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Using Smarter Shared Services to Connect with Employees

Employees are the core strength of any organization for building and making it profitable and successful. Therefore, having more competitive and productive employees is the central need for doing any business. Their productivity and loyalty towards the work and organization is mainly affected by their confidence in the firm. To develop the confidence of employees, organizations take all efforts to reach and connect with the employees from not only work standpoint but also emotionally. While developing connects between employee and employer, concern of conversation is what employees want and what is provided by the organizations. Organizations follow many channels or mechanism to develop a goodwill relation with the employees. One of the channels for developing favor relation is skill enhancement of employees. It is usually done through training in which both parties have many benefits.  

Organizations continuously make efforts to enhance the skill, knowledge and productivity of their employees. They invest enormous sums of money to maintain dedicated HR teams to achieve this goal. For an organization to maintain growth it needs employees who are always updated and skilled to handle any situation, be it adverse or favorable. Therefore, regular training of employees becomes pertinent as it is essential for the growth of the firm. There are a lot of activities centered on building the skills of its employees as organizations believe it's not just beneficial to them but also for the long term betterment of employees.  However, in this whole process firms are forgetting to ask themselves whether employees think on the same line. In case the views of the employees are divergent from that of the organization all the efforts become wasteful.

One of the major motivations for any organizational effort towards the employees is the longevity of employees with the organization. However, it has been observed that connect at the cognition level is missing between both the employee and the employer because of the one way relationship from employer to employee. There are many ways to enhance the bond, and better way is to adopt employee shared service for providing better services to employees by employer. These employee services by employer are need of any employee. If organizations succeed in providing these services in the way the employees want then employees are happier at work place and their productivity is more. This leads better employee engagement.

We managers always talk about employee engagement. What one needs to ask is, whether employee engagement has become just another additional management jargon or is it practiced in reality? If employees are engaged well then they may be energetic and more productive. Better engaged employees are willing and have the ability to contribute in the success of the organization. Highly engaged employees are well connected to organization. They always go one mile ahead to fulfill organizational needs, and delight customers cleverly with prompt and personalized services. We always look for these employees in the employee pool. However, are we getting enough highly engaged employees? Majority of the times answer is in the negative. Organizations also look for training current employees or recruiting new employees. Another question that we might want to ask is if we are really hitting the root cause of this problem of disengaged employees? The answer once again remains negative. The problem of employee engagement remains persistent because most of us see only one side of the employee engagement which we managers feel is important for company. We cautiously or unknowingly avoid having a perspective of the other side which is about - What employees wants from the organization?

Employees have other story to express. They expect the organization to solve their problems which they face at the workplace. These problems are actually small but they occupy employees mind like a ghost hence, they fail to concentrate on their work which instead affects their productivity. Most of the problems that employees face are related to HR, accounting or finance. However, many times they may have to go through multiple hurdles because these services aren't well designed and developed. These services offered by HR, accounting etc. many times don't have proper processes and work flows, and most of the times aren't managed very well as well. This hampers the overall experience of employees which in-turn is reflected by their negative inclination towards the organization, further creating a psychological disconnect with it. This process is very fast in case of gen - X and gen - Y employees. When the negativity crosses a certain threshold employees tend to leave the organization.

To tackle employees' problems a simpler solution is adoption of shared services. While using shared services across the business geography it is necessary for the organization to change its mindset where-in employees are treated as customers of the organization. With this small change the whole meaning of providing employee services goes through a change. If services are designed and delivered from customer centric view then net effect will be an increase in employee loyalty and productivity.

In order to deliver services as per the expectations of employees, only shared services aren't sufficient. It is necessary to have smarter shared services which will understand the employees better and act smartly. To make shared service smarter, it is obvious to use technologies extensively while delivering the services. Technology has enabled delivery across the globe on a 24*7*365 basis. Another good example of technology is mobile computing. It has made it possible to push the employees' services on mobiles hence they know that when there is a query, they have solution are on their mobile. This has helped employer to impact positivity on employer. Therefore, technology enables firms to create stronger connections between employer and employee. Employees get the feeling that they are cared and pampered by the company.  

Smarter shared services (SSS) are technology enabled platforms that help fulfill the needs of employees. This service platform uses predictive analytics so that it is able to recognize proactively the next likely expectations of an employee. Considering the unique service experience required for each employee, the personalization is another key ingredient in SSS platform. It enables automation of decisions and workflow that helps in creating memorable experiences for the employee. Each unforgettable experience of an employee makes psychological connect with the firm greater. 

Organizations can become smarter by proactively acting towards the issues of employees. Firms can treat them as customers. In other words, employees are also customers of the business house. By bringing a change in their status, they are treated well and served better, and their issues are sorted out at priority. Although, this is small change in the business strategy its impact are visible in the long term, and helps in creation of faith in employees towards the organization and furthers their loyalty.


(Authors: Dr. Manish Godse & Dr. Indranil Roy Chowdhury)

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