Mythbusters: Setting the Record Straight on HR Shared Service Centers
by Nicole Lindenbaum April 27 2017
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As more and more companies move to a shared services model for HR, HR leaders seek ways to achieve the promised benefits of this organizational model. Shifting to shared services can be a significant change for many organizations, and we’re here to answer some big questions about what implementing an HR Shared Service Center (HRSSC) looks like.
HRSSCs can have a powerful and positive impact on your organization and you’ll see elevated levels of service by implementing a best-in-class HR Service Delivery Platform with your HRSSC. Together, an HRSSC with a great platform can help standardize processes and optimize operations, delivering real value to businesses around the world.
Disproving 5 Myths About HRSSCs
1. Your shared service center has to be in 1 physical location
One of the great benefits of a shared service center is the standardization and centralization of information and processes. Streamlining access and centralizing information can make it sound like a shared service model requires a single, central location. But, by using an HR Service Delivery Platform you can actually centralize your HR teams without requiring them to work together in a single location!
An HR Service Delivery Platform gives employees an easy way to contact HR with requests. Employees and HR teams are able to access the platform from anywhere, on any device. Through case management, HR reps can collaborate, or swarm, on a case. And because HR users have access to their own knowledgebase and to saved template responses, you can still ensure consistency and speed without requiring the HR reps to co-locate.
2. Your employees won’t receive personalized help
Providing the best possible HR service supports employee engagement and satisfaction. In a world where employees expect digital experiences that give them autonomy and fast information, a contextualized knowledge portal provides easily searchable information. Employees are able to quickly find answers and materials on their own, based on content that is personalized to their role and location. When employees can help themselves, more time is given back to HR professionals, who are then able to focus on giving personalized support to employees who have more complex requests or questions.
A shared services model can help make HR processes more efficient, optimizing your employees’ experiences. Moving to a shared services model often includes automating rote and manual HR administrative tasks. While automation can carry the stigma of impersonalization, an HR Service Delivery Platform actually provides a better level of service, tailored to each individual employee. Employees are able to submit requests through the platform directly, saving valuable time. Additionally, case management tools provide information that allows HR to tailor their answers to individual employees.
3. It will still be costly and time-consuming to collaborate with local HRBPs
Even after centralizing HR, many organizations will maintain at least some measure of local HR representation. HRBPs lend personal support to regional employees and can manage local regulations and policies. Often, HRBPs will need to collaborate with other HR professionals and may require the ability to access employee files and initiate HR processes. While remote accessibility and collaboration may seem complicated to implement and keep secure, an HR Service Delivery Platform simplifies these processes to keep HR running efficiently.
An HR Service Delivery Platform allows HR to easily collaborate on cases, regardless of location. It also helps standardize processes, saving time and simplifying compliance management. This level of support allows HR to design global processes that account for local exceptions and regional differences in policy. Ultimately, shared service centers utilizing an HR Service Delivery platform will be able to easily collaborate with local HR, providing support for complying with local requirements and regulations.
4. HRSSCs can’t provide advanced, nuanced analytics
Undertaking significant organizational changes to centralize HR resources has one major aim: to gain value and provide business benefits, such as increased productivity and reduced costs. In order to evaluate the kinds of benefits you’ve achieved and the extent of their effectiveness, it’s important to implement technology that provides analytics for areas you couldn’t previously measure.
Analytics reporting is crucial to lend insight into HR processes. An HR Service Delivery Platform can help HR leaders track key KPIs, arming them with information to help make the best decisions on how to streamline processes. Advanced analytics drive continuous improvements by identifying bottlenecks, usage patterns and trends, and the most sought after content and information. This technology gives HR in-depth insights into its own performance, helping you to continuously optimize and provide an elevated level of service to employees.
5. Your IT service delivery platform will work in an HRSSC
IT was one of the first functions to move to a shared services model, and IT service delivery technology has been in place for years. At a glance, it might seem like an IT service delivery platform could meet the needs of HR. However, HR and IT have a fundamental difference: people are not tickets. Therefore, an HR request can’t be managed in the same way as an IT request.
To illustrate, think of 4 different employees in an organization. Each employee works at different levels, under different contract agreements, and in different countries. If all 4 employees need assistance resetting a password, they can send a ticket to IT and the answer will be the same for all 4 people. But if each employee has questions about maternity leave, their different roles, contracts, and geographic locations mean that maternity leave processes and policies will be different in each case. In order to provide personalized and effective HR service, an HR Service Delivery Platform is crucial for supporting your service center. In cases where one-size-fits-all services just won’t cut it, a platform helps you give your employees the best possible support and excellent service.
Nicole Lindenbaum is the Director of Product Marketing at PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software. Nicole leads the global messaging strategy for PeopleDoc by translating technology into business benefits HR can actually understand. With significant experience in HR technology, Nicole writes and speaks about HR service delivery, employee experience, digital transformation, and the future of work. Nicole holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.