Rachel Summers: Shared Services Connected Ltd reflect on winning big at our awards last year
By Rachel Summers, Director of Operational Excellence and Business Transformation, Shared Services Connected Ltd
Allow us to introduce ourselves! We are a relatively young shared service centre and we are a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and Sopra Steria. We provide back office service for a number of large government departments.
The size and scale of what we do has grown at an incredible rate and our people underpinning this are our biggest asset.
One of our core objectives is to ensure that our people regard SSCL as a great place to work, and a place where they feel they can achieve their full potential. Our values are few but strong, our most important value being to create an organisation that recognises the worth of individuality and provides people with the opportunity to reach their full potential.
We are very proud of our skilled people in SSCL who have a proven record of delivering large-scale transformation worked alongside the TUPE’d population, and who have the business and customer understanding of the clients and their priorities. This approach – utilising the best skilled and knowledge resource – enabled a unique proposition and delivery of the strategy. Our people are our most valuable assets; we understand and recognise that having an engaged workforce is the key to our success.
We were aware of our challenges and that the scale and complexity of the transformation undertaken in SSCL since its concept in November 2013 has been remarkable and unprecedented. We had to apply for this award, to not apply would have been a great disservice to our people and our clients; we wanted to honour their hard work and efforts collectively. The achievement and scale of our accomplishments made it a simple decision: we had to apply!
We have completely transformed our ways of working – moving from teams in 17 different locations working on the clients’ legacy technology and using many different processes, to operating on a Single Operating Platform for all our clients, streamlining of the processes in four Centres of Excellence. We have transitioned over 500 FTE of work by increasing productivity, multi-skilling the teams, changing working patterns and thinking differently. We recognised that business change and innovation requires people-led change, as engaged and motivated people are our most important asset.
The scale of change our people have embraced and achieved whilst delivering against SLAs and KPIs means that this award would be testament to the people in SSCL. The transformation program has saved the UK taxpayer over £100m to date and further savings will be delivered over the life of the contract.
Applying for the award and the entry process was straightforward, all the information we needed in order to apply was available online. A group of us sat down together and put forward our award entry ready. That in itself was a great opportunity for us to reflect on what we had achieved and to see how far we had come in a relatively short space of time. We were very proud to put ourselves forward and crossed our fingers in the hopes the judges would find our credentials worthy of this award.
When it came to the awards ceremony, we were all very excited and slightly nervous, but it was such a good enjoyable night out. A team of us attended from SSCL and it was a great opportunity for us to see and meet the other teams from different organisations. We enjoyed watching the other awards being presented too and the presentations were slick and efficient; a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
It was such an amazing feeling that cannot be described or appreciated fully with words, to win was testimony to all our hard work and efforts. It felt like a seal of approval that gave us confidence in our progression and development as a company and as an employer. It has been a very positive experience with the best possible results for our success. In terms of our customers and clients internally, it’s good for them to see how we are improving ourselves as an organisation.
2018 was a fantastic year for us, we bagged five awards, including the ‘Best Business Transformation Strategy Award’ at the International Engage Awards! We wanted everyone to feel part of the success and the opportunity to celebrate as one big team, one big family. We all celebrated together, and we wanted to share that feeling far and wide.
To help us celebrate, we had a fun day ‘photo booth’ across all our sites and encouraged everyone to take part and get involved. We have attached a couple of photos that were taken on the day, as you can see a lot of happy faces. The enthusiasm that was displayed that day and the way people got involved was nearly as good as winning the award! The excitement and rush of being awarded a winner for engagement was celebrated throughout. We saw people coming together to celebrate our success and congratulating one other at the same time as people getting to know one another too. The engagement continues onward and puts us in good stride for our future ventures…