HRO and a Culture of Analytics: Part 2

Service level agreements (SLAs) are probably the most thought about key metric connected to outsourcing. Operational metrics that measure process performance are important. The practice of measurement can also be innovative and strategic.

Let’s stay with IBM as an example and move to the HRO services group, which serves almost 2m users in 99 countries with 29 languages.  I spoke to several IBM’ers including Kerry Violette and Janet Hunter.  Both are a part of IBM’s HRO efforts to enhance the employee experience, increase customer satisfaction, and use intelligence and innovation to enhance differentiated value aligned with IBM corporate goals and initiatives, including the Smarter Planet agenda.

One of IBM’s new programs underway to enhance the employee experience is the “Next Generation of Measures,” and several new HRO contact center metrics are being trialed.  When complete, the new metrics will be rolled out to all clients.  Better measures rely on better data. Cleaning up data and adding more fields takes a certain amount of client effort and IBM is working first with those clients who are ready to step up to a new level of contact center activity analysis.  In addition to the data tracking efforts, client employee users will be surveyed about the contact channels used and will assess the level of effort expended to reach resolution.

IBM HRO, led by Mary Sue Rogers, was an early leader in creating a client advisory group, which encourages feedback, input into prioritizing improvement investments, input about the creation of new service offers, and cross-client sharing and learning.  As clients will tell you, and the IBM HRO team knows, it is not uncommon to “see green, but feel blue” when using traditional SLAs.  And yet, understandably, contractual service metrics focus on the services and processes that are under the vendor’s control.  Another 2011 initiative, Beyond Sat 360, is designed to go beyond contractual obligations and cover processes end-to-end, including client and even third party components.  The program will also aid IBM’s assessment of current drivers of customer delight and retention.

Beyond Sat 360 is an outgrowth of both corporate initiatives and the client user group.  It will take a deep dive view of processes to identify opportunities to reduce nonproductive time and effort for both parties and identify the biggest bang for the buck improvements.  Current HRO clients may opt into the beta test and help develop the program and its deliverables.  Data collection and analysis, reports, and dashboards will be a big part of the program including client participation in diagnostic interviews and surveys.  IBM is partnering with Clear Picture/Organizational Metrics to support the research.

The assessment opportunity is free to participating beta clients. If successful, who knows, this could become a new service offering, as have other programs that started with the client advisory group.

How is your HRO vendor using measurement in innovative and strategic ways to improve their services, provide you more value, and deepen the client relationship?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

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Explore posts in the same categories: Customer Satisfaction, HR analytics, hr outsourcing, hr outsourcing research, hro, nelsonhall, Service Level Agreements

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