Implementing, managing, and growing Shared Services/GBS operations covers a wide range of topics and issues with more than 20 important categories from Business Case Development through Strategy & Vision, and Technology. Research and analysis on these topics is often packaged in brightly colored presentations that are distant from the realities of operating a production facility, that in many ways is a sophisticated factory dependent on people to deliver services for internal and external customers in an efficient and cost-effective way while meeting defined business requirements.
When running a Shared Services/GBS Delivery Center the issue of the number of work shifts and hours where employees are available is an important consideration. While differences in design from company to company are to be expected, knowing the approach of your peers can be valuable for both confirming and challenging the approach at your company.
iPolling Results Review
Peeriosity’s iPolling was used to provide insight to different approaches Peeriosity member companies take to staffing their operations centers, and specifically as it relates to the issue of work shifts and work hours.
The first poll question asked about the days of operation typically provided by your Shared Services/GBS organization. While 6% of Peeriosity member companies provide operational support seven days week, for the 94% who provide support mostly during the week there were some important differences. 39% indicated that support was primarily on weekdays only, but there are frequent exceptions (for example, at month-end, year-end, and during open enrollment periods). An additional 33% indicated that support was weekdays only with on-call support for urgent issues, and the remaining 22% indicated that support was weekdays only, with no additional on-call support provided.
The second poll question asked about the hours of operation and the shift configuration provided by Shared Services/GBS. The most popular approach, selected by 76% of Peeriosity members, is to have one shift per workday in the range of 8 to 10 work hours. An additional 12% provide support for 16 to 20 work hours a day using two shifts. Other options selected included 3 shifts providing support for 16 to 20 work hours, and 3 shifts providing 24-hour support. Here are the details:
Here are some of the comments from Peeriosity members:
- During month end and year end close, people may be called for urgent issues, later in the evenings or weekends.
- Working days also depend on if we’re closing the month during a weekend. Also, we normally have 1 shift, but this is set accordingly to the local hours and time-zones differences.
- Exceptions for Month-end/Year Activity – critical issues or occasionally project related work that requires weekend cutovers.
- Most of our Finance & Accounting Staff are 5 days a week. But our Customer Support call center is 6 days a week.
- Our Manila operations has 3 shifts; and the other service centers flex to meet the business need (e.g., San Jose starts early). Some of our rows follow the sun. Net, we are striving to meet the business need for our services while also ensuring the wellness of our employees.
With the move to Shared Services/GBS taking place decades ago for many Peeriosity members, decisions on the mechanics of where to locate employees and how to support the needs of internal and external customers remain important design considerations. While we are a long way from a traditional office environment where employees enjoy a cup of coffee together before starting work at 9:00am, with defined paperwork tasks to accomplish until 5:00pm, some companies have done more to reset expectations for how to best organize their staff to meet the needs of a diverse and global base of internal and external customers.
How does your company organize work shifts and work hours for Shared Services/GBS operations? What improvements would be possible if you were to change your approach?
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 to 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.
Peeriosity members are invited to log into www.peeriosity.com 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.