HR Shared Services: Issues plaguing wider deployment

HR Shared Services: Issues plaguing wider deployment

This is a summary of a study supported by the Institute of Employment Studies.

Organizations world over are making a conscious decision to choose HR Shared Services as an analytical response towards reliably delivering efficient services. Centralization of services reduces costs through economies of scale, and they are achieving superior quality outcomes due to an increased focus on customer requirements. These organizations are using technology to their advantage by employing various available platforms like phone helpdesks and intranet portals.

Even though HR shared services are being accepted as a natural progression and organizations are reaping benefits of reduced costs and increased efficiency, a lot of companies are waiting on the sidelines with a few common issues that mandate clarification.

We try to unmask these issues so your organization too can take an informed decision like most of your contemporaries and competitors.

Short Term Issues:

1. Recognize that getting the support of senior management in theory and practice is very important.

2. There may be a need for large scale capital investment to get the technological infrastructure if you are not looking at outsourcing HR shared services.

3. Be wary of IT delivery times; keep a close watch on specifications and time. Promises are rarely kept and reasons may be legitimate, hence strive for minimum of loss.

4. Overlooking the experience and knowledge of your administrators in hiring new positions. Rather than undervaluing them, take advantage of their experiences in building and choosing a strong team for outsourced HR shared services.

5. Acknowledge that by reducing operational tasks, current HR managers may lose their motivation and find it difficult to focus on strategy and change management. Keeping them enthused is essential.

6. Once outsourced HR shared services are implemented, boundary lines between various services may blur, and this may take more time to define particular roles.

7. Anticipate communication problems, especially when numerous activities are involved, in a wide organizational span.

8. Accountability should not be passed on. Redefine effective accountability such that HR managers and shared services vendor are aware of individual responsibilities and communicate effectively rather than waiting for the other to respond.

Long Term Issues:

1. Ensure the outsourced HR shared services makes a strategic contribution on paper as well as in the business.

2. Champion the cause of your workforce with the outsourced HR shared services vendor as an employees’ representative. Keep the distinct value of your HR intact.

3. Understand that efficient never means cutting costs at the expense of fulfilling customer needs. Saving a few thousands should never alienate future prospects that can take your business towards a few millions.

4. Delegating important work to line managers. Avoid dumping them with trivial tasks aside from asking them to perform activities without appropriate training and support.

5. There may be concerns with career development of lower grade staff if they are unable to build on expertise than can qualify them for senior positions in the future.

6. Warranting that the personnel staff is kept well informed about changes on the ground.

7. A major worry is allotting resources in a project organization. An experienced outsourcing HR partner can help you make the right decision.

8. With an outsourced HR shared services provider, you sometimes run the risk of project staff that is not completely tuned to your business needs. Avoid this situation by regularly screening the staff such that they are able to provide specific advice rather than parroting generic answers. You really don’t need to agonize over it once you choose an experienced provider like Open Mind Services Limited.

Experienced and skillful outsourcing HR shared services are governed by Design Thinking. Although this new buzz phrase is creating a lot of ripples these days, it forms the very foundation of a successful outsourcing business. Design thinking can be defined as EMPATHIZING with end customers, DEFINING the problem and REACHING the root cause of every problem BEFORE the ideation process begins. Once practical ideas are generated, a PROTOTYPE is developed and TESTED with a small but focused and sharp team for their feedback. The process is refined until a final, almost seamless solution is found. Startups call this innovative practice the Fail Fast theory- the phrase made famous by Mark Zuckerberg.

Open Mind Services Limited is using this precise approach to guide our business to meet the needs of our clients in an all-inclusive manner. While we did not had a name for it, it definitely comes as a pleasing moment to see organizations around the globe adapting the practice to transform their HR departments.