re on. 

  • Present your gatherings

After spending 60 days analysing and absorbing info, it’s now time to present your findings. Show your stakeholders your problems and create solutions of how to make improvements and how you will measure success.

  • Start the transformation

Now it’s time to really get your sleeves rolled up and start making the changes!

Making a good first impression is important when you’re starting any management role, and by now your confidence should have grown and you will have made an impact on the team in some shape or form. Planning your first 30,90 and 60 days is important if you want to achieve your goals.

If you would like to discuss further, email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professions join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.

Does internal customer service affect your external customer experience?

Does internal customer service affect your
external customer experience ?

The experience that your employees have, directly impacts the service and experience your customers receive.

 A pretty strong statement, but one that I absolutely agree with.

This week, Lynsey Kitching and I explored how the experience your employees get from their internal functions can directly relate to the experience your external customers get from your business.

The first thing to note that although I talk about shared services in this blog, the statement relates to ANY internal function within your business and the fact of the matter is that almost any role within an organisation can be linked back to the customer in some way.

Well the scorecard is green so we must be doing fine!

Lynsey, Owner of Lynsey J Kitching consultancy, spent many years working with National Grid. During this time, she headed up a project to improve service quality within their shared service function.

People often use scorecards as a measure of success within shared services. But just because your scorecards are green, doesn’t mean your customers are happy with the service they are receiving. How are you getting feedback?

Lynsey used NPS (net promoter scores) to get internal and external customer feedback and began looking at their low scores/detractors and found there was a direct correlation between feedback and performance on both internal and external NPS.

”The initial NPS scores and supporting feedback from customers was the shared services team were not accessible, our customers didn’t know what we did, email dot boxes didn’t work, and our processes weren’t transparent. That led us to develop our service proposition…to be responsive, reliable and easy to deal with. And act straight away – implement a service management tool to remove dot boxes, set up a pop-up help desk at our largest colleague office and work on improving our first identified colleague journey – how to buy goods or services. In the first 12 months the NPS score improved by 22 points.”

Story time

One of the biggest detractors on Lynsey’s NPS for external customers was a lack of consistency/continuity with people when solving an issue.

An example of how shared services could affect this score.

Your payroll administrator processes the wrong payroll data for your account manager. Your account manager gets paid incorrectly. When he tries to speak with shared services, he gets passed from one person to another with nobody really taking accountability for the error. Account manager becomes disengaged and starts job hunting and leaves his role. Your customer calls up to speak to their account manager only to find they are no longer there. Said customer is on their fifth account manager in 2 years. They are sick of having to re-introduce themselves to someone new and spend time getting them up to speed. Your customer leaves and goes to another provider.

Now I appreciate this is a pretty drastic scenario. But it happens.

‘Every role in shared services can be connected back to the customer and, as a result of this, every role within shared services is hugely important’.

Your Payroll administrator thinks they are the lowest part of the value chain. How can what they do affect your customers, when they don’t even speak to them?

And there lies your problem. Your shared services team doesn’t understand their purpose and they don’t feel empowered to deliver service to the best of their ability.

The leadership role is to set the climate and enable their teams to look at the bigger picture and how their role has an impact.

You need to move from talking in process and transaction terms, to talking about colleague journeys and experience – from setting strategic objectives to individual performance management. Empower your colleagues to step away from process when needed to improve experience (obvs balancing any controls/regulations).

So, there you have it! How internal customer experience can affect external customer service.

If anyone has undertaken a similar project, both Lynsey and I would be really interested to see any hard data relating to customer service and employee experience!

If you would like to speak with Lynsey about her consultancy services, get in touch and we will connect you, or you can catch her on LinkedIn.

For all things HR Shared Services, change and transformation and if you would like to feature in our ‘Insiders Story’ blog, email me on kate@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Kate Wass our HR Shared Services specialist here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professionals join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.  

What makes a good shared service leader?

A good shared service leader

Shared services is a continuously evolving function, and with emerging technologies and ever-changing job titles, it’s important that you set yourself apart from the crowd if you want to become a well-known leader within the industry.

Traditionally, shared service leaders were always judged on their hard skills. Shared services are set up to reduce costs, make processes more efficient and deliver results. However, not all shared service functions have an internal focus, and some are more focussed on delivering a better quality of service their customers, stakeholders and wider business.

So, what skills do you need to be a successful  shared services leader?

Leaderships Skills

Well this one is pretty obvious, really. Leadership skills is one of the most important things you need to have. You need to be the ‘anchor’ for the team and show resilience when going through periods of change. 

Ability to influence

In order to be a successful shared service leader, you will need to have the ability to influence. You will need to influence customers, stakeholders, suppliers as well as your wider team and perhaps the board. You will need to get their buy-in whilst delivering transformation through periods of change.

Commercial mindset

The best leaders within shared service functions will have a commercial mindset and will be more operational than transactional. It’s all about looking at the wider business and understanding how decisions can impact other operations and sometimes the end user.

Tech Savvy

With the rise of robotics, AI and cloud-based systems, it’s important that you can keep up to speed with the latest technologies. With mundane processing tasks being eliminated, this is a great chance to take away some of the tasks the team may call ‘painful’, allowing you to upskill them and utilise them more, which leads nicely to my next point…

Talent attraction and retention

You’re only as good as your team. Building a team with exceptional talent can be difficult. Retaining the team is even harder. In such a candidate driven market it’s important keep your team motivated and challenged as they will no doubt explore opportunities externally. Rotational training, incentive, and continuous development is what most staff want – ensure you get the best team and keep them – enabling you to do the best job possible!

Purpose-driven

Whilst there are some nice shiny job titles and sexy remuneration packages the best share service leaders, in my opinion, are the ones that are passionate about delivering change effectively. It’s all about wanting to add value and pushing to deliver results for the business.

What can I do to develop my skills?

  • Complete online courses/webinars to develop specific skills.
  • Speak at conferences and events.
  • Become a mentor.
  • Attend networking events.
  • Get involved in all aspects of the company and suggest improvements.

What skills do you feel make a good shared services leader? If you would like to discuss further, you can email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professions join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.  

Shared Services vs. Business Process Outsourcing – who will survive?

Shared Services vs. BPO

There has long been an argument between Shared Services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) – is one better than the other? I think both have their merits. However, in the evolving world of shared services and outsourcing, will one become extinct?

BPO is the process of engaging a third-party vendor with the right skills and resources, to carry out work on your behalf.

Shared Services relates to the creation of an autonomous business unit, based on-site, which carries out these processes for multiple functions within an organisation (HR, Finance, procurement).

The services that BPO and Shared Services provide is generally to remove manual, operational and often repetitive tasks out of your everyday work.

Business Process Outsourcing

BPO is often thought to be more efficient, due to it having better systems and processes. It is frequently based offshore, so labour costs and overheads can be significantly lower than having this service in-house.

Outsourcing can often be implemented quickly and more effectively, due to the experience of the resource within these companies. The transition to an outsourced model may not offset the savings you make and the increase in the quality of the work you receive.

Feedback is often that BPO can be seen as ‘faceless’ or lacking the human approach that people sometimes want from these services and in a world where employee engagement and experience is paramount, this can cause real issues.

Shared Services

Shared services can be a better solution if your needs are bespoke. BPO can often be one size fits all, and if you have requirements that are specific and processes that aren’t bog standard, then a shared services model may be the best choice.

However, the implementation of a shared services function within a business can be slow and painful. More often than not this is due to lack of experience internally to deliver this and if systems, processes and data are not clean and efficient, the service will fail.

If the service fails, it can be hugely damaging to employee engagement and if people aren’t engaged to use the service, then they will revert to old habits, rendering the service useless.

Is there a place for both?

People seem to believe that in the long term, only one of these will survive. My opinion is that there is a place for both. If you have high volume of standard processes which need carrying out without knowledge of internal factors or processes, then BPO is probably for you.

However, if you have unique processes and you have the time, money and resources to do this properly, then shared services is the best option.

Before you decide whether to implement a BPO or Shared Services model, you need to do a thorough diagnostic on your business and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What the end goal is for your organisation in changing to a new service delivery model? If it is purely to save money, then shared services isn’t for you.
  • Do you have management engagement and support?
  • Are your systems, processes and data fit for purpose?

Once you have the answers to all of these questions, you should be able to make an informed decision.

So, what do you think? Do you think shared services or BPO will become extinct in the long term?

For all things HR Shared Services, change and transformation get in touch with us via the info form below, and if you would like to feature in our ‘Insiders Story’ blog, email me on kate@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Kate Wass our HR Shared Services specialist here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professionals join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.  

How you’ll benefit from a shared service function

Benefit from a shared service function

Shared Service Centres have been around since the mid 80’s, and more and more frequently, large corporates are moving towards outsourcing and the shared service model.

Typically, a shared service organisation is a central hub, and is responsible for handling specific operational tasks. Finance tends the be the most popular function within a shared service, with HR following just behind.

Companies usually implement the shared service model for a number of reasons:

Cost reduction:

When back office functions are consolidated and the work is migrated into one department, this will inevitably reduce cost of transaction processing. In addition to labour savings, shared services contribute to reductions in infrastructure costs such as technology, facilities and services, and administrative overhead costs.

Making processes more efficient:

Replacing dispersed IT infrastructure with the latest technology can eliminate processing time. When standardisation and continuous improvement of processes and systems is being carried out, this leads to a reduction in processing time, less errors and an improved quality of service. This way, your teams time can be freed up so they can focus their time and efforts on more strategic and more ‘human’ tasks.

Improving the customer journey:

Not all organisations create a shared service model to reduce costs. Sometimes the strategy behind a centralised model is to improve the customer journey or service levels of an organisation. The most successful shared service centres, in my opinion, are the ones that focus on adding value as a centre of expertise. When metrics are implemented to a SSC (KPI’s/SLA’s) they help drive performance and service levels.

Upskilling existing staff:


With the rise of technology and automation within shared service functions, staff are being utilised in many other ways. Not only does it make staff more productive, it also improves their skillset and gives them a more rounded knowledge of a business, enabling them to really add value.

When you have motivated teams that have a clear message on what they are trying to deliver, then efficiency, cost reduction and economies of scale are usually improved naturally. It’s about the leadership team creating a clear message and vision on what you’re trying to achieve.

For more info on the role leadership plays within shared services then please see my blog here.

If you would like to discuss further, email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professions join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.  

Using robots to make Human Resources more human…

Using robots to make Human Resources more human

I know what you’re thinking….surely that doesn’t make sense? How can robots make things more human?

RPA and AI are becoming more and more popular within shared services functions across the world, but countries have very different views on them.

In china, they want to use it for world domination. In America, they believe it will put businesses in the best possible commercial position. And in the UK…well, we still don’t want robots to hurt us or take our jobs.

I have to tell you guys, the least popular purpose for automation is headcount reduction. If your primary goal when automating is to reduce headcount or to save money, then it will more than likely fail.

Automation is used to enable better quality in operations and more workforce agility.

So, what is RPA and what is AI and why should you use it?

RPA and AI often get mistaken for the same thing, or organisations decide to use both. RPA and AI are two different technologies, with two different uses, and quite often you don’t need both!

The Lowdown on RPA and AI

AI is short for Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence replicates the human thought process. It takes the knowledge of a human and builds it into the application. AI deals with unstructured data, meaning that it self improves and continuously thinks and learns. It is the ‘brain and spine’.

RPA is short for Robotic Process Automation. RPA behaves like a person. It deals with high volumes of structured data to carry out repetitive tasks that humans do. The purpose of RPA is to remove those high volume, repetitive tasks that we hate. It is ‘the fingers’.

How do you decide?

Before you chose to adopt RPA or AI, as a business you have some big questions to ask yourself – as the decisions you make will affect the next 10 years of your business operations.

  • What business am I in?
  • How do I want to deliver services?
  • What do I need my operating model to look like?

The cultural impact of automation is significant. It touches every employee and manager within an organisation, so equally, the training and messaging around automation has to be key!

How to make it successful?

  • Choose your areas of automation carefully and then work with humans to identify what can be offloaded to automation and take their knowledge to create the automation.
  • Train your people on RPA and AI. Help them to understand what it is and how they can identify processes that may be suitable for automation.
  • Get your house in order! Automation only works with good, clean data.
  • Continually review your processes to make sure your automation is efficient and user friendly.

Automation is your friend. It isn’t here to take your job or make your life hard. On the contrary, the whole point of automation is to take the robot out of the human. To remove the high volume, menial tasks within your role or your team, freeing people up to contribute more value-add work to your business, so don’t fear it, work with it!

For all things HR Shared Services, change and transformation get in touch with us via the info form below, and if you would like to feature in our ‘Insiders Story’ blog, email me on kate@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Kate Wass our HR Shared Services specialist here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professionals join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.  

Functions within Shared Service Centres

Functions within a Shared Service Centre

A Shared Service Centre (SSC) is a central hub of an organisation, typically responsible for handling specific operational and administrative tasks.

Shared Service Centres have been around since the mid 1980’s and, more frequently than ever, larger corporates are moving towards SSC’s and business process outsourcing.

Companies use a Shared Services model so they can utilise their people and the processes and technologies within the business. Organisations will open up SSC’s to concentrate their administrative duties into a centralised function, in order to reduce costs, avoid duplication of effort and to allow for greater focus on business strategy.

So, what are the main functions within Shared Service Centres?

The main functions we see across Shared Service Centres, listed in order of popularity are:

  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Information technology
  • Procurement
  • Customer service/Contact Centres
  • Estates/Facilities
  • Sales and marketing
  • Legal

The key objectives for most SSC’s are reducing business costs, improved efficiency and control, performance/productivity measurement and customer satisfaction.

Finance and accounting, HR, and I.T are the main driving functions behind shared service centres. They bring about improvement in data analytics, process improvement and robotics and automation.

Finance and accounting

Finance and accounting is usually the most popular function within a shared service. It’s estimated that more than 50% of global companies have consolidated their accounting and finance functions into a shared service centre or are planning to do so.

Human Resources

Organisations use shared services as a way of streamlining their HR activities, typically concentrating transactional activities into a centralised and commonly shared function. The shared service model can help businesses reduce costs and increase process efficiency, allowing a greater focus on HR strategy.

Information Technology

IT was not the first function to take up shared services, however, it was quickly adapted to IT in the late 1990s. The objective is the same as with other functions; reaching scale economies through centralised IT activities.

The challenges:

You must bear in mind, as with everything, there are challenges to face within all shared service functions. The main challenges are:

  • Deskilling roles that then become tedious to complete.
  • Future development opportunities for administrative roles.
  • Loss of face to face interaction.
  • Decreasing process visibility from business units or sites.
  • Analytics not being used to measure success, to allow continuous improvement.
  • Heavy investment in information systems.

If you consider all these challenges in the early stages and plan accordingly, you give yourself the best chance to make your shared service function a success.

For more information on why HR Shared Service Centres fail, see Kate’s blog here.  

If you would like to discuss further, email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

You can sign up for more shared services news and updates from Sam here.  

Why HR Shared Service Centres fail

HR Shared Services

HR Shared Services are set up to streamline HR activities, which reduces costs, increases the efficiency of business processes and frees up time to concentrate on strategy.

HR Shared Services functions can add a lot of value if you do it right. If you get it wrong, it can have a negative effect on employee experience and relationships throughout the business with HR can be damaged.

Technology plays a big part in making HR Shared Services effective, but the exact structure and scope of HRSS really depends on the company and various other factors.

Why does HR Shared Services go wrong?

Organisations use shared services as a way of streamlining their HR activities, typically concentrating transactional activities into a centralised and commonly shared function. The shared service model can help businesses reduce costs and increase efficiency of processes and allow a greater focus on HR strategy.

When done well, HR Shared Service Centres (HRSSC) add untold value to an organisation. However, get it wrong and it can ruin employee experience and destroy the relationship between HR and the wider business. But why does it fail?

You haven’t engaged the business in the change

When you implement a HRSSC, two groups of people need properly consulting. The people working in the shared service centre and those who will be using it. Both of these groups are equally important. You need to take your customers on the journey with you and engage and influence, in order for them to understand how you’re changing the way they currently do things. If either of these groups of people aren’t engaged, the SSC simply won’t work.

You have rushed it

Delivering a HRSSC into a business takes time. It isn’t something you can decide to do and then implement within 2 weeks. You cannot do it half-arsed. There are a lot of things to consider – from mapping out processes and ensuring you have the right technology, right down to hiring and onboarding the right talent. All of these things take time. If you rush any areas and don’t give them the time and attention they need, the chances are they will fail.

You don’t use analytics to measure success and continuously improve

Establishing the right metrics to analyse in a HRSSC is the key to success. By monitoring data, you can see how your teams are performing and highlight inefficiencies and potential problem areas, that may need investigation.

Measuring results and data enables informed decisions to be made that drive your HRSSC to continually develop and run better. This gives your HR teams the resources they need to be successful, provides employees with a better experience and ultimately gets the business results you want.

Poor leadership

Having the right leader is important for any team, particularly in a shared service environment. If you have the wrong leaders in a share service centre, the wheels can fall off the entire operation, leaving you with an unhappy, disengaged team who lose their passion for delivering excellence. When this happens, the knock-on effect across the business can be immense.

A good shared service leader should be able to look beyond the SSC and understand the impact it has on employees, as well as customer and clients.

You don’t have the right technology

Technology is a fundamental component of any HRSSC. If you don’t have the right technology, then the SSC just won’t work. So, you need to check that your current HR systems are fit for purpose. Take time looking at your current systems and processes and what you need them to do. HR tech is a big investment, so make sure you choose the right one. Meet multiple vendors, get demonstrations – and challenge them, to make sure the system does everything you need it to. Modern HR technology allows HR to manage incoming requests, review case histories and related employee files, provide consistent responses and escalate a case when necessary.

You are probably reading this and wondering why I am writing all of this, because it all seems like common sense, right?

You would be amazed at how often people miss out one of the key elements to ensure their HR Shared Service Centre in a success.

So, do you agree? Have you had a Shared Service function which is been fantastic or failed spectacularly? Share your experiences!

For all things interim management, change & transformation, get in touch with us via the info form below, and if you would like to feature in our ‘Insiders Story’ blog, email me on kate@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Kate Wass our executive interim specialist here.

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