In order to successfully implement a shared service center, the concept has to be widely spread. This includes the management level as well as every individual employee. New interfaces emerge, cooperation between the different levels and departments evolves, and everybody has to keep track – at least to a certain extent, in order to make things work. This is where we want to take the opportunity to talk about another topic that is essential to the implementation of an SSC – corporate culture. Working on corporate culture will improve the effectiveness of your new acquisitions by a lot. And this is how:
Employees of a company are normally guided by explicit and implicit rules and align their behavior accordingly, they know how to behave towards colleagues and which manners offer the opportunity of success. Is this not the case – as can be when a lot of new workflows and information is showered onto the whole staff and management – economical statistics will probably suffer. That’s because corporate culture creates identity, strengthens the sense of belonging and thus often the motivation of employees. And the lack thereof will do nothing but the opposite.
So instead of focusing only on structures, processes and systems, it can pay off to look at the unwritten rules. This can be very simple things. Like the department manager saying “Thank you” to the employee who takes over the necessary parts of a task that aren’t popular with staff. Just to name an example, of course it’s a little more complicated than that. So the question you should ask yourself is: where do these kinds of mechanisms still fit in with the developments and where do they have to change so that they can also be successful in the new “set-up”?
And most importantly: the behavior of the managers. Employees will always watch the management level staff closely in order to adjust. If they live the rules that were set up corporate dynamics will be more enjoyable, and employees will be more likely to work effectively.
To bring it all together: if the launch of an SSC is understood as the implementation of many new interfaces and workflows – as we do – working on corporate culture is an inevitable task. And certainly not a gimmick or luxury. Only with widely accepted implicit rules will the implementation be a success. And that’s that, next week we’re gonna dive into a whole new topic!
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