In any area of business, it requires courage to do something radically different. Any kind of restructure brings with it the risk of complete failure if it isn’t managed in the right way, and it is understandable if sometimes the temptation is to blunder along with a set-up that works badly rather than creating upheaval and running the risk of emerging with one that doesn’t work at all.
It is not usually easy to create a sound business case for a major change in human resources because there are so many imponderables that are involved and each company is different. What may work almost effortlessly at one may present insurmountable difficulties at another. Hence it is good to conduct training and development workshops for HR for the company’s swift growth.
Usually, it is wise to start off by considering the potential for making efficiencies through shared services, which if successful will then free up resources for the next stages of the project as well as instilling confidence in and flagging up HR’s potential for transforming itself, something which will, of course, help the project further along down the line.
The rationale behind shared services is that they should create practical efficiencies as well as cost efficiency, as they will put an end to duplication, repetition and bureaucracy, as well as hopefully creating economies of scale. Whilst each individual department within the organisation may have its dedicated knowledge and expertise that is unique to its work when the department has a chain of command that trickles down to less specialised work it is frequently the case that this work could be performed more effectively by fewer people if these resources were shared across the departments.
To make it work this process has to operate in tandem with more general efficiencies such as automating or outsourcing some of the tasks that do not need to be an integral feature of the core operation, revisiting or rewriting contracts with suppliers to make sure the best deal is always being received, and eradicating any obstacles to the swiftest possible delivery of services to customers.
Preparations for such a large but necessary undertaking must inevitably begin with a programme of human resources training and development, one involving HR workshops, HR courses and any other means through which the organisation can be prepared, psychologically and in terms of skills, for the big transformation ahead.
The experience of a successful shift to shared services and a better-integrated operation must inevitably bring confidence in its wake and create the mindset that enables the organisation to proceed with a more thorough overhaul of its infrastructure and its practices. At the culmination of this process, it is left with a leaner, more efficient and yet at the same time more economical operation that is better equipped to compete out in the modern world.