“HR shared services” is the new buzz phrase. Read what is behind it and how you can optimize communication between HR and employees.
On the key topic of digitization, hardly anyone thinks immediately of communication, let alone of optimized communication. Primarily, we think about the major change in human communication, which is being affected by social media, WhatsApp and the like. But let us take a look at communication in organizations. Has digitization not created new and exciting pathways and even optimized communication?
Today, hardly anybody still works without communication media such as email, intranet, instant messaging and video conferencing. Need information? Google it; something you don’t know? Consult Wikipedia. And if you need something specific, send an email to the required person. The growing capacity for conveying information through space and time has certainly brought many advantages for companies. But how can we make more use of this potential, even for HR departments? The key is HR shared services – an organizational form that addresses the needs for even smoother and better communication between employees and their HR departments. What form can this take?
Imagine a cloud-based online platform between the employee and HR. Both have access, but the content they see is different. HR fills the platform with knowledge articles and thus offers answers for all questions sent to it daily by mail, telephone or other means. The employee then has a knowledge portal, a kind of Wikipedia, and can independently answer his/her questions on the platform. If the employee cannot find an answer, he/she submits a ticket. The HR department then has the option of answering this question individually or by a reply template. Redundant inquiries can be dealt with in just two clicks.
If the employee has a request for which HR needs further information, he/she can complete a form directly on the platform. HR constantly receives tickets, queries and forms and can direct them so that they all arrive at the person responsible. HR can also create processes, assign tasks, allocate roles, and thus control the flow of communication. For example, the employee can access the platform during onboarding and is then immediately reminded to complete the master data sheet, to go through the introductory program, and to sign the confidentiality declaration electronically. HR can then file them directly in the electronic personnel dossier.
Accordingly, digitization also optimizes communication between employees and departments, and in our case the new organizational form turns the HR department into an HR shared-services centre. This provides information, communicates with a ticket system, connects to forms and controls processes. Looking at these still-recent possibilities created by digitization, it has to be admitted that digitization does not destroy communication, but inspires it.
Published: 10. May 2017