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Enhancing Process Quality in HR Shared Services


Delivering high-quality services has been a core tenet for most HR Shared Services (HRSS) operations from their inception.  While this is a noble objective, HRSS organizations can find it challenging to make improvements in quality once the initial benefits of consolidation and standardization are realized.  Certainly, this quest to improve quality levels has been boosted by the increased utilization of such quality disciplines as Lean and Six Sigma, where the company has leveraged the increased structure of a formal quality program to enhance its overall HR Shared Services operation.

Company Experience

On a recent Peeriosity PeercastTM, a large healthcare company based in the U.S., with over $12 billion in revenue and 60,000 employees, shared their experiences in improving service quality at their HR Shared Services center.  For this HRSS center, service quality is all about knowing what the expectations are of their internal customers and meeting or exceeding them.  To accomplish this, they have worked to create a culture of continuous improvement, with primary emphasis on seven key quality program components:

  • Integrated Service Delivery Model
  • Service Portal, Case Management, and Knowledge Base
  • Satisfaction Survey and Process
  • Coaching and Training Program
  • Established Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • SLA Reporting (Monthly and Quarterly)
  • Annual Service Review

In addition, extensive use of the DMAIC Cycle (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) is emphasized to improve all aspects of their HRSS operation.

An important part of the company’s overall People Strategy is its HRSS Roadmap, which is used as a guide to enhance the quality of the services they provide to the company.  The main attributes of that roadmap include quality integrated services, investing in the employee, changing for the employee, having innovative service center tools, and thinking forward. 

In order to measure their progress in providing high-quality services and improving overall customer satisfaction, a customer satisfaction survey is utilized which has allowed HRSS to create a baseline for understanding the expectations and requirements of HR Service Center customers, evolve an SLA around customer satisfaction, obtain meaningful data that can be used to enhance HR Service Center Operations, and relate customer satisfaction results with internal process metrics.

Some of the successes realized so far by HRSS in the area of process quality improvement include:

  • A 20% reduction in the number of calls received requesting updates on data entry submissions
  • A reduction in outbound emails (down approximately 2,000 per month)
  • 9,429-hour annual savings in the HR Service Center
  • Data quality over the last quarter stands at 97.9% accuracy (up from 89%)
  • The customer satisfaction average is at 85% and trending upward

Additional details regarding the efforts of the featured company can be found on the Peeriosity member website.

iPollingTM Results Review

Reviewing now the results from a recent Peeriosity poll developed using the iPollingTM technology, the first question looked at the status of companies utilizing a formal process improvement methodology, such as Lean or Six Sigma, in their Hire-to-Retire organization.  Overall, 65% are doing so, with 18% having a fully mature program and 47% with a less mature program. 

iPolling: status at company in utilizing lean, six sigma | Enhancing Process Quality

The second poll question then focused on the level of benefits companies are receiving from utilizing a formal quality program in their HR Shared Services operation.  The responses are all across the response key, with 18% saying that the benefit was very significant and 35% responding that it was significant.  For 24% of the companies, they are in the early stages of utilizing this type of program, and so they are indicating that it is too early to tell what the overall benefit will be.

iPolling: overall benefit in terms of process quality that has resulted from formal process improvement | Enhancing Process Quality

Some of the member comments associated with this poll include the following:

Computers & Electronics Member:  Our company uses Six Sigma extensively. It is a requirement that every new hire take Six Sigma training in their first year of hire, perform a Six Sigma project reporting up to our Six Sigma experts and their management, and, ultimately, be approved as a Six Sigma Specialist. Completion of this first-year requirement is followed up closely with the executive management of our Global Business Services corporation.

Other Industry Member: Implemented more than ten years ago. Participation in our program is “optional” and has not been leveraged equally in all of our business operations and support functions. Where it has been more zealously applied, we have experienced good outcomes.

Closing Summary

The benefits of Shared Services organizations focusing on quality are well-documented, regardless of what function is being supported (HR, Finance, etc.).  To accomplish this, about 65% of companies are utilizing a formal quality program in Hire-to-Retire, which often provides the necessary structure and focus to experience long-term success in this area.  As with many aspects of running a Shared Services operation, the key first step is to make quality a priority and then focus the proper resources on it.

Is your HR Shared Services operation properly addressing the quality of its services?  Could HRSS at your company benefit from the use of a formal quality methodology, such as Lean or Six Sigma?

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. 

“iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility of 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 iPollingTM.

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