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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 are the launching points from which they approach their job responsibilities by interacting positively with internal and external customers, consistently delivering high levels of productivity, and 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 achieving 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.

iPolling Results Review

A recent Peeriosity poll explored 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. Regarding effectiveness, poll results indicate that 22% of Peeriosity member companies consider themselves to be very effective, leaders in fostering a high level of employee engagement, with an additional 11% indicating they are effective and pleased with their level of employee engagement.  The majority of companies, at 56% consider themselves to be somewhat effective, and on the right path with an interest in improving.  Finally, 11% indicate that they are not very effective, with room for improvement.  Here are the details:

effectivity of improving employee engagement in your company ipolling results

The next polling question asked about the approaches that were the most effective in fostering good communications and engagement among employees in Shared Services, with developing a culture of continuous improvement where ideas are valued cited as the most important by 37% of respondents.  Other popular selections for most effective included one-on-one discussions between management and employees (16%), clearly articulating a vision and strategy for Shared Services (11%), and having a reward/recognition program (11%).  Here are the details:

ipolling results most effective program for improving employee engagement in shared services

A few of the comments from members include:

  • All of the approaches are used. We are constantly improving our engagement and enablement with our shared services teams.
  • All the above. Different areas resonate more with employees, so it is important to have a program that covers the breadth of levers.
  • We still are in the process of creating Shared Services within the company. Previously all activities were outsourced.
  • Focusing on team member development will help them grow their careers and have an environment where team members can thrive and be their best.

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?


 “iPolling” 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 Mail, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPolling.

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