Part of the success of GlaxoSmithKline’s HR shared services was that they did a test run with one department first to show the organisation that HR shared services was a feasible model. "I’d strongly recommend piloting the new model with one business prior to the full launch," advises Leahy, "We used a business that was likely to provide the most challenges to a centrally supported HR model – they are based 400kms from Melbourne and have many manufacturing staff who have limited access to computers."
By firstly conducting a pilot program within a difficult environment, Leahy says that it showed management that a HR shared services model was possible, and that if could be done efficiently in this department, it could be applied across the organisation. "The pilot was a great success and we shared this publicly, prior to the full launch, which reassured to everyone," says Leahy.
Tip #6: Get Early (and Senior) Buy-In
In an interview with SSON, Jonathan D'Souza, Head of HR Shared Services ANZ for Pfizer Australia says that early buy-in from the business is critical to successful change management. "If your senior leadership can see how this is going to help them and their business, it makes life a lot easier for the project team," says D’Souza, "[With Pfizer] being a global organisation, it really helps to have regional and global leaders sending a consistent message to the local teams." D’Souza advises that there are certain challenges in getting early business buy-in, and says mutual understanding between project teams and managers can help. Leaders must communicate why the organisation is moving to an HR shared services model and explain how will benefit them as managers.
"For us at Pfizer, [this involved] a mindset change. In previous years, we have had the luxury of being able to provide managers with a very high touch approach. This may have been the right approach for the environment that we have been working in, but as the industry in general is changing, we need to be just as agile," says D’Souza.
Tip #7: Listen to the Customer and Employees
To ensure a smooth transition into HR shared services, Patrick Acheampong, Head of Shared Services at Schneider-Electric, says organizations must listen to both customers and employees, since these are the people who can help pinpoint unforeseen obstacles.
"In order to identify the pain points, your primary task is basically listening to the customers, because they’re the ones who will tell you where the things are going wrong," explained Acheampong. He says that simple surveys are effective, since you won’t be secondguessing the end-users’ sentiment towards shared services. He stresses however, that surveys should be done face-to-face to gauge a true understanding of what employees and customers go through when using shared services.
"[Ultimately, it’s about] trying to figure out the best way to provide the best service to customers., Also, doing road shows and monitoring the customer feedback that comes in. Companies also need to act on this and not just put it to one side," says D’Souza. D’Souza also says that by surveying both staff and customers, it helps reveal areas that require improvement, since these stakeholders may have conflicting perspectives on various issues. This gives the organization an opportunity to understand what areas it needs to work on to keep both customers and staff happy.