If I Could Do It All Again….(15: Pierre Joubert)

The Human Capital Shared Services Centre (SSC) was established as part of the overall HC Division restructuring program in 2006. The HC Division restructuring methodology was based on Dave Ulrich’s model in creating the new structure for the HC Division (e.g. Centre of Excellence, Strategic Business Partners and SSC). All staff in HC had to apply for their new jobs.

The HC Shared Services main components were the old familiar HR Administration and HRIT and additional administration work load as part of the restructuring process. The additional workload was totally underestimated by me and the impact on the team, Being appointed as the Head: HC Shared Services Centre I was given the instruction: "You have to make it work!"

In hindsight I should have done more of the following:

  • Attend more Shared Services conferences (national and international) to share "lessons learnt" from other companies
  • Visit local companies who have already implemented the same HC Shared Services concept
  • Subscribe to the Shared Services Outsourcing Network earlier as well as do extensive research to implement a SSC successfully
  • Appoint additional staff to cater for the increased work load due to the restructuring process
  • Utilise multi skilled certain staff earlier – I  waited too long for staff to settle into the new structure
  • Implement a rotation concept earlier - (manifested from multi-skilled staff) - as we all know the transactional environment can be a killer. Flexibility is a key component in this department especially when key staff (e.g. payroll staff) need to take leave
  • Create a help desk functionality to reduce ordinary queries to "back office" staff and therefore reduce interruptions and increase delivering quicker turn around time (TAT) 
  • Provide management information reports to management via a warehouse/business intelligence functionality to increase credibility of data captured on the HRIT system and therefore reduce ad hoc reports queries from Management

The above "lessons learnt" will not provide any guarantees that the Shared Services department will improve service deliverables, but it could increase service deliverables to staff and management if correctly implemented. In the short space of time as Head of HC Shared Services I have learned two important concepts:

  1. Look for improvements to increase delivering HC services,  hence,  through changing work methodology and/or with HRIT as part of the continuous changing work environment 
  2. Stay abreast with the changing demand to deliver services and adding value to business

About the Author
Pierre Joubert cut his teeth in the Human Capital environment since the mid 80’s. He was appointed as Head: Human Capital Shared Services Center on 1 September 2006. He was the Project Manager responsible to implement SAPHR on 1 July 2002 as part of the SAP project implementation in the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Pierre has specific expertise in various SAPHR modules such as Personnel Administration (PA), Leave (Working Time), Organizational Management (OM), Enterprise Compensation Management (ECM), SAP Portal, Management Desktop (MDT) and Management Self Service (MSS) modules. He was recently the Project Manager to implement the SAP Training and Event Management (TEM) module, E-Recruitment, Management Information Reports (MIS) and the integration/view of the HR Document Management System (HRDMS) via SAP. He holds an MPHIL (Human Resources) degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa