A relatively recent addition to the infrastructure of many companies, the shared services department offers many of opportunities to improve their team and takes steps to ensure it plays a vital role for the rest of the company. This piece details some strategies the department can employ to achieve these goals.
Many executives may not fully appreciate the critical role of the shared services department. Given its complexity, this is an understandable challenge, but it points to the need for shared services directors to prove the department’s importance. Start first with the bottom line. Show how combining several services has resulted in costs savings for the company since the department was officially formed. If possible, contrast this data with costs associated with each individual department before they were combined into a shared services function.
Show how combining several services has resulted in costs savings for the company since the department was officially formed.
From there, market your department’s performance. If the shared services department has standardized an aspect of its operations, showcase how that change has helped the business. If the action has increased employee satisfaction, show how the staff’s productivity has benefited as a result. It may be useful to bring in another department when proving your value; beneficiaries of your work may be your strongest advocates.
The shared services team does not operate in a vacuum, but rather should operate in concert with virtually every other department in the company. As a result, the shared services director should make sure that the vision and mission of his or her department aligns with the company’s evolving goals and priorities. Just as the shared services team’s direction may change naturally over time, so might the company’s. By taking time periodically to assess any divergence of missions, the shared services head can fine-tune the department’s mission to ensure that the team is doing the best it can to meet the needs of the business.
The shared services director should make sure that the vision and mission of his or her department aligns with the company’s evolving goals and priorities.
Actively seeking ways to improve your department’s performance can help move it in the right direction. A good example is developing a culture of competition. Heads of shared services can develop incentive programs to ensure people meet the department’s goals. A financial bonus for the team that meets their target first would ensure productivity, as would a paid Friday off. If there is an opening to move up the chain of command, have contenders prove their worth by developing and implementing improvements to the department. Particular attention should be paid to metrics your department develops for stronger customer satisfaction while ensuring corporate profitability. Have your team buy into those goals, and work to make sure your department meets them. For those who are most successful, showcase their successes to C-Suite executives. As a result of these efforts, employees will buy into your department’s mission, increasing their productivity.
If there is an opening to move up the chain of command, have contenders prove their worth by developing and implementing improvements to the department.
As the shared services role becomes more integral to the business, heads of the department are increasingly pressured to meet their executives’ demands. Following the recommendations above will allow shared services directors to show how those demands are being addressed. Doing so will also prove that the department is on its way to becoming a top performer in the company.