Shared Services employees work in an environment that pushes for “better, faster, cheaper” coupled with the backdrop that the work can move elsewhere at any time. Leaders have the challenge of creating a Shared (Business) Services environment that offers opportunity, flexibility, and positive energy for employees.
In a recent PeercastTM in the Shared Services Leadership Research Area, members discussed the Employee Value Proposition (“EVP”) as it relates to Shared Services staff. As confirmed by prior Peeriosity research, members indicated that the greatest concerns of their employees as it relates to being part of a Shared Services organization are the lack of a career path and economic related concerns:
In addressing the concerns of employees, most Shared Services organizations have dedicated resources and aligned their management to ensure that the EVP is a front and center strategy and, more importantly, steps are taken to embed the EVP into the culture of the Shared Services organization. In addition, due the relatively unique concerns related to the role of an internal service provider, the people-related initiatives and culture within the Shared Services organization might be different from those of the broader organization.
Shared Services leaders must be aware of these differences and, when addressed properly, something very special can happen. Employees are fully engaged and satisfied and then, in turn, high customer satisfaction and results quickly follow. When not addressed, unfortunately the opposite is true.
The PeercastTM featured a global Shared Services organization that has a well-defined EVP with four distinct pillars that is both team and individual-based. The Shared Services organization will provide opportunity within the pillars. However, the individual employee is ultimately responsible for their development and realizing their personal value-proposition from the many options available. These pillars and some representative comments from Peeriosity research are as follows:
- Develop Yourself and Your Career – The Shared Services organization provides ample opportunity for employees to develop new skills through a combination of training, coaching and assignments.
- Professionals Adding Value – A culture and methodology for continuous improvement is part of the fabric of the Shared Services organization. Thorough knowledge of the customer base and understanding that adding measureable value to them and our shareholders is Shared Services’ purpose.
- Energy and Fun – The environment will be conducive to high energy and enjoying being at work. Decisions are made fast, and there are many opportunities to be involved in work projects across teams and functions, as well as social activities to get to know your colleagues better (and provide service to the community).
- Individuality – Life exists outside work and, when possible, flexibility in individual work schedules is accommodated. Each individual has the opportunity to have their own development plan that best meets his or her needs and goals and contributes to the value proposition of the Shared Services organization.
It was agreed that if not the most important, one of the most important attributes of a healthy Shared Services environment is a culture that promotes accessibility to leadership and leadership that truly listens and is receptive to input. This seems to go hand-in-hand with a culture of continuous improvement.
Our feature company indicated that in the previous year there were over 250 events related to driving engagement. Most of these included participation from representative members of the Shared Services leadership team. A sampling of the events includes:
- Town Hall Meetings
- Coffee Sessions
- Leadership Meetings with Individual Teams
- Off-Site Sessions
- Fun-dation Friday (2 Fridays per month, fun event with learning objectives)
- Business Partner Interaction
- Cross-Center Activity/Interaction
The PeercastTM continued with participants sharing engagement ideas that have worked, as well as some that didn’t. One common theme is that it is important to have measures around the EVP. Our feature company shared that they have a measurement system and that one of the foundations is an annual employee survey aimed to determine not only level of engagement, but to identify focus areas for the following year.
How do you define and measure the Employee Value Proposition for your Shared Services organization and how are you driving it?
Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?
1 “PeercastsTM” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion. Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content. Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees.