Skip to main content Skip to Footer


Consumerized employee experiences can boost workforce productivity

The next evolution of shared services—employee services—will focus on serving and delighting employees.


Shared services have become prominent operating models, enabling businesses to improve efficiency, reduce costs and achieve growth.

The next evolution of shared services will adopt an integrated business services (IBS) approach where the HR and other functionally organized shared services will collectively serve the employee. The employees will be viewed as customers. This new approach will focus on providing superior employee experiences. The payoff is vast: improved workforce productivity, greater employee engagement and retention, and further cost reduction.

To reap benefits, however, organizations will have to rethink the way they deliver services to people.

“Superior customer experiences don’t happen by accident—they have to be actively designed and managed; the same is true of employee experiences.”
— Don McLaughlin, VP, Global Business Services, Employee Experience/Cisco

Key Findings

Employee services is one of many end-to-end services now offered through integrated business services (IBS). It is the ability to meet employee and manager needs in a highly consumer-oriented way anytime, anywhere, and any way. The goal is to significantly improve the employee experience to create unprecedented business outcomes. The following principles of consumerism are being applied to create successful employee services:

  • Designing seamless, end-to-end experiences around employee needs. Employees and managers don’t think in terms of organization and functional silos—HR, finance, IT, facilities. An employee services approach begins by organizing services with an understanding of the expectations and needs of the employee.

  • Defining employee “moments that matter.” To delight employees and give them a highly personalized and superior employee experience, several companies are identifying “moments that matter.” These moments constitute life or work events that have the greatest impact on employee satisfaction, productivity and business results.

  • Delighting the employee with consumer-like digital services. Employees increasingly prefer to interact or perform tasks online—filling out timesheets, job applications, learning, collaboration—and leading organizations are working towards meeting this expectation. Efforts include establishing different avenues for interaction, like call centers, online portals, text, chat, e-mails, chat boards, and online forums.

  • Using analytics to proactively address employee needs. Companies can now use analytics to proactively reach out to customers before they might be aware of a need. For example: recruiters will be able to analyze data to connect with potential new candidates, or to determine the likelihood of someone leaving a particular position at a competitor.

  • Providing innovative services that enable employee empowerment, customization and choice. As employee services evolve, companies are starting to think of ways to offer more innovative services such as crowdsourcing, open innovation, social participation, choice, and customization that can improve employee engagement and satisfaction.


  • Integrated business services (IBS)—of which employee services is an important part—should integrate practices and programs not just with a functional group (HR, procurement) but also across functions as diverse as IT, supply chain, finance, and more.

  • IBS organizations need to shift their focus from transactional processing to value-adding activities such as analytics, decision support and design of services—all of which require more specialized expertise.

  • IBS organizations need to move the people responsible for the detailed design of HR practices and programs (such as the details of a corporate total rewards program) into employee services, putting the right people in the right place.

  • Practices need to be designed with the end customer and business needs in mind across functional boundaries—breaking down functional silos in shared services and centers of excellence.