The role leadership plays in shared services

What defines a great shared services leader? There are usually a handful of personal qualities that a shared service leader should demonstrate. Shared service functions have developed and now require softer skills and more people related skills to drive success.

Communication and vision:

Creating a clear message and vision for your employees is the key to success. A leader needs to fully engage the team, helping them understand the journey and influencing them to drive continuous improvement and change. It takes certain skills and passion to get key stakeholders engaged and to see the benefits in the change.

Embrace technology:

Leaders need to embrace technology: AI and robotics are reshaping the way shared service functions operate. AI gives employees the chance to utilise their skills and add value in a different capacity. It eliminates errors, increases efficiency, improves the customer experience and in the long run is more cost-effective.

Look beyond the SSC:

Effectiveness beyond the shared service needs to be taken into account – what impact does this have on the wider business, as well as your customers and suppliers? Shared services functions aren’t just created to reduce costs, they need to demonstrate high productivity and quality of service.

Focus on talent:

Finding good shared services talent is hard. So once you have the best talent, it’s important leaders ensure they keep them happy to retain them.

  • Create an exclusive onboarding programme, so that employees feel valued and have clear expectations.
  • Build structured career paths, to give your employees progression and personal development.
  • Rotational training/mentoring will upskill your staff and provide cover.
  • Maintain a great culture and working environment.
  • Reward success.

Upskill your existing staff:

It’s important that leaders upskill existing staff and keep them motivated. Doing the same monotonous tasks day in, day out, can be soul destroying. That’s why rotational training is so important. When employees are given a new task, the chance to learn or simply just do something a bit different, it makes them feel engaged and motivated.

There are many traits and qualities a great leader should possess and there is no doubt the role leadership plays in shared services is huge.