For a variety of reasons, the health care industry has failed to keep pace with the drive for efficiency seen across much of corporate America in the last decade, when most HR functions streamlined processes, eliminated paper and centralized administrative activities. But with historic transformation shaking up the industry, HR is acting fast now to initiate needed change. Towers Watson's 2014 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey highlights several trends in efficiency and effectiveness taking hold these days: building and expanding employee service center approaches, leveraging self-service and HR portals, as well as the evolving roles of both centers of expertise and entity HR.

Thinking about transforming your HR service delivery model can be daunting. The first step is to clearly understand what the function is doing today and what your organization's leadership wants from HR. HR leaders need to be actively engaged with senior management to understand the workforce implications of the transformation within the organization. Once you understand the gaps between the current state and desired future state, you can begin to create a new service delivery model and reset the priorities for both the function and its leadership.