The world of work continues to be radically transformed by factors such as hybrid working and digital advancements. At the same time, hiring and retaining talent has never been more difficult. Our experts Gianmaria Viero and Monika Madej reveal why HR shared services are essential for growth in such a changing landscape.
Technological advancements, global crises, and generational shifts are having a huge impact on the way we work. To meet current expectations, companies must transform their business models – and this includes HR.
HR shared services centralize administrative, often repetitive, operations and because they’re service focused, they can easily be molded to the needs of the business. Although the HR shared services concept has been in operation for almost as long as the divisional corporate structure, the dawn of a new age requires further transformation.
In this new age, customer and employee experience has become paramount in securing sustainable growth and effective service delivery. Therefore, organizations which fail to tailor human resources to employee and market demands won’t succeed in the future of work.
The new operating environment
Before we dive into how best to transform HR shared services in your business, it’s important to understand the four factors which have changed the way we work.
- Hybrid working is here to stay
COVID-19 radically shifted the mindset of both employers and employees. Overnight, working remotely became a daily reality for many.
Now, research shows that hybrid or remote working has become the preferred means of working among employees. As a result, companies have had to adapt to effectively support remote working by rapidly investing in digital infrastructure.
- Digital natives: The impact of Millennials and Gen Z
As Gen Z floods the labor market, so do their work expectations become more prominent.
Gen Z expect workplaces to give them a sense of accomplishment, fun and development while respecting their need for a work-life balance. Together with Millennials, they now account for most of the workforce, enforcing a paradigm shift in how employers are expected to deliver services to their employees.
- Digital transformation
Digital technology is revolutionizing the modern workplace. Advanced digital communication technologies have not only changed how organizations interact with their customers but also transformed how they interact with their employees.
As a result, HR departments have found a refreshed opportunity to innovate and redesign employee engagement strategies.
- A consumer-grade pervasive experience
Employee experience is about how employees interact with and perceive their organizations. A robust employee experience attracts talent and increases employee engagement and commitment.
As a result, organizations are adopting consumer engagement strategies to rethink the product and services they offer to their workforce. In fact, many are implementing similar techniques used in improving the consumer experience such as customization, dedication and omnichannel strategies.
HR shared services are evolving
The limitations of traditional HR structures are being exposed by this new operating environment. As such, the strategic role that HR shared services can play today must be redefined, especially when looking to execute HR strategies while driving the end-to-end digitization of HR processes.
In fact, HR shared services centers have evolved from providers of transactional and highly repetitive activities into a single organizational unit characterized by the following:
- A multifunctional organization with a global focus
- Strategic focus on partnering with the business
- End-to-end ownership of service delivery, providing holistic services for employees
The enhanced scope of HR shared services has repositioned these units as integral parts of a future-looking HR structure. This structure combines strategic and operational HR under the same umbrella, closing the gap on what’s promised vs. what’s delivered to employees.
The building blocks of future-fit HR shared services
To successfully transform how organizations operate, a redesign of internal structures and shared services is required. Successful shared services transformation initiatives adopt an outside-in perspective, helping business leaders restructure the operating model to fit customer needs.
Through our experience, we’ve observed that seven key building blocks determine the successful transition towards a future-fit HR shared services center. These are as follows:
- Shared services vision and mission: Driving strategic thinking by developing a robust and shared vision and mission inspires employees to work more productively, as it provides focus and shared goals. It guides the decision-making process and helps establish a framework for an agile mindset.
- Redesigned service delivery model: By redesigning the traditional tier model and reengineering core contact-management systems and HR processes you can maximize employee self-service and better guide how services are delivered to different employee cohorts.
- Automation and analytics at scale: Monitor service delivery via analytics dashboards, using predictive analytics and end-to-end process automation to drive efficiencies, speed and better quality of service.
- Fit-for-purpose service center location: Selecting the right location to harness talent availability and cost-effective operations.
- Full-stack service enabling technologies: These technologies allow you to consolidate and harmonize the contact channel mix, leveraging state-of-the-art cloud-first technologies.
- Progressive talent management framework: This framework enables you to redefine digital-age competencies to support shared services transformation and workforce reskilling.
- Industrialized knowledge management approach: This enables self-service, capturing and surfacing tailored knowledge artefacts.
Redefining HR shared services will help fuel growth by automating the back office and building the consumer-grade experience employees are demanding.
For more information on how to futureproof your business through upgraded HR processes, feel free to reach out to our authors.
Gianmaria is a senior consultant in the HR Transformation practice, helping clients to digitize their talent practices. He has led large-scale global HR transformation programs, assisting clients in unleashing business value and process efficiencies. Before joining Infosys Consulting, Gianmaria worked in several internal consulting roles across multiple industries.
Monika is a consultant in the HR Transformation practice. She specializes in HR shared services transformation in highly complex organizations. Before joining Infosys Consulting, Monika played multiple roles across the shared services organization, driving technology deployment and HR process redesign.