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Latest Findings

  1. Employee productivity
  2. Satisfaction & morale
  3. Communication & productivity
  4. Shared Services


The key success ingredient for Shared Services

Achieving efficiencies in internal processes was a key impetus to establishing Shared Services centres for Finance & Accounting, Personnel & HR and IT services. Since 1999, The Ryder Self Group has measured the satisfaction of over 6,500 users[1] and the satisfaction of those working in Shared Services centres.  In many cases, we measured customer and employee satisfaction at the inception of the Shared Services centres and then tracked satisfaction a year or two later. While customer satisfaction has improved over time, employee satisfaction has remained static. 

Management commitment is the key for a satisfying and fulfilling Shared Services centre.  This means the need for a management culture where managers are involved on a day-to-day basis, committed to consultation and open communication with employees, providing formal and informal recognition of their performance.  It also means managers ensuring effective resource management so that employees can work efficiently and feel a sense of accomplishment.

[1] Referred to as customers of Shared Services centres, whether external or internal customers.

Customer Satisfaction

Three key findings:

  • Customer satisfaction usually starts with a low base for Finance & Accounting, HR and IT services

  • External customers experience greater satisfaction than internal customers for the same service

  • Customer satisfaction does increase over time.

Customer satisfaction as indicated by a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) is variable across the different shared services:

  • For Finance & Accounting and HR & Personnel services, the CSIs are mostly in the ‘average’ to ‘good’ range for internal customers, based on the benchmarks in table 1.

  • For external customers, satisfaction with ‘Finance & Accounting’ services is in the ‘high’ range.

  • Internal customers’ satisfaction with IT services tends to be in the ‘fair’ to ‘average’ range.

Satisfaction increased over time for customers of finance and HR services while it remained static or only slight improvements for IT services.

Table 1. Satisfaction benchmarks


Satisfaction level











Customers report improvements in:

  • Accuracy of processing and efficiency

  • Staff skills, knowledge and having the authority to make decisions

  • Customer focus, understanding specific customer needs and being flexible

  • Responsiveness to queries, communication and follow-up

  • Providing up to date information

  • Producing customised / ad hoc reports

  • Traceability of documentation

  • Achieving value for money

Employee Satisfaction

Key findings:

  • Fairly static results over time with little movement up or down in employee satisfaction and morale

  • Need for management commitment to ensure the Shared Services centre is successful

Employee satisfaction is generally in the ‘average’ to ‘good’ range with some results in the ‘poor’ range  (see Table 1).

  • Employees consistently raise the following concerns:

  • Communication between management and staff  

  • Sharing of information and being kept informed

  • Being able to contribute to decisions that affect their work

  • Being recognised for a job well done

  • Being trusted, valued and respected 

  • Adequacy of staffing, resources and equipment to do the job.

The overriding theme is the need for management commitment for a satisfying and fulfilling workplace.  This means managers being involved on a day-to-day basis and addressing the concerns above.  Management commitment will also address other employee issues, namely the need for:

  • A sense of accomplishment

  • Positive morale

  • Fair pay for the work they do  

  • Efficient systems and processes

  • Training to do the job 

  •  A clear direction for the Shared Services centre

The need for management commitment is supported by the finding in the article, “Shared Services – Reaping the Rewards” (Ernst & Young UK, 2003) which identified committed senior management as the single most important factor in the success of Shared Services centres.

We believe the same upward trend in Customer Satisfaction levels will be achieved in Employee satisfaction once employees perceive management commitment.

A successful Shared Services provider needs to manage and measure its performance in customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and the efficiency of its internal processes.

Of these, the area requiring greatest focus is improving employee satisfaction as this has remained static over the past few years.  A management culture is required where managers are:

  • Actively involved in communicating with staff and involving them in decision-making

  • Formally and informally recognising and rewarding performance 

  • Ensuring resources are sufficient and operating at optimal levels (staff and equipment).

Our findings are based on research conducted between the beginning of 1999 and end of 2002 with over 6,500 users of shared services. The table below outlines the nature of different types of services offered as shared services and number of users that evaluated the different services.

Organisation Type

Type of services

External Service Provider – Public Sector

Finance, HR, IT

Internal Service Provider – Private Sector

Finance, Payroll

Internal & External Service Provider – Private Sector

Finance, HR, Payroll

Internal Service Provider – Private Sector (3)


Internal Service Provider - Public Sector Finance, Administration, Other Specialist Services

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© The Ryder Self Group 2003


The Ryder Self Group
Ph: 0412 426 553