How to Implement Shared Services Successfully with Behavioral Change Management

December 11, 2023

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In part 1 & 2 of this series, we explored both the benefits and the challenges of implementing a shared services organization to centralize and streamline key functions and mining operations. In this next part of the series, we delve further into why a behavior-centered approach to change management is the key to successful shared services implementation.   

For shared services to lay a strong foundation for digital transformation initiatives, agile change management is crucial to ensure that employee buy-in at all organizational levels is prioritized. By not overlooking the behavioral element of change management, the support of all employees, departments and teams is more likely to be secured.  

The 4 Elements of a Change Management Strategy for Implementing Shared Services 

When developing a shared services implementation roadmap for a mining organization, a few factors are important to prioritize as part of the initial planning stages.   

Define Your Organization’s Objective in Shared Services Implementation  

The first and most important step to implementing shared services is for management to fully understand the unique objectives of the organization. Consider how shared services might benefit existing processes, and which specific functions should be centralized without the risk of over-centralization and creating unnecessary bureaucracy.  

Any foreseeable challenges with implementation should also be addressed in the planning stages for risk mitigation. In a mining organization with complex processes and remote locations with challenging access, shared services can be particularly challenging to implement.  

Once the objectives of shared services implementation are clearly defined and aligned closely to business goals, metrics to measure the success of the project need to be established for progress tracking and to monitor any deviations. 

Emphasize Behavioral Change to Win Employee Buy-in 

The introduction of new ways of working will generate some level of anxiety and resistance from employees who have grown accustomed to their roles and routines. As such, it is imperative for management teams to carefully consider the systems, performance metrics and rewards needed that will encourage and incentivize employees and contractors to adopt the new processes.  

A natural concern amongst personnel, and potential source of resistance to integrated operations, is the fear that their roles may be rendered redundant. Along with strong communication to reassure employees, management must also ensure that the new shared services structure is designed to empower employees to make decisions and contribute to the organization within the purview of their redefined roles and duties. 

Clearly Defined KPIs, Roles and Ownership 

Establishing clear service level agreements (SLAs) between the shared service center and the various business units or regions is important to prevent disputes during and post-implementation. Agreements should define the services, quality standards, and response times expected, while giving the relevant business units autonomy to determine specific requirements.  

Rolling out a new shared services structure successfully to the whole organization also requires management to include representatives from all the business units and employees involved. By not neglecting this important step, decisions regarding centralization and standardization can consider the needs and perspectives of keys stakeholders, giving them a voice throughout the process and keeping lines of communication open for feedback.  

A Dedicated Task Force to Implement Shared Services Structure 

Finally, it is crucial that in the analysis or planning phase, a dedicated task force is assigned to work on implementation of shared services. By empowering a team to work full-time on implementation, day-to-day tasks do not fall by the wayside and management can rest assured that execution of the new shared services structure takes priority until completion.  

Additionally, with the help of a well-designed Management Operating System (MOS), implementation progress can be monitored, and deadlines can be adhered to throughout the project. 

At Unison Mining, our experienced change management consultants have first-hand, on-site experience to fully understand the complexities of mining operations. We work closely with your teams to implement a well-designed MOS, and provide the tools, systems, processes and behaviors needed for successful shared services implementation.

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