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Improving Employee Engagement in Shared Services


Employee engagement can be defined as the level of passion and commitment that employees have for the organization where they are employed.  Highly-engaged employees are more likely to be self-motivated about their work and strive to contribute to the organization’s success.  Their energy and enthusiasm is the launching point from which they approach their job responsibilities by interacting positively with internal and external customers, consistently delivering high levels of productivity, with a seemingly endless reserve of energy to tackle job challenges or improve work processes.  Highly-engaged employees are more likely to be committed to achieve superior levels of performance, and they are less likely to be negative or disruptive, or to have a desire to leave their employment for other opportunities. 

Obtaining high levels of engagement in Shared Services is closely tied to the culture of the organization – that invisible vibe that has so much power to influence organizational health.  For Shared Services, culture is often closely linked to the overall company culture, although because of physical proximity (often a large distance from Headquarters) and the likelihood of having separate hiring practices, an independent and distinct culture that has greater alignment with the organizational objectives of Shared Services is often achievable.

iPollingTM Results Review

A recent Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology evaluated the relative effectiveness of the Shared Services culture to foster a high level of employee engagement, with a supporting question to better understand what approaches were the most effective. The results of the first question regarding effectiveness were interesting, with only 12% of participating companies selecting “Very Effective – We would considers ourselves leaders in this area”, with the remaining responses evenly split at 44% each between “Effective – We are pleased with our level of employee engagement”, and “Somewhat Effective – We are on the right path, but want to improve”. 

The second polling question explored the approaches member companies found to be most effective in fostering employee engagement.  Cited by 32% as being most important was the “General openness/approachability of Shared Services leadership”, with an additional 28% selecting for the most important approach “Developing a culture of continuous improvement where ideas are valued”.  “Frequent all-employee meetings” and “Reward/recognition programs” were selected as most important by an additional 20%, with the final 20% indicating that they couldn’t easily pick only one approach, since all were important considerations.

Poll comments from Peeriosity members include the following:

  • We have found that regular and frequent one-on-one meetings with each team member, in addition to frequent team meetings with all team (manager and reports, supervisor and reports, etc.) members, allows for more personal communications that help create greater engagement.
  • In addition to the above methods, we also have an employee-led group that focuses on employee engagement activities, such as reward & recognition programs, fostering team building, communications, and community activities.
  • We place great emphasis on clearly articulating a destination and what’s in it for the employee in terms of exciting/challenging work that develops them.
  • We use many methods.  It’s important to recognize that employees need to have a program that includes interactions that resonate with them (i.e., not one size fits all).
  • Our Shared Services area is continually seeking ways to improve our processes in order to provide the best service possible to our customers. We encourage our team to communicate any ideas they have which will improve our level of service.

Closing Summary

While approaches to creating greater levels of employee engagement are varied, the importance of an empowered and motivated workforce can’t be over-emphasized.  For many, much improvement is possible simply by being aware of the issue, and having regular discussions about the current state with follow-on dialogue regarding how to create higher levels of engagement at all levels of the organization. 

What is the effectiveness of your Shared Services culture to foster a high level of employee engagement?  What specific approaches to creating greater engagement do you use, and which of the approaches are the most effective?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


 “iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility to all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPolling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here

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