Tuesday, June 17, 2003

The Future of the BPO industry - People Problem - 2

The Human resource management will be the key to the future success of the BPO industry. For the problems highlighted in my previous article lets look at some of the solutions.

Raman Roy- called the father of the BPO industry - had this to say in a recent Knowledge @ Wharton article

A second aspect is handling the Indian work force, which has its own idiosyncrasies. Indians who work in such jobs are well qualified, highly educated people. They are not a transient workforce marking time while waiting for other things to happen. For them, BPO is a full-time career and they expect some serious thinking on the part of the employers vis-à-vis career paths for them. They also believe that holding on to a job is important, and therefore, what they ask for in a job and in a working environment is very different from the expectations and needs of workers doing similar work in other markets.

So how do we make these highly educated work force to take this as a career. I think this is the right process of thinking. These are not just Jobs - how do we make them a career.

First lets look at the difference between the two:

Some have jobs, others pursue careers.

If you say you have a career, that implies that you have conscientiously chosen this field of work and that each job you take helps you advance to higher and higher levels. Careers involve long-range planning.

And what else goes into making a Job a Career

  • Satisfaction and Passion

  • Environment

  • Growth

  • Lets assume that we need only 30% of the workforce to stay with the company in the long-term and the rest can leave the company in 1-3 years. This is safe to assumen since most of these jobs are preferred by young fresh graduates who want a stop-gap arrangement before they go on to further education (hopefully) or other avenues. And also the company cannnot sustain all the workforce to stay and accomodate the growth for everybody.

    How do we address this 30% workforce and how do we deal with the 70% workforce?

    For both these kind of employees (long-range & short-range/career & job) there are some aspects of the job which will be common. We need to provide these common aspects for everybody and then think of the separate needs of each.

    Lets start addressing the problems common to both.

  • Nigh-Shift and Stress
  • Prevention and Care. The company need to provide specific medical guidance to prevent known problems from occuring and helping to cure health problems (professional hazard) of employees through insurance, medical expenses subsidy, leave provision etc.

  • Job classification
  • The BPO jobs need to be considered more like manufacturing jobs rather than software jobs. Since most of the software companies are moving into BPO they tend to treat the performance and requirements startdard nearer to a software job rather than a manufacturing job. This change of perception will create HR policies like Overtime, productivity based bonus, appropriate quality techniques, recruiting policies, training programs etc.

    Now lets look at how we can make these jobs more attractive and also make a career out of them.

  • Training and Knowledge Enhancement - Satisfaction
  • The best example for this is the process followed in the Toyota production System in making the plant workers trained in various job roles (thus removing monotony and increasing job rotation and also helping in managing absenteism), providing responsibilities in changing and suggesting improvements in process (thus helping themselves and the company), training in various domain and technical programs for knowledge enhancement.

  • Environment
  • The goal should be client satisfaction but provide a lot of fun loving and casual atmosphere. This will match with the young just-out-of-college crowd and also help in overcoming the stress of the job. Good infrastructure which most of the companies do provide. And confident and good leadership expecially in the middle management level.

  • Growth
  • This should be achieved through professional growth in responsibilities in terms of promotion accompanying authority and also knowledge growth via training, and for the "career" employees funding distance/part-time courses like MBA,CFA etc which should also help the company when these employees can become managers rather than importing from outside.

    This is an important aspect as the the people who have grown through the ranks (similar to manufacturing) are more effective leaders than MBA imports.

    These are some of the areas to look at. More importantly I have tried to suggest perception changes which I believe should take care of correct HR and Management policies.


    At September 29, 2009 at 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi friends!
    There are plenty of bpo jobs in India.Just Post your resume and

    get your dream job.


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