Strategy | Unlock AI-powered efficiency with HR shared services

Unlock AI-powered efficiency with HR shared services

More than two decades ago, organisational theorist Dave Ulrich recognised a problem: Most businesses were underusing human resources by treating it like an administrative function rather than a strategic powerhouse.

UIrich introduced the concept of HR shared services, a model that aims to boost the strategic impact of HR teams by streamlining legacy systems to drive greater agility for employees and improved cost savings for the bottom line.

An uncertain labour market, inflation and increasing pressure to cut costs have raised the stakes for HR. As a result, executives are showing renewed interest in Ulrich’s model. Let’s look at how unleashing an HR shared services strategy can transform your HR function and team.

From chaos to clarity

As Ulrich discovered, navigating HR services can be an arduous task for employees. Agents and users must grapplewith fragmented service centres and outdated systems while facing a lack of transparency throughout their processes.

In the realm of HR service, visibility remains a considerable challenge. Service teams often find themselves operating in silos, impeding their ability to gain comprehensive insights into their service operations. This leads to a cumbersome experience for employees, who must navigate multiple portals, often with limited self-service capabilities.

In this complex landscape, both sides of the service request process crave an improved and seamless experience. Solving this is about more than enhancing efficiency; it's about streamlining operations, reducing costs and saving time for HR organisations.

AI for better self-service

In Ulrich’s original vision for HR shared services, the three branches of HR—Centres of Excellence, service centres and business partners—could share resources and best practices. AI wasn’t part of the mix.

Today, however, HR teams can automate many repetitive tasks with AI capabilities to create a smarter, more connected experience for the whole organisation. Modern digital platforms can perform microlevel tasks, such as automatically:

  • Handling a new hire’s onboarding experience

  • Serving up a quick how-to guide to a manager after a stressful meeting

  • Unlocking AI to make it easy for users to get what they need with a 24/7 Virtual Agent that understands their requests in natural language

With the power of AI, organisations can deliver relevant information, make predictions and recommendations, and automate repetitive tasks. These outcomes enable employees and customers to focus on areas humans excel at: creative thinking, customer interactions and unpredictable work.

How teams benefit

Adopting AI as part of your HR shared services plan can deliver the capabilities, security and analytics you need to help people get work done easier, faster and smarter. When businesses switch to a shared services model, the whole organisation can benefit in four ways:

  • Supercharged productivity – Embracing a shared services strategy creates new opportunities to inject productivity into all areas of the organisation. Using AI to elevate solutions, products and employee workflows can free employees to focus on the work that’s most important and rewarding.

  • Automation and consolidation – Using automation can simplify the number of tools and systems that need to be maintained. Content governance can help ensure self-service information is continuously relevant and effective.

  • Business resilience – Under a shared services model, HR uses its resources more efficiently, allowing teams to respond faster. AI and automation help free HR decision-makers for high-level planning, meaning no conversation happens without HR’s input.

  • Cost and time savings – Streamlining processes helps reduce costs and save time for employees. The division of labour is more efficient since experienced HR professionals can handle strategic decisions while other teams take care of lower-hanging fruit.

AI-powered HR shared services in action

As a company dedicated to fostering connections and delivering happiness, Zoom embarked on a journey to enhance its employee and customer experiences. The company partnered with ServiceNow to optimise its internal processes and provide exceptional support for its 8,000 employees, affectionately known as “Zoomies”.

With historical growth, Zoom had acquired various disconnected tools. The company realised it needed to better connect its employees to align with its culture of delivering happiness. ServiceNow AI-powered HR and IT solutions enabled Zoom to consolidate all its employee services and support into a unified service portal called AskZoomPX.

Offering consumer-grade self-service, AskZoomPX became a one-stop shop for HR services and knowledge base articles, averaging 2,000 monthly tickets. This empowered Zoom employees, especially new hires eager for self-service info, to find what they needed when they needed it.

By centralising support, ServiceNow helped Zoom reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR), resulting in significant annual cost savings. Zoom reduced simple queries by 75%, freeing agents to focus on strategic tasks. Providing a single source of truth, this centralisation also led to more resilient IT and HR services and better-informed decision-making.

Partnering with ServiceNow, Zoom upgraded its employee experience and improved its IT service efficiency while maintaining its dedication to connecting people and delivering happiness.

Find out more about building an HR shared services strategy to drive productivity while boosting bottom-line benefits.
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ServiceNow enables the digital workflows that unlock productivity for organisations & employees. Our Now platform delivers a faster, smarter & more automated experience.

We simplify how employees get services they need by enabling them to get answers and help—anytime, anywhere. We deliver a unified experience with workflows across all departments, providing mobile access to services from home or work and support agents with digital tools for resolving requests faster.