Adam Krahling, VP of HRIS at American Express, and I recently did a webinar together over at SHRM. The subject was HR Shared Services and the case study behind how AMEX got their global HR Shared Services off the ground.
Adam shared a ton of great information - you can check it out in the archives here!
What came out of this webinar was a ton of great questions from the audience. Way more questions that we could ever get to! What this showed was HR leaders truly just really want to know how others are running their HR shop and if it would make sense for us to do the same.
As soon as PeopleDoc introduced me to Adam, I knew we had a homerun. Take a smart person who really understands their business, mix in a great international brand like AMEX, and talk shop! That's basically what we did. If you were looking into starting HR Shared Services at your organization and I told you that you could spend an hour with the guy who did this for AMEX and ask him a bunch of questions, you would say, "Yes, Please!"
Now, take HR Shared Services, Adam, and AMEX out of the equation. Put in whatever it is that's a burning issue in your organization, maybe document management, employee information security, talent attraction, or performance management. No matter the HR pain point that you have, what you really want to know are these two things:
How do I stop the pain?
How are others stopping the pain?
I think we all can agree that I don't care how others are doing it if I know that the solution we come up will stop our pain. Therein lies the problem. We don't fully believe our solution will stop the pain, so we want to do some due diligence around how others are solving similar issues!
On top of this, as HR leaders, we tend not to want to reach out to other organizations and HR leaders and tell them about our pain! It's embarrassing to have to admit to another HR leader that you have a problem and you're struggling to come up with a solution to solve it.
You know this isn't an issue other leaders from other parts of your organization have? This is mostly an HR leader issue! I've worked with Accounting and Finance leaders, Operational leaders, IT leaders, etc. All of whom are more than willing to pick up the phone, or send a message, to a peer at another company, even their competitors, and open up a dialogue about how they're dealing with certain issues.
As HR leaders, we need to start sharing with each other more. Like Adam did. Sure AMEX has had some great successes, but Adam also shared some great learnings ("learnings" is the new world for problems!") they had as well and some "learnings" they're still working through.
The sign of a great, transformational, HR leader is one that can ask for help when they need it, and one who is willing to share selflessly to others in the field!
I’m a 20 year HR/Recruiting Talent Pro with a Master’s in HR and SPHR certification, currently residing in Lansing, MI. Currently the President at HRU Technical Resources – a $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm and RPO. Prior to joining HRU, I was the Director of Employment at Sparrow Health System, Regional HR and Staffing Director with Applebee’s Intl., Retail Health Recruiting Manager and Regional HR Mgr. with ShopKo Stores and Pamida respectively. I’ve split my career half between recruiting and half between HR generalist roles – also split half between the HR vendor community and Corporate America – So, I think I get it from both sides of the desk.