Change Management GBS GBS Communication Global Shared Services Shared Services Communication

5 Global Business Services Communication Investments Worth Making

This article was first published on the Focus on Business website:

Managing and keeping a Global Business Services (GBS) or Shared Services set-up running takes a lot more effort and commitment because of the perceptions, resistances and challenges that come with operations.

It isn’t hard enough to keep the wheels turning with annoying attrition spikes and contagious disengagement woes that such entities face. The local media and industry analysts want to know how the center is contributing to the country and the city the GBS operates in. Not just in terms of funds but also to the environment and climate concerns. To top it all, you have skeptical stakeholders and tough customers demanding more and better with every interaction.

Investing in change and transformation initiatives helps to some extent but what often gets missed is the crucial role of communication – internally and externally.

In most large transformation programs that Global Business Services entities are known to drive and deliver, a solid communications strategy and plan is needed to help manage redeployment, garner support, create buzz and get everyone on the same page with the change story. Success in establishing the communication priorities depends on the alignment with the organization’s culture and much investment is made to get managers and leaders to adopt to current practices.

  1. Investing in the communication team: Without the right communication team in place with deep knowledge and expertise, making half-baked attempts to appease stakeholders through incoherent can result in chaos and reputational losses.
  2. Investing in identifying communication barriers: Often, most change and transformation programs fail at the first milestone because of the lack of understanding of how audiences perceive communication and what their preferences are. Inability to comprehend stakeholders angst on core issues and messaging can result in poor acceptance downstream.
  3. Investing in communication training and coaching: In GBS organizations, it isn’t enough for the communications team to be equipped with the right resources. Strengthening their hand to enable business teams and leaders to become confident and competent communicators is equally important.
  4. Investing in change champions: Most change gets delivered through people who are early adopters and convinced by the need and the value it adds. The communication team can empower such internal advocates to connect others to the transformation story and make it a success.
  5. Investing in systems and processes: For change and transformation to last the test of time, having robust infrastructure in place matters. From tools to amplify staff’s voice to those which decode how stakeholders perceive communication.  Likewise, having systems that can listen to and identify trends in the industry and market so that the company can adapt better to the evolving macroeconomic situation will be extremely relevant, especially in unpredictable situations the world faces today.

As GBS organizations continue to increase capacity and take on more value adding work, investing in communications will mean staying a step or two ahead as well as to mitigate risks that can damage prestigious change and transformation initiatives that leaders so badly want to get over the line.

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