If You Want to Build Up Longevity in Your Shared Services Organisation Team – Perhaps Set Up in North America? | SSON Analytics

The current trend towards knowledge-based services makes attrition a cautionary tale

If you want to build up longevity in your team, you might be well served by setting up in North America. That, at least, is what the data tells us.

According to a recent analytics report published by SSON Analytics, and based on responses from 188 practitioners, Americas-based Financial and HR shared services centers experience significantly lower attrition rates than do their EMEA or APAC counterparts. More than a third (34%) of North American Financial SSCs, in fact, have attrition rates of 5% or less, compared to 22% in EMEA, and 18% in the APAC region.

Americas FSSC attrition rate 

EMEA FSSC attrition rate


APAC FSSC attrition rate


In HR we see a similar trend, with nearly half of Americas-based HR SSCs, and 37% of EMEA-based centers experiencing attrition of 5% or below, compared to 19% of APAC centers.


 Americas HRSSC attrition rate


EMEA HRSSC attrition rate


APAC HRSSC attrition rate


Why is this significant? Because the trend in service delivery today is specifically geared towards knowledge-based services and away from transactional work. (In SSON’s 2018 State of The Shared Services and Outsourcing Industry survey [report to be published online later this month] more than three-quarters of Global Business Services centers confirm that their strategy is shifting from transactional towards knowledge work.) By the same token, however, providing these kinds of knowledge-based services depends to a large extent on staff familiarity with operations – not just process and function, but also existing business relationships that can be leveraged to optimize customer understanding and service.

What is frequently found with high turnover is that these relationships are being lost. Where activity was, or still is, predominantly transactional, this is less significant as work can easily be taught as staff are replaced. However, with automation rapidly taking on large segments of transactional work, activities (and services) are shifting predominantly towards knowledge-oriented, business insight-driven services that depend on experience and exposure to operations and the business overall.


 Transactional vs Knowledge work – Location

Transactional vs Knowledge work – Age


The solution is not necessarily to refocus on the Americans. However, where retention is a challenge, center leaders would do well to reassess their talent management and retention strategies. Where work becomes more intimately connected with the business customer, providing attractive career paths and the right motivation to service delivery teams will be increasingly important.

For more information read the report Benchmarking on 4 Key Metrics: Finance/HR Attrition, Days to Close & Cost per Invoice


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