Shared Services – Are We Having Fun Yet?

People, process and technology.  How many times have we heard, “it’s really about people, process and technology”?  Too many to count, I’m sure.  Often times, these three components are given equal weight when considering a strategy to optimize a function and while I agree all three are important, it’s vital to remember that people create and use or not use processes and technology.  Since that is a fact, it is crucial we always consider people first when devising solutions.  So what does this have to do with fun you might be asking?  Plenty.

Shared Services can be very difficult work.  The tasks are often tedious and repetitive, tedious and repetitive, tedious and repetitive…you get the point.  Because the work is not easy, employees must be given the latitude to have a little fun while working.  In other words always keep in mind the phrase “whistle while you work”!

Also, don’t be upset if your team takes a little breather for 5 – 10 minutes every hour.  You will most likely find that those who have 5 – 10 minutes down time are more productive in 50 minutes than someone who works continuously for 2 – 3 hours.  That said, each of us have different working styles so the key is the word used above, latitude.  Give your team the latitude to get the work accomplished in the best way they see fit, obviously keeping proper controls in mind.  Establish solid goals and improvement targets and then let their talent shine.  And while you are at it, encourage them to have some fun with a potluck, holiday decoration contest, charity fundraising event or friendly game or sport.

Remember, “whistle while you work”!

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