Shared Services organizations are typically adept at gathering process-level performance metrics for use internally within Shared Services to provide performance feedback and set priorities for improvement for Shared Services staff and management. Communicating results to stakeholders and key internal customers, while equally important, is not typically given the same level of attention. In addition, the design considerations for external communications are more complex. Developing a communication strategy for people who are outside of Shared Services requires careful consideration of the reasons for the communication, the individuals who should receive the information, and how the information can be best structured and delivered to achieve the desired outcomes.
Recently, a PeercastTM in the Shared Services Leadership research area featured a member company that just completed a large Shared Services implementation that uses over 750 employees to deliver 20+ services across Hire-to-Retire, Record-to-Report, Procure-to-Pay, and Call Center Support Services. Because centralized Shared Services was a new delivery model for the company, it was of critical importance that external communications were well-designed and managed.
During the PeercastTM the featured company shared how one of the responsibilities of their Client Relationship Management team is to communicate performance results to key stakeholders and external customers. The team developed service catalog documents that detailed all service metrics, with catalog metrics that are then used to create a customized monthly client dashboard. The dashboard is a top-level highlight of costs, volumes, and service level performance, with a top-level status report on active projects.
The iPollingTM question that supported the PeercastTM asked members to indicate the primary method they used to communicate Shared Services results to stakeholders and key internal customers. For 31% the primary method is e-mail, and for 27% it is periodic face-to-face meetings with individual stakeholders or key customers, with another 8% conducting periodic face-to-face meetings with groups of stakeholders or key customers. Virtual meetings with individual stakeholders or key customers are the primary method for 15% of the companies. No one selected sending a hard copy of the results as the primary method of communication.
The second poll question asked member companies to comment on the type of Shared Services results that are provided to the stakeholders and key customers. The results indicate that 92% of member companies create a customized results package, with half of these customized by the individual recipients and the other half customized based on the role of the stakeholder or key customer. The remaining 8% prepare a standard results package for all recipients, regardless of their role in the company.
Here are some of the comments from members:
- Results are communicated in multiple ways depending on the size/complexity of the work being done and the location of the client. Some results are e-mailed for less complex processes. Some meetings are in person because the client is in the same location and some meetings are virtual because the client is at another location.
- Instead of centralized controller meetings, we have started Shared Service Center on-site meetings at the business units. This approach allows us to meet people at job levels who were not previously invited to a larger meeting. Some have referred to meetings as “road shows”.
- Although a set of standard SLA metrics are provided via email, there are other forms of performance communication. The other communication channels consist of quarterly face-to-face meetings, monthly customer focus meetings, and also more urgent performance communication through customer account representatives.
- Our results package is a combination. We have custom data pertaining to each stakeholder, however, the results are displayed in a standard package.
- For communications with our key stakeholders, we use a combination of face-to-face meetings, periodic phone calls or virtual meetings, and email results of quarterly metrics.
- We provide a mix of individual plus group face-to-face, as well as virtual.
How does your Shared Services organization communicate results to stakeholders and key customers? What type of information is provided and how tailored is the information to meet the needs of the stakeholder or key customer?
Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?
“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.
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