April 10, 2014
Topic: Human Resources
The first wave of faculty and staff engagement for feedback on U-M's Shared Services Center was recently completed, and project leaders announced Wednesday that Pamela Gabel will serve as the new center's executive director.
She will start her job on April 28 in preparation for the center's opening this summer.
Gabel has experience designing, implementing and managing shared service centers in multiple industries and across numerous locations.
Al Franzblau, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, led the search process, during which more than 70 applicants were considered by the hiring and selection team.
Franzblau said few people have direct experience managing centers from their inception, merging new processes into an existing center and managing a call center as well as high-volume human resource and finance transactions using the same commercial software system that is used at U-M. Gabel does, said Franzblau.
Currently, Gabel runs a Masco Corp. subsidiary called My Service Center, which supports more than 15,000 employees in multiple locations.
"Our selection process included bringing finalists to campus to make presentations and take questions from audiences that included staff from the project team, administrators from academic units and central offices, faculty members and some of the future staff members of the Shared Services Center," said Franzblau. "Their collective guidance was very important to the final selection of our service center's leader."
Meanwhile, the first major round of faculty and staff engagement was completed to gather feedback on the way that business processes will be managed in the center.
Thom Madden, who will continue to lead the implementation process, said five forums were conducted to get feedback on the first set of HR and finance business processes that will move this summer to the Shared Services Center. Two forums took place on Central and North campuses as well as three sessions in LSA.
Madden said the campus wanted multiple channels and opportunities for feedback so the project has held staff meetings as well as faculty sessions in the schools and colleges to review each process and gather feedback to better ensure that creating more efficient processes in one area doesn't create additional burdens in another.
"The sessions were valuable in many ways. They more clearly underscored for us the importance of continued support for the schools and colleges as work is redesigned, and the importance of bringing unit expertise into the service center so we keep continuity and deep knowledge of local unit processes," said Madden. "Faculty members in particular have told us they don't want to lose the nuanced knowledge of unit staff, and this is an important part of our planning process going forward."
U-M's Shared Services Center will open by early August with partial staffing. More processes and staff will move into the center in winter 2015, when the center will be fully staffed and operational, but another round of faculty and staff engagement will occur before the details and timing are finalized.
Future staff members of the Shared Services Center were given confirmation in early April of the approximate timing of their move and their offers of employment in the center.
"Everyone identified to join the Shared Services Center was offered a position and every person will maintain their current salary or receive an increase if they are currently paid below the minimums we've set for the center," said Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for Human Resources.
Thomas said each person has been asked to confirm their acceptance of their offer of employment, but they have a couple of weeks to ask questions and consider the details.
"We asked each person about the roles they most desired and more than 80 percent are being offered one of the jobs on their list. In some cases, staff were offered a choice of roles and they may need some time to consider the options. We're providing that time so they can meet with project team members and ask questions," she said.
Thomas said periodic meetings are already being held with the future staff of the service center and that more than 40 percent of the job offers were accepted within the first several days.
"It's an important milestone to see the community of SSC staff solidify. It allows them to truly plan for and collaborate on their individual and collective success in the new organization," she said.