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Measuring Productivity Across HR Shared Services

A key tenet of HR Shared Services is to be able to significantly increase productivity through automation, process optimization, consolidation, and standardization, while not sacrificing customer service or quality.  Being able to measure the success of that effort can be challenging since widely diverse processes are typically found in an HR Shared Services environment.  One particular challenge related to productivity is developing the capability to be able to accurately measure it in a manner that provides actionable information, but not be overly burdensome to the team as a whole.

During a recent PeercastTM, a major healthcare provider based in the United States shared their experiences in establishing a process to measure HR Shared Services productivity.  With the HR Contact Center, Benefits Administration, HR Administration, Employee Relations, and Talent Acquisition all as part of their HR Shared Services operation, developing meaningful productivity measurements across all these functions was a significant challenge.

The feature company shared a variety of steps that are necessary to develop productivity metrics, which included the following:

  1. Determine functions to be monitored
  2. Identify common tasks for tracking
  3. Determine productivity target
  4. Define variances in responsibilities by department/function
  5. Determine tracking mechanisms to be used 
  6. Determine what to factor out of productivity calculations
  7. Determine the timeframe for tracking – days, week(s), month, etc.
  8. Establish some level of auditing for accuracy, which may include utilizing reports where available, or visual inspection
  9. Standardize tracking tool/process to the extent possible
  10. Determine tracking calculation method, for example, averages vs. actual

In developing productivity measures, the featured company utilized an automated tracking mechanism (a macro and timer), which minimized the manual effort by employees and reduced potential errors.  They tracked the start and stop time of tasks, including determining if rounding to minutes or down to seconds and calculated totals by transaction and task type.  This helped in identifying where the most effort is occurring across tasks.

In addition, the featured company shared examples of their productivity calculations, productivity reports, and their path forward as they continue to enhance their capabilities in this area; all of which are available for Peeriosity members.

In conjunction with this PeercastTM was an online poll administered during the session.  The first question asked of the attendees was related to the key metrics measured within HR Shared Services at their company.  The majority (67%) monitor cost, productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction, which is no small effort at any company.  Another 22% measure cost, productivity, and quality, while 11% just track cost and productivity.

key metrics measured within hr shared services in the company measuring productivity ipolling

The second polling question then addressed what companies would most like to improve as it related to HRSS metrics at their company.  The two most prevalent responses at 33% each were to improve the meaningfulness of the individual metrics and to tie those metrics to the performance of individual employees.  Being able to tie metrics more closely to service level agreements was the most important challenge for 22% of the companies, while 12% indicated that gaining more consistency in how individual processes are measured across Human Resources was the area they would like to most improve.

which metric to improve across hr shared services in the company ipolling results

As many companies, including our feature company, have discovered, while there can be a significant effort to initially develop and implement productivity measures in HR Shared Services, the benefits over the long term far outweigh the initial investment.  The key is to make a commitment to do so and then make it a priority within your organization.

How is productivity currently measured within HR Shared Services at your company?  Is it providing the actionable insight necessary to best lead your organization?

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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