Q&A: Werner Felisiak, Siemens Global Shared Services

(Following are excerpts from an interview SSON recently conducted with Werner Felisiak, Siemens Global Shared Services HR/Head of Process and Quality Management, on its HR benchmarking best practices.)

SSON: Please briefly describe your global HR services delivery structure.

Werner Felisiak: Due to constant international growth and collaboration in Siemens, the need for an international alignment of activities has become increasingly important. Global Shared Services (GSS) HR now bundles services and products to explore potential benefits for Siemens. This approach will lead to an increase of compliance, efficiency, quality and speed of processing. And in the end it allows our customers to focus on their core business to strengthen the Siemens’ competitiveness.

Our most mature shared services organizations are located in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Latin America.

The GSS HR product portfolio structure includes:

  1. Total Rewards Administration
  2. Payroll Services
  3. Employee Data Management
  4. Staffing Services
  5. Travel Expenses
  6. Occupational: Health/Safety/Social work
  7. Expatriate Management
  8. Other HR Shared Services

We currently serve more than 413,000 FTEs in 81 countries. The countries with the most FTEs are Germany, U.S., China, U.K., India, Austria, Czech Republic, Mexico, France, Brazil, Switzerland and Italy.

SSON: Please provide an overview of your current benchmarking activities and what they are intended to achieve.

WF: We developed our own processes for international benchmarking within Siemens GSS HR. We benchmark performance and HR functions using an end-to-end approach (global shared services and governance and control) in the following areas:

  1. General HR management
  2. Source and Placement
  3. Development
  4. Training
  5. Compensation and Benefits
  6. International Delegation
  7. Separation
  8. Labor Relations and Legal
  9. Administration
  10. Occupational Health, Safety and Social Work
  11. Other HR-related topics

Our current benchmarking activities are focused on helping us attain two primary goals. One is to identify and optimize best practices on an international basis. The other is to achieve first-quartile positioning in all our countries.

SSON: Have you instituted any "non-standard" benchmarking best practices?

WF: Yes, an important non-standard benchmarking practice focuses on the target of the performance listing we use for benchmarking activities.

Here, our goals were:

  • to create one common international structure to make it easy to find services, and simple to add and allocate new and/or local services
  • to be stable and understandable across all regions, and independent from country or company specifics
  • to adapt requirements of diversity reporting and benchmark systems
  • to clearly and precisely define content to ensure common understanding, avoid differences in terminology, and anchor responsibility per service (a three-layer model)

SSON: What is your vision of world-class HR service delivery benchmarking?

WF: To put it simply:

  • Encourage other companies who are comparable with Siemens in the HR field, and enthuse countries within our HR shared services organization, to use the performance listing for key data benchmarks, thereby comparing apples to apples rather than apples to oranges
  • Ensure real comparability of HR functions through use of the performance listing as a basis for best practice approaches
  • Build-up of a stable and global benchmark networking for bilateral talks to clarify key figures