BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 | Layoff | Business Process Outsourcing

BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

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Foreword Executive Summary Research Overview & Respondents Profile

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Case 1 - Recession - Immediate Effects Case 2 – Layoffs Case 3 - Job Insecurity Case 4 - Next Move Case 5 - Trust in Management Case 6 - Employee Satisfaction

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Conclusion Analyst Panel About Us Acknowledgment and Credit

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

Foreword
The clouds of recession are busy playing hide and seek with the recovery forecasters and it seems that it’s just a matter of few more months when the industry would be, completely back on track. At this important juncture, BPOVoice.Com decided to undertake this survey to delve deep into the opinion of the BPO/outsourcing professionals, who went through the worst phase of their career and try to understand its probable impact. The questions were kept simple, precise and to the point (divided into six broad categories) so as to gauge the general mood more accurately. The six categories were • • • • • • Recession- Immediate Effects Layoffs Job Insecurity Next Move Trust in Management Employee satisfaction

The senior level respondents were more confident and positive of the entire lot, though the mood was grim and clouded by uncertainty at the entry and middle level. The survey also gave an interesting insight into what goes inside the mind of an employee who is working extra hours with reduced budgets in the midst of recession. One of the participant commented “I have noticed that the prevailing economic conditions have roused the predatory instincts of most managers and a few junior employees. It has also led to a lot of backbiting and a vicious struggle for survival. Managers raise their expectations and the expectations of their bosses to unrealistically high levels. They then place their subordinates' heads on the chopping block, claiming that their performance is not up to the mark. All this is being done by a few people to save their jobs at the expense of others.” Though every one was not as pessimistic as the above comment reflected and many others thought of this as just another phase. One of the torch bearer of the “ Think Positive ” brigade commented “If you are confident in your abilities to excel, no amount of recession can stop or keep you out of job. If it still happens, entrepreneurship is always there for the intellect. Just be positive !" We hope that the survey results and its analysis is useful for all the readers across the levels and helps them take better decisions in the post recession scenario. Feel free to contact us to share your feedback and comments at info@bpovoice.com Sincerely, Team BPOVoice

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

Executive Summary
BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 attempted to study the general opinion of the BPO/Outsourcing professionals on various important issues like Layoffs, Job insecurity, Employee satisfaction etc. Many responses were on the expected lines barring a few findings, which gave us new areas of research for the future. Also, the findings of this survey helped us explore the probable pattern of the job related movement of these professionals, in the post recession scenario. The survey participants were mostly from India (64%), followed by UK (11%), USA (7%) and many other countries. Also, among those who responded 27% were from the senior level, 62% were from the middle level and the rest 11% were from the entry level. The Key Observations : 1. The survey results pointed towards an important indicator - A high rate of attrition may be observed among the middle level executives, in the post recession scenario. It seems as if, the companies will have a tough time retaining their quality talent at the middle level as they were the one most eager to quit their present organization, as per as the survey results. Also, the middle level executives seemed to be under more stress in comparison to others which could have influenced their opinion regarding making a job change. 2. One of the positive findings of the survey was the larger acceptance among the outsourcing/BPO Professionals about the need to put a temporary cut on the expenses or to increase work pressure, in sync with the demand and requirement raised out of the unprecedented financial crisis. The respondents were sharply divided over using layoffs as a part of cost cutting strategy. Surprisingly the senior level respondents were the most vocal against it. 3. Majority of the respondents said they will recommend their company to their friends or relatives which indicated that, they still view their current organization as a trusted employer and haven't lost their faith in the management. However, the entry level respondents were not too enthusiastic about the same. 4. The survey results also reflected upon few areas of improvement including– The Need for consistent communication with the entry level executives. Many front line executives felt that the industry took undue advantage of the term recession and even those companies who remained profitable used it to cut expenses and block annual appraisals. There seems to be a considerable lack of communication from the higher management on various issues leading to unnecessary confusion and a heightened sense of insecurity among the entry level professionals.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 5. Majority of the respondents believed that the current crisis could have been handled in a better way. They almost unanimously asked for more accountability from the top level including the CEOs. Also majority of them, thought that their industry has performed relatively better than others. 6. There were a few surprise findings like many respondents especially those at the middle level advocated, that the job insecurity is directly proportional to better production, which implied that a bit of job insecurity is desired and acceptable, in order to get increased productivity from the employees. Overall, the survey gave us a pretty decent idea of the opinion of the outsourcing professionals across the levels. It also provided us, with few important leads along with some areas of improvement, so that the companies can be better prepared for the post recession scenario.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

Research Overview & Respondents Profile
The objective of the BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 was to get an idea of the areas of improvement and challenges that the outsourcing industry may face, in the post recession scenario. This was a random survey, conducted on bpovoice.com website, promoted across the net through different channels. In addition to the online survey, this study was supplemented by BPOVoice.com's own experience along with the expertise of our panel of analysts to study the probable impact, in the near future. The data collected was examined by Infinit-O (A leading, Philippine based BPO) and Magdalena Szarafin (Chairman of IAS/IFRS Practice Committee at German CPA Society) along with Team BPOVoice for thoughtful analysis and accurate interpretation.

A total of 552 respondents participated in the survey out of which 27% were from the senior level, 62% from the middle level and the rest 11% were from the entry level. The opinion expressed in this survey comes from those, who have spent considerable time in their current organization as, around half of the participants (49%) had spent up to 3 years in their present organization. This segment included most of the middle level executives. Around 28% of the total respondents had spent more than 3 years in the same organization. This segment consisted mostly of the senior level executives. 18% of the respondents were relatively new with less than a year in their current organization. This segment consisted mainly of the front line executives. As the duration of stay of the respondents, in their current organization, is almost above average (as per the industry standards) this increases the chances that, their responses are based more out of experience rather than hearsay which in turn improves the credibility of the opinion expressed. 51% of the respondents were married, the rest were single .More than 59% of the respondents were in the age group of 20-30, whereas 39% were between 30 - 45 and the others formed less than 2%.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Geographic Overview : A sizable, 64% of the respondents were from India followed by UK (11%), USA (7%), and Philippines (6%). This could be because of the visitors who visit BPOVoice.com website follow a similar pattern. Out of more than 100 countries where we receive traffic from, the top countries have consistently remained India, USA, UK and Philippines. Out of the 64% respondents from India, 25% were from the entry level, 56% were from the middle level and the rest 19% were from the senior level. Out of the respondents from UK, 63% were from the top level followed by 30% from the middle level and the rest from the entry level executives. More than three fourth of the respondents who participated from USA were from the senior level, whereas most of the respondents who participated from Philippines were from the entry level. Even though the opinion expressed is more of the Indian BPO Professionals, however, it still gave us a reasonable idea about the views of the global BPO/outsourcing employees because of India being the market leader. Also, for the sake of simplification, we decided to focus on just one parameter which is the designation level (Senior, Middle and entry level) in order to interpret the results in a better way.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

Case 1

Recession – Immediate Effects

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 What is your current state of mind at your workplace?

Further Findings and Observation: What is your current state of Senior mind at your workplace? Level % Cautious 24 Euphoric 0 Worried 22 Depressed 5 Fine, Nothing unusual 49 Middle Level % 30 0 16 14 40 Entry Level % 33 7 7 20 33

Infinit-O: For the current state of mind at the workplace, the general opinion of the respondents was geared towards being “Fine, Nothing unusual”. When the data was further examined, 33% of the entry level respondents who said were cautious in their approach was just as large as those who felt fine. Out of the senior level respondents, 49% voted for being fine while 22% were worried, 24% were cautious and the remaining 5% were depressed ab out the wh ole sce nario . In comparison, just 7% of the entry level respondents voted for being worried and a considerable 20% of the entry level respondents said they were depressed about their future. BPOVoice: • • The senior level respondents felt a lot positive than the middle or the entry level. Even though, more entry level respondents voted for being depressed, it was the middle level respondents who seemed to be under more stress as around 30% (the highest among all the participants) said they were either depressed or worried. It seems that, the middle level executives are more stressed and treading more cautiously in comparison to the senior level.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Do you support reduced budgets in view of current scenario? (Low incentives, deferred appraisals etc)

Further Findings and Observation: Do you support reduced budgets in view of current scenario? (Low incentives, deferred appraisals etc) Yes , absolutely Somewhat No Not sure Senior Level % 35 33 32 0 Middle Level % 20 42 34 4 Entry Level % 13 33 47 7

Infinit-O: 61% of the total respondents supported reduced budgets for incentives and appraisals in view of the current financial crisis. Among the three groups surveyed, the seniors were the most willing to accept this kind of arrangement at 68%. 62% of the middle levels respondents were also in support of reduced budgets. On the other hand, 47% of the entry level participants were not in support of the decreased budgets for incentives and appraisals, while only 32% of the seniors and 34% of the middle levels respondents voiced their disapproval about the same. In terms of uncertainty on their stand, the entry level had the most number of respondents who were not sure.

BPO Voice: • • • Majority of the respondents supported reduced budgets in view of current scenario either absolutely or somewhat. More than half of the entry level respondents did not support it. Senior level respondents were more supportive than the others.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Do you support the extra pressure to deliver in these times in view of current scenario?

Further Findings and Observation: Do you support the extra pressure to deliver in these times in view of current scenario? Yes , absolutely Somewhat No Not sure Senior Level % 57 30 8 5 Middle Level % 38 43 18 1 Entry Level % 20 47 34 0

Infinit-O: Almost all the respondents supported the extra pressure to deliver in these times of crisis totaling to 81% and only 17% were not in favor of it. The seniors were m o re s u p p o rt iv e o f the need to deliver, even under extra pressure followed by the middle level. 87% of the seniors supported the extra pressure to deliver in these tough times and only 8% did not. On the other hand, 34% of the entry level said no to extra pressure to deliver which is the highest among the three groups. There was a big gap between the senior and the middle level who were in support of the extra pressure to deliver versus the entry level. There were 20% more seniors than entry levels and 14% more middle level respondents, who were willing to take on extra pressure to deliver.

BPOVoice: • • 81% had more or less no issues with the increased level of expectations and work pressure compared to 19% who were either against or not sure about it. Senior level respondents were the most supportive and the entry level respondents were the least.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Do you think Recession is acting as a motivator in disguise?

Further Findings and Observation: Do you think Recession is acting as a motivator in disguise? Yes , absolutely Somewhat No Not sure Senior Level % 22 35 38 5 Middle Level % 27 31 35 7 Entry Level % 13 47 40 0

Infinit-O: More than half of the respondents ( 58%) thought, that the recession is acting as a motivator in disguise. Although a sizable 36% percent voted against it. It is interesting to note that the entry level group had the most number of people, with more than half of it, who viewed the recession as a motivator. Contradictory to that, the entry level also had the most number of people at 40% who voted against it. BPO Voice: • • Majority of the participants had no qualms accepting, that the recession is acting as a motivator. The entry level respondents seemed to be somewhat divided over this statement than the rest. The majority of them (60%) supported the statement either absolutely or somewhat, whereas a sizable 40% out-rightly rejected this idea. As the majority of the entry level, voted in favor, it indicated that, they are not rigid, have an understanding of the current problem and can adjust happily provided, they are given a convincing explanation.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

Case 2

Layoffs

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Do you support the layoffs in your organization in view of current scenario?

Further Findings and Observation: Do you support the layoffs in your organization in view of current scenario? Yes , absolutely Somewhat No Not sure Senior Level 8 35 51 6 Middle Level 6 42 45 7 Entry Level 7 27 40 26

Infinit-O: There were slightly more BPO employees who did not support the layoffs in view of the current situation compared to the ones who did. 46% said no to layoffs as a part of dealing with the economic crisis while 45% said it was OK. The group who disagreed the most with the use of layoff as a cost cutting strategy w as of seniors at 51%, followed by the middle level at 45%. The middle level group had the most number of people at 48% who were in support of layoffs in view of the current times. Again a sizable, 40% of the entry level respondents were not in favor of the layoffs and only 34% of them supported it. BPOVoice: • • • Surprisingly, the senior level respondents were most vocal against layoffs . Around half of the middle level respondents (48%) seemed all right with the idea. 27% of the entry level respondents were not sure about it, though 40% out-rightly rejected the idea.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 In your opinion what most of the organizations are resorting to - mindless downsizing or sensible cost cutting?

Further Findings and Observation: In your opinion what most of the organizations are resorting to - mindless downsizing or sensible cost cutting? Mindless downsizing Sensible cost cutting Not Sure Senior Level % 43 51 6 Middle Level % 38 55 7 Entry Level % 80 20 0

Infinit-O: Half of the respondents agreed that the job cuts at this point of time are being done with thorough planning, whereas 44% thought that the companies are resorting to mindless downsizing. Among the three groups, the entry level had the most number of people at 80% who thought that the layoffs as a restructuring procedure is being done through mindless downsizing. Half of the senior and middle level respondents voted that the companies are resorting to sensible cost cutting. BPOVoice: • • • • The respondents were somewhat divided as around 50% said sensible cost cutting, whereas a sizable 44% voted for mindless downsizing. A whooping 80% of the entry level respondents voted in favor of mindless downsizing. More than half of the senior and middle level respondents said that the companies are resorting to sensible cost cutting. It seems as if the entry level respondents have not been given convincing explanation about the need to layoffs, which encourages unnecessary rumors and sense of job insecurity.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Do you think - Employee retention is still happening?

Further Findings and Observation: Do you think - Employee retention is Senior still happening? Level % Yes , absolutely 35 Somewhat 41 No 16 Not sure 8 Middle Level % 27 42 29 2 Entry Level % 7 40 53 0

Infinit-O: In terms of employee retention, 68% of the respondents believed that employees are still being retained by their companies. A l s o , 28% of the total respondents disagreed, whereas 4% were unsure. The entry level group’s response to this showed, how vulnerable and insecure they are in terms of retaining their jobs. 53% of them said they did not think that employee retention is happening, whereas 40% of them said that it might be happening selectively and only 7% were absolutely sure about it. On the other hand, the seniors were confident about employee retention happening in their organization. 76% of the seniors said they were either absolutely or somewhat sure about it.. A similar pattern was observed among the middle level respondents, with as many as 69 % supporting the statement either absolutely or somewhat. BPO Voice: • • The senior and middle level respondents were more vocal about retention happening in their organization in comparison to the entry level respondents. More than half of the entry level respondents voted against this statement.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 In your opinion should the top level (including the CEO) be made more accountable?

Further Findings and Observation: In your opinion should the top level (including the CEO) be made more accountable? Yes , absolutely Somewhat No Not sure Senior Level % 84 11 5 0 Middle Level % 83 12 3 2 Entry Level % 74 13 13 0

Infinit-O: Majority of the respondents agreed that the CEOs should be made more accountable, w h e r e a s only 5% disagreed. 84% of the senior level respondents advocated that the CEOs should be made more accountable. Only 5% of them w e r e a g a i n s t t h i s i d e a . 83% of the middle level and 74% of the entry level were in absolute favor of the statement . Also, there were 13% of the entry level respondents who did not see any reason for doing this .

BPOVoice: This was a no brainer and the response was very much on the expected lines. A whooping 82% of the total respondents said absolutely yes, out of which the seniors were the most supportive.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

Case 3

Job Insecurity

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 How do you think insecurity at work place related to the overall productivity?

Further Findings and Observation: How do you think insecurity at work place Senior related to the overall productivity? Level % Directly Proportional 60 Inversely Proportional 35 Not Sure 5 Middle Level % 73 22 5 Entry Level % 67 27 6

Infinit-O: 69% of the surveyed group said insecurity at work place is directly proportional to the overall productivity, whereas only 26% thought that it is inversely proportional. T h e g e n e r a l v i e w p o i n t s e e m e d t o b e - The more insecure a n employee is , the more they try to increase their productivity i n o r d e r to keep their jobs. Among the surveyed groups who said that insecurity is directly proportional to productivity, the dominating group was the middle level at 73% followed by the entry level at 67% and then the senior level at 60%. Consequently, the senior level respondents with 35% were the ones dominantly saying that insecurity is inversely proportional to the employee’s overall work productivity. Following the seniors were the entry level respondents with 27% supporting the inversely proportional relationship. Lastly, among the the middle level executives, only 22% believed that the more insecure the employee b ec om e s, the less productive they tend to be. BPO Voice: Middle level respondents were most vocal about the relation being directly proportional. This could be a surprise finding for some, however, it is generally assumed the more secured the job is the more complacent the employee becomes, resulting in less production.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 What do you think are your chances of getting fired?

Further Findings and Observation: What do you think are your chances of getting fired? 100% Somewhat Not Sure Not at all Senior Level % 14 8 35 43 Middle Level % 9 19 37 35 Entry Level % 13 34 40 13

Infinit-O: The survey showed that most of the respondents (37%) were not sure whether they will be fired or not. A slightly lower figure of 35% were confident, that they will not lose their jobs. 17% were somewhat sure about their chances of getting fired. Also a considerable, 11% were absolutely sure about losing their jobs. The job insecurity was mostly felt by the entry level employees with 47% of them , being 100% or somewhat sure that they will lose their jobs. The majority of the seniors with 43% and the middle level with 35% were sure that they will keep their jobs. BPO Voice: • Senior level respondents were the most confident. • • Uncertainty loomed large among the entry level respondents. Middle level respondents were more skeptical about retaining their jobs than the senior level .

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 In your opinion why should employees put in extra efforts, something on the lines of beyond the call of duty?

Further Findings and Observation: In your opinion why should employees put in extra efforts, something on the lines of beyond the call of duty? To save their job That’s the way to go forward Not Sure Senior Level % 16 81 3 Middle Level % 29 70 1 Entry Level % 40 53 7

Infinit-O: 71% of the surveyed BPO employees said putting extra efforts, beyond the call of duty is the way to go forward, in their career. This sentiment generally c a m e from the senior level at 81%, followed by middle level at 70% and then 53% by the entry level respondents. Also, 27 % of the surveyed said that it is necessary to show extra efforts in order to save their jobs. This was the somewhat dominant feeling among the entry level employees wherein 40% of them advocated this, whereas on the other hand only 16% seniors and 29% of the middle level respondents felt this way. BPOVoice: Almost majority of the respondents voted on the positive side across the levels (which is a good indication), however, the support decreased from the top level onwards. Among the senior level respondents, majority supported it, while the entry level respondents were close to a divided lot, where in 40% said that this is done just to save their jobs. One probable reason for this could be the current circumstances, wherein uncertainty over retaining the jobs is quite high.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

Case 4

Next Move

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 When are you planning your next job move?

Further Findings and Observation: When are you planning your next job move? ASAP Wait till the market gets better Don’t know Will stick with my current company for a long time Senior Level % 22 16 19 43 Middle Level % 31 34 14 21 Entry Level % 27 27 27 19

Infinit-O: In terms of planning their next job move, 28% of the total respondents, voted for planning their next move as soon as possible (ASAP). The same percentage of the respondents, wanted to wait for the market to get better. 17% were unsure about it, whereas 27% planned to continue in their current o r g a n i z a t i o n for a long time. The middle level executives were the most eager to quit their jobs ASAP with 31%, followed by the entry level at 27% and with seniors at 22%. Contrary to that, the seniors were the ones with the highest percentage of people (43%) who were happy to continue with their current organization for a long time. Only 21% of the middle level and 19% of the entry level respondents, intended to stick with their current companies. BPOVoice : Only 27% of the total respondents wanted to hold on to their current organization and the rest wanted to quit their jobs ASAP or as and when the market gets better. A sizable 17% were undecided. Senior respondents (43%) showed more inclination towards sticking with their present company. One striking observation was that, the middle level respondents (65%) showed more inclination towards moving ASAP or as and when the market gets better in comparison to others. The entry level remained the most indecisive one. Table of Contents s 23 Copyright BPOVoice.Com 2009

BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 When are your colleagues planning their next job move?

Further Findings and Observation: When are your colleagues planning their next job move? ASAP Wait till the market gets better Don’t know Will stick with my current company for a long time Senior Level % 19 43 22 16 Middle Level % 31 41 27 1 Entry Level % 20 40 33 7

Infinit-O : 41% of the respondents said their colleagues i n t e n d to wait until the market gets better in order to decide their next job move. 27% said their colleagues c o u l d m a k e their next job move ASAP. 26% were not sure about it. Only 6% said their colleagues p l a n to stick with their present organization for a long time. The senior level group had the most number of people at 16% who said that their colleagues m a y stick with their current company for a long time, while the middle level had the most number of respondents at 31% who said that their colleagues c o u l d s w i t c h t h e i r j o b s ASAP. On the other hand, the entry level group with 33% had the most number of people who were not sure about their colleague's next move.

BPOVoice: 68% of the respondents replied ASAP or as and when the market gets better. Only 6% said their colleagues will stick to their current organization, which was in sharp contrast to the previous question. The response to this question showed as if there was a communication or a trust gap among the participants and their co-workers as the answers given were somewhat contradictory w.r.t the previous scenario.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Given the current scenario would you recommend your friends to join your company?

Further Findings and Observation: Given the current scenario would you Senior recommend your friends to join your Level % company? Yes , absolutely 54 Somewhat 19 No 22 Not sure 5 Middle Level % 35 24 35 6 Entry Level % 27 20 47 6

Infinit-O: 61% of the total respondents who took the survey said that they will recommend t h e i r p r e s e n t c o m p a n y t o t h e i r f r i e n d s . 33% said they will not suggest their current organization to their friends to work for. From the three position levels, the senior level with 54%, was the most willing to recommend their companies to others. 35% of the middle level and 27% of the entry level said they will recommend their companies to their friends. In opposition to that, the group which dominantly rejected the idea of recommending their present organization to work was, the entry level at 47%. Only 22% of the seniors and 35% of the middle level respondents said they will not recommend their companies to others.

BPO Voice: Majority of the respondents said they will recommend their present company to their friends/relatives which indicated that, they still consider their present company as a trusted employer. This also indicated their trust in the management to sail thorough the current crisis. More than 50% of the senior respondents supported it, whereas more than 40% of the entry level respondents were against any recommendation. Table of Contents s 25 Copyright BPOVoice.Com 2009

BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Would you resist a lucrative job offer from a lesser known brand in today’s market scenario?

Further Findings and Observation: Would you resist a lucrative job offer from a lesser known brand in today’s market scenario? Yes, want to stick to my organization No, will check the terms, if suits will jump the ship Not Sure Senior Level % 38 43 19 Middle Level % 27 70 3 Entry Level % 20 73 7

Infinit-O: The general acceptance about taking a lucrative job offer from a lesser known brand was large. 63% of the surveyed BPO employees said they will review the terms and accept the offer if it is desirable. Only 29% expressed their loyalty to their present company and p ref erre d to stick to their current organization. T h e s e n i o r l e v e l r e s p o n d e n t s w e r e the most loyal to their companies a s 38% said they will stick to their current organization. Only 27% from the middle level and 20% from the entry level intended to stay in their current organization. As expected the entry level group, was the most willing to take on a new job from any other company given a better offer. 73% of the entry level group said they will check the terms and jump the ship if the offer is reasonable. 70% of the middle level respondents were also interested in such opportunities.

BPOVoice: 63% of the respondents had no qualms compromising over a brand name, if they were offered a lucrative deal from a lesser known player. Entry level respondent's eagerness to quit was quite understandable, however, what was surprising was, 70% of the middle level respondents too showed their eagerness for the same. This further enforces our observation that there could be a significant movement at the middle level in the near future.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009

Case 5

Trust in Management

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 How much do you trust in your management that whatever they will decide would be the best possible option?

Further Findings and Observation: How much do you trust in your management that whatever they will decide would be the best possible option? Complete Somewhat Not at all Not Sure Senior Level % 38 51 11 0 Middle Level % 15 52 26 7 Entry Level % 0 53 40 7

Infinit-O: Majority of the survey respondents (72%) trusted their management in terms of decision making, whereas 23% did not and around 5% were not sure. The senior level respondents had the highest confidence level in their management’s decisions. 89% of the seniors said they either completely o r s o m e w h a t trust their management. On the other hand, the entry level group had the highest distrust rate in the management. None of them completely trusted their management’s decision and a significant 40% of them said they did not trust their management at all. As for the middle level, 15% completely trusted that their management makes the best possible decisions, 52% said somewhat, w he re a s 26% disagreed about the same. BPOVoice: The level of trust receded along with the designation level i.e. the higher the level was, the highest the trust displayed and the lower the least. The entry level respondents had the highest distrust rate. However what was encouraging was to see that, overall 72 % of the total respondents trusted their management.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 According to you, how confident is your management in terms of sailing through the current market down turn?

Further Findings and Observation: According to you, how confident is your management in terms of sailing through the current market down turn ? 100% Somewhat Not at all Not Sure Senior Level % 49 35 11 5 Middle Level % 38 48 8 6 Entry Level % 20 47 20 13

Infinit-O: The general sentiment of the respondents in their management’s ability to sail through the current crisis w as very positive, with 83% being either somewhat or absolutely confident a b ou t t h e sa m e . The positive sentiments came from the middle level (86%) and the senior level (84%). Only 67% from the entry level respondents supported this statement. Out of the 10% who were not confident that their management would be able to surpass the recession, majority of the m we re from the entry level positions. 20% of the entry level respondents said they were not at all confident, while only 11% from the senior level and 8% from the middle level agreed with this. BPOVoice: 83% of the total respondents thought, that their management is more confident about sailing through, however, again the confidence level receded along with the designation level. It was also interesting to note that more people thought that their management is more confident than they themselves think about the same. The entry level respondents were no exception to this observation.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Do you think your industry is relatively doing better than others?

Further Findings and Observation: Do you think your industry is relatively doing better than others? Yes, absolutely Somewhat Not at all Not Sure Senior Level % 46 40 11 3 Middle Level % 44 36 16 4 Entry Level % 40 27 33 0

Infinit-O: Majority of the respondents believed that their industry is doing better than others. 44% were absolutely sure about it, whereas 36% were somewhat sure about the same. Among the three position levels surveyed, the seniors with 86% had the most number of people who believed that the business process outsourcing industry has performed better viz-a-viz other industries. On the other hand, 33% of the entry level executives disapproved this statement, whereas 67% were relatively optimistic.

BPOVoice: 80% of the total respondents thought, that the BPO industry is performing either absolutely or somewhat better than others. Senior level respondents were the most confident viz-z viz the middle or entry level participants.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Do you think the current crisis could have been handled in a better way?

Further Findings and Observation: Do you think the current crisis could have been handled in a better way? Yes, absolutely Somewhat Not at all Not Sure Senior Level % 68 24 3 5 Middle Level % 55 37 5 3 Entry Level % 53 27 13 7

Infinit-O: 91% of the respondents thought that the current crisis could have been handled in a

better way. Only 5% said not at all, while 4% were unsure. Out of those who supported, 58% agreed absolutely that the crisis could have been handled in a better way, while 33% were only somewhat sure about it. 92% of the senior and middle level employees felt that the recession could have been dealt in a better way. Also, 80% of the entry level respondents agreed to it. BPOVoice: Majority of the respondents thought that this crisis could have been handled in a better way. This response indicated towards the unpreparedness on the part of our leaders/managers for such a scenario! The one who were more vocal in the support of this statement, were the senior and the middle level executives. There seems to be a requirement of a healthy debate across the industry about the same so that the companies can be better prepared for the future.

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Case 6

Employee Satisfaction

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Do you believe that “High employee satisfaction would result in great productivity or better output”?

Further Findings and Observation: Do you believe that “High employee satisfaction would result in great productivity or better output” ? Yes, absolutely Somewhat Not at all Not Sure Senior Level % 100 0 0 0 Middle Level % 87 12 0 1 Entry Level % 80 13 0 7

Infinit-O: Almost all of the respondents or 99% said high employee satisfaction leads to better output, whereas only a negligible 1% were unsure about it. It is interesting to note that all the senior level respondents agreed that high employee satisfaction results in enhanced productivity. At the middle level, 87% agreed absolutely, whereas 12% agreed somewhat. 80 % of the entry level executives also agreed to it, absolutely . BPOVoice: The respondents were more or less unanimous in their support. It was good to see that respondents across the levels were in sync with this statement , at least in theory. This scenario also highlighted a contradictory opinion of the respondents. Earlier, the same set of respondents advocated that the job insecurity is directly proportional to productivity, however, what they overlooked this time was- Job insecurity can not bring high employee satisfaction, though it could lead to better production . So there will always be certain issues on which most of us might agree in theory though, we may or may not be able to apply them in a standard professional environment.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Are you satisfied with your current job?

Further Findings and Observation: Are you satisfied current job? Yes, absolutely Somewhat Not at all Not Sure with your Senior Level % 49 35 13 3 Middle Level % 26 51 21 2 Entry Level % 7 40 53 0

Infinit-O: 76% of the surveyed groups were satisfied with their current jobs. Out of those who were satisfied, 30% were absolutely satisfied with their current jobs, whereas 46% were just somewhat satisfied. The seniors had the highest rate of absolute job satisfaction among the three groups with 49%. The entry level had the least with only 7% agreeing to it . Consequently, the latter also had the highest dissatisfaction rate with 53% of them voted for being unhappy with their current jobs. BPO Voice: As many as 53% of the entry level respondents said they were dissatisfied with their current jobs. It could have been because of the kind of pressure they were subjected to, in the early phase of their career due to recession. The job satisfaction was highest among the seniors however the cause of concern was the middle segment, only 51 % were somewhat satisfied which again pointed to a similar indicator, that there could be a significant turnover at this level.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 Are you satisfied with the kind of support/guidance you are receiving from your reporting manager/higher management?

Further Findings and Observation: Are you satisfied with the kind of support/guidance you are receiving from your reporting manager/higher management Yes, absolutely Somewhat Not at all Not Sure Senior Level % 46 35 14 5 Middle Level % 25 37 36 2 Entry Level % 20 33 47 0

Infinit-O: 30% of the total respondents w e r e absolutely satisfied with the kind of support they were receiving from their managers, whereas 36% were somewhat satisfied. As expected, the seniors had the highest satisfaction rate with a combined percentage of 81% (absolute + somewhat). The entry level group was the least satisfied with 47% voted for being unsatisfied with the kind of guidance/support they received from their superiors.

BPOVoice: 66% were somewhat or absolutely satisfied with the kind of support they were receiving from their seniors, however, a considerable 31% were not. The entry level segment was the most dissatisfied, out of the entire lot.

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BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 When was the last time an employee satisfaction survey took place in your office?

Further Findings and Observation: When was the last time an employee satisfaction survey took place in your office? In the stone age Never Recently Don’t Remember Senior Level % 11 14 59 16 Middle Level % 16 23 36 25 Entry Level % 13 27 20 40

Infinit-O: According to the survey, 41% of the total respondents, recently had an employee satisfaction survey in their office. Majority of the seniors (59%) voted for this, whereas just 20% of the entry level employees said so. Out of the total respondents 2 1 % said they haven't ever taken any employee satisfaction survey in their organization, whereas 24% said they do not remember when they last had any such survey. BPOVoice: 45% of the total respondents did not take any employee satisfaction survey or simply didn't remember anything about it, which clearly indicates that either such practices are not followed at all or followed only in the initial years. This response also implied that such a tool may have lost its relevance with time and sets the platform for a new debate on the same.

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Conclusion
Case 1: Recession- Immediate Effects
The middle level executives seemed to be under more stress in comparison to others which could also be because of the demanding nature of their job. They are the one who execute the tough decisions, decided at the top and execution in such a scenario is not everybody's cup of tea. Also, these professionals have reached a certain level in their organization's hierarchy because of which, a job change within the same industry is not that easy, which in turns adds to their stress level. There seems to be a larger acceptance among the outsourcing/BPO professionals about the need to put a temporary cut on the expenses or to increase work pressure, in sync with the demand and requirement raised out of the unprecedented financial crisis. A similar statement for using layoffs as a cost cutting measure met with strong resistance across the levels. A better understanding about the tough decisions like delayed appraisals or company resizing was observed among the middle and the high level executives, probably because of the fact that, they are somehow involved in the decision making/implementing process. However the same level of understanding was missing among the entry level executives. Now this finding is in sync with many other observations made in the forthcoming scenarios discussed ahead. It seems that the entry level executives have not been explained the need for such a cut that convincingly as it should have been and that explains their reluctant acceptance or outright refusal of such decisions. It is desirable to have the entry level workforce better informed as they are the face and the voice of the organization to the end user/customers (especially in BPOs). If they are not aware or convinced of the need of any such decision which impacts them, then it would have an adverse affect on their motivation level, subsequently affecting their overall performance.

Case 2: Layoffs
The senior level was most vocal about their disapproval regarding the layoffs which indicated that the lay offs is not being used as a first and foremost measure. This is an important observation as this view is against the popular perception that the management is resorting to mindless downsizing. 80% of the entry level executives think that their management is resorting to mindless downsizing which could mean that probably, they have not been given proper and logical reasoning for the same. As we have observed earlier, a consistent and elaborate communication is required across the levels, to avoid any confusion whatsoever. Also majority of the respondents felt that the top level management should be made more accountable. This could be because many of our respondents felt that the current crisis could have been handled in a better way, which explains the raised voices for more accountability.

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Conclusion
Case 3: Job Insecurity
Many of the respondents were of the view that, a bit of job insecurity is required to extract the best performance out of the employees, otherwise some sort of complacency creeps in. The general opinion was - If the employees are kept on their toes for most of the time, the performance level increases considerably. Probably the middle level executives (who supported this the most), are the one who execute the decisions and get the job done, which explains, their support for some sort of job insecurity for better productivity. Senior level respondents were most confident about retaining their current job and being more indispensable, than others. When asked about their chances of getting fired, uncertainty loomed large among the entry level respondents . Middle level respondents were more skeptical than the senior level respondents in the similar scenario.

Case 4: Next Move
There seems to be a possibility of a significant attrition among the middle level executives in the post recession scenario. It seems that companies may have to work a bit harder in order to retain their best talent at this level. 70% of the middle level respondents had no problems accepting a lucrative offer from a lesser known brand. A very minimal 6% said their colleagues will stick with their current organization. Around 70% said their co-workers could make a move ASAP or as and when the market gets better. Majority of the respondents said they will recommend their company to their friends/relatives which shows that, even though they intend to make a move, they still see their current organization as a trusted employer. This confidence was most reflected by the seniors and least by the entry level respondents.

Case 5: Trust in Management
80% of the respondents believed that their industry is doing better than others. This was in sync with the industry reports that BPOs have done relatively better than other sectors and would be the one to recover the fastest in the post recession scenario. More than half of the respondents trusted their management that they will sail through, though the trust factor receded along with the designation level. This again pointed to a previous observation of the need for better communication across the levels. Also, Respondents were almost unanimous when asked, if the current crisis could have been handled in better way. In our opinion, as this was an unprecedented crisis, the management should be given a benefit of doubt for the lapses, with the hope, that lessons have been learnt and in the future the wisdom gained, would be used for better decision making.

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Conclusion
Case 6: Employee Satisfaction
The Case 6 gave us another reminder of the ongoing indicator that companies need to watch out for a probable high attrition among the middle level executives. As many as 72% of the middle level executives were either dissatisfied or partially satisfied with their current job profiles. Also, there seems to be an urgent need for communication with the entry level executives either from the middle level or the higher management, to give them a clarity of vision and to reignite their enthusiasm for better productivity. Needless to say a few pep talk sessions or a small budget recognition program or any other innovative approach might do wonders to the already sagging morale of these front line executives. Also, it seems that there is a need for some serious introspection/debate on the relevance of organization’s internal employee satisfaction survey. It seems as if, the organization don’t consider such tools as important or relevant, as they are made to look out in theory. There seems to be a need for searching either the effective alternatives or the ways for effective implementation of the same.

Observation from Magdalena Szarafin
“Almost all the respondents (98%) of BPO Employees Opinion Survey 2009 were under 45 years old and many have been with their current employer for 3 years or less (67%). Every third respondent planned to change their job ASAP. That reflected upon the main problem of the BPO sector - its relatively high attrition rate. Moreover, the respondents voted for high employee satisfaction and job security to result in better productivity and they demanded top management to be made more accountable. They were ready to put extra efforts to bring business forward (71%) and to save their jobs (27%). 76% of the total respondents were almost satisfied with their current jobs, whereas 53% of the entry level employees were dissatisfied. And an optimistic accent: A majority of BPO employees (80%) were of the opinion that their industry has done better than others. “

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Analyst Panel
Team BPO Voice BPOVoice.Com is a community portal for the BPO/Outsourcing professionals which also specializes in creating online buzz through event promotions, niche blogging, focus new launches, latest trends or company profiles exclusively for the outsourcing industry. For more information visit: http://www.bpovoice.com/

Infinit-O Infinit-O is a leading business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) solutions provider in the financial services, research, and healthcare sectors with offices in the US, UK and the Philippines. The Company’s vision is to become the trusted partner in business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) solutions for small and medium-sized businesses For more information visit : http://www.infinit-o.com

Magdalena Szarafin Magdalena Szarafin is an author of publications dealing with TQM, knowledge management, outsourcing and shared services and a speaker on conferences and events. She works as an International Management Accountant in a large pharmaceutical corporation. She is also active in non-profit organisations: She is the Chairman of IAS/IFRS Practice Committee at German CPA Society, and a member of other organisations. She prepares her PhD dissertation dealing with shared services. For more information visit : http://www.szarafin.info

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About Us
BPOVoice.com is an ever growing network of BPO professionals, across the globe. Since it’s incep tion in 2008, BPOVoice.com has always provided a fresh approach of an open and common platform to connect, brainstorm new ideas and share important news for the outsourcing professionals. Its focus is to endow its members with up-to-date information on outsourcing, with its internal re search as well as through the knowledge of experts. This makes the resource more robust and gives a third dimension to the conventional views on outsourcing. -

Media Partners for: Gartner Outsourcing & IT Services Summit, June 2009 HRO World Summit, Europe 2009, Nov 2009 Global Sourcing Forum + Expo (GSFE), Nov 2009 The International Outsourcing Forum 2010 3rd Annual Nordic Shared Services and Outsourcing Forum, Aug2009 9th Annual European Shared Services and Outsourcing Week, May 2009 13th Annual North American Shared Services & Outsourcing Summit, Sep 2009 Controlling & Reporting Management Excellence, Sep 2009

Contact Us: For general queries: info@bpovoice.com For editorial enquiries: amit@bpovoice.com For media partnerships or corporate sponsorship: ankush@bpovoice.com For advertisements: advt@bpovoice.com

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Acknowledgment and Credit
We would like to express our gratitude to the BPOVoice community and to all the survey participants, who helped us in this survey with their valuable comments and suggestions. We would also like to convey special thanks to Infinit-O for their co-operation in analyzing the survey results through their expert analysis.

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