HR Shared Services at Sony Mobile: Technology & Metrics

Fredric Svennson, Senior HR IS Project Manager, Sony Mobile

Fredric Svennson,
Senior HR IS Project Manager, Sony Mobile

Sony Mobile implemented an HR Shared Services Center (HR SSC) to streamline its HR processes and provide faster and more consistent service to their rapidly growing employee population. To support its HR Service Delivery model, the HR team, implemented HR Help Desk solution Dovetail Software in December 2013.

Fredric Svensson, Senior Global HR IS Project Manager at Sony Mobile and the technology implementation leader will be speaking at the HR Technology Conference in Amsterdam in a few weeks and will discuss how Sony Mobile uses technology and measures success within its HR SSC. Fredric agreed to sit down with me and answer a few questions to give you a glimpse inside Sony Mobile’s HR SSC and offer you a preview of what he will be covering in his session.

Emily Lewis: Why did Sony Mobile choose a Shared Services model for the HR organization?

Fredric Svennson: We needed to have a more effective delivery model for our employees, and at the same time, be very cost conscious. As we investigated best practices, a shared services model made more and more sense for us. It enabled us to have HR specialists focusing on the areas and issues where they would add the most value. As an HR organization, we also wanted to deliver strategic value to the company and be able to focus on the right things to deliver this. With a shared service model, we can effectively serve all our employees and managers, catering to their needs. It also allows us to focus on workforce planning, leadership development and business support.

EM: What are the most critical components for achieving goals set by the HR SSC?

FS: For us, clear, defined processes are critical, as well as crisp roles and division of work, enabling the HR SSC to be able to make decisions based on a clear framework. Operating one global HRMS and having one case management & knowledge base system are also key components of being able to implement a global shared services organization. This enables HR to work globally, yet have a strong understanding of local requirements.

EM: How are you measuring success?

FS: We view our HR SSC much like an operational delivery organization and have set KPIs that measure how our delivery is working, and compare it to where we want it to be. For us there is a cost/efficiency balance, and we are classifying everything that comes in to our HR SSC. We measure based on criticality and communicate those expectations to our HR team as clearly as we can. One year ago we delivered about 55% within our KPI targets, and last month we delivered at 92%. This is an amazing increase in that short time for us.

The tools we have in place enable us to proactively see trends quickly, and we are able to shift focus to the areas where need arises. We adapt and communicate to our team as soon as we see a trend of questions or issues, helping us manage the inflow to the HR SSC.

EM: What role has your HR case management system played in helping you hit your KPI targets?

FS: Dovetail has a central role in our HR SSC and is the main source of information. It is also the tool we use throughout HR for official case management. It gives us the ability to define a clear structure and classify cases, as well as track time to resolution. We can now, about a year after implementation, see clear benefits. Our specialists are working on the right issues at any given time. There are a few additional items that Dovetail is adding to the product that will enable enhanced real-time KPI metrics and further visibility into shifts in our delivery model, and we are confident we will have these soon.

EM: What has your department done to encourage HR technology user adoption?

FS: Over the past year, we have given priority to the people who were using our tools, mainly our case management portal. This means response time was lower if you use the portal as opposed to sending an email. A month ago, we took a new step and closed down email completely. This means that if you want to reach the HR SSC, you must log a case through our portal or give us a call. We can already see the number of cases coming in trending down. We strongly believe this decrease of incoming questions is due to employees using the portal, as they can easily find answers through the knowledge base.

As you type in your question or issue on the portal, the system automatically matches that to solutions and documents on our Intranet, providing faster answers and service to our employees and managers and decreasing the number of questions and inquiries coming to HR.

EM: What HR technology goals do you have for the next 12 – 24 months?

FS: We have, during the last year, been working across Sony Corporation to implement global standards and processes, harmonizing how we do HR and what we deliver. Over the next 12 months, we will go live with one global platform for over 90.000 of our employees and managers and implement a truly global shared service model – modeled after the setup we have at Sony Mobile. We are in the middle of implementation, and we expect this to be live in September of 2015. We are very excited about this journey and have high expectations on what this can do for Sony Corporation and our talent base.

If you’re planning on attending HR Tech Europe and would like to hear more about how Sony uses technology to track metrics, measure success and foster continuous improvement within the HR SSC, plan on attending Fredric’s session on Thursday, October 23rd at 2:45pm. If you’d like to learn more about Dovetail’s HR Help Desk solution and see it in action, visit us at Booth 802 in the Exhibit Hall. We’re happy to give you a demo of the just-launched Dovetail Employee Engagement Suite 12 and discuss your technology needs.

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