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What Are You Thankful for in Shared Services?

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Editor Coda
Nov 27, 2013

As an American in London, I’ve gotten used to explaining the Thanksgiving customs to people who didn’t grow up with the holiday. Besides the delicious food, one of my favorite parts of the holiday is that it is a time to stop and reflect on what you are thankful for.

While many focus on their family and their health, we should also remember what we are thankful for in our working lives.

So what are you thankful for in shared services?

Often when we speak to shared services professionals, the conversation is about what is not going well, and what could be better, and how they can improve their KPIs. But I thought I’d reflect on some of the really positive things I’ve heard recently, and some things that you might want to consider in your shared services organization.

Your staff.  Nowadays, many shared services have mostly stopped referring to their employees as FTEs. 10 years ago, when it was all about cutting costs and reducing headcount, people measured productivity by FTEs, but people I speak to are really recognizing that people are really some of their greatest assets. I was really impressed at our European Summit this year by BP’s presentation on how they invested in their staff, and understood the importance of getting their shared services employees to understand the business they work in and to invest in their career.

Your successes. Many shared services get the brunt of criticism when things go wrong.  Part of the problem is that shared services aren’t generally great about bragging. However the efficiencies in process and shared services’ ability to free up front-line staff are extremely valuable.  Earlier this year, we heard the Department of Health and Human services put their cost savings and efficiency savings in terms of flu shots that could be delivered, or front line care that could be provided.

Your colleagues. In the last few years, shared services have been maturing and evolving faster than ever. Now that shared services have been around for 20+ years, people are now able to take advantage of best practice and lessons learned from people who have been there and done it before. From  online resources to shared services conferences and phone calls between shared services professionals, you no longer have to reinvent the wheel when there is so much best-practice out there.

What are we thankful for?

At sharedserviceslink we are thankful to all of our loyal community. We appreciate people who read our site regularly and come to us with questions about how they can improve their shared services. We are thankful to the companies that support us, the solution providers who want to help make shared services as efficient as possible.

To our friends and colleagues in the States, Happy Thanksgiving and travel safely!

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