Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry

Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry
HR professionals all over the world, working is Call-Center or Contact Center or BPO industry are breaking their heads to formulate Retention Strategies but nothing is working in their favor. The average attrition rate in this sector is still 35-40%. No perks, no rewards…just nothing is working. Before proceeding further, lets see why people are leaving? Why there is high attrition rate. Why people are moving? When there are so many benefits associated with BPO industry…. when there are so many privileges for the BPO employees than what makes them to change the company/industry?? Is it only MONEY that matters or anything else as well?? After taking exit-interviews and analyzing the trend I am able to list out following reasons for a BPO professional to change his/her job. • • • • • • • • No growth opportunity/lack of promotion For higher Salary For Higher education Misguidance by the company Policies and procedures are not conducive No personal life Physical strains Uneasy relationship with peers or managers

Lets also see as what are the various benefits…that have been extended to people working in this sector. Employee Benefits Provided By Majority Of the BPO Companies A part from the legal and mandatory benefits such as provident-fund and gratuity, below is a list of other benefits…BPO professionals are entitled to the following: 1. Group Medi-claim Insurance Scheme: This insurance scheme is to provide adequate insurance coverage of employees for expenses related to hospitalization due to illness, disease or injury or pregnancy in case of female employees or spouse of male employees. All employees and their dependent family members are eligible. Dependent family members include spouse, non-earning parents and children above three months 2. Personal Accident Insurance Scheme: This scheme is to provide adequate insurance coverage for Hospitalization expenses arising out of injuries sustained in an accident. This covers total / partial disablement / death due to accident and due to accidents. 3. Subsidized Food and Transportation: The organizations provide transportation facility to all the employees from home till office at subsidized rates. The lunch provided is also subsidized. 4. Company Leased Accommodation: Some of the companies provides shared accommodation for all the out station employees, in fact some of the BPO companies also undertakes to pay electricity/water bills as well as the Society charges for the shared accommodation. The purpose is to provide to the employees to lead a more comfortable work life balance.

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Cellular Phone / Laptop: Cellular phone and / or Laptop are provided to the employees on the basis of business need. Flexible Salary Benefits: Its main objective is to provide flexibility to the employees to plan a tax-effective compensation structure by balancing the monthly net income. singing. 7000/. football. Loans: Many BPO companies provide loan facility on three different occasions: Employees are provided with financial assistance in case of a medical emergency. performance based incentive scheme. for pursuing MBA. Educational Benefits: Many BPO companies have this policy to develop the personality and knowledge level of their employees and hence reimburses the expenses incurred towards tuition fees. Flexible work schedules are initiated by employees and approved by management to meet business commitments while supporting employee personal life needs . dancing etc. ATM and Concierge facilities: The recreation facilities include pool tables. The Pay for Performance can be as much as 22% of the salary.to Rs. Wedding Day Gift: Employee is given a gift voucher of Rs. yearly benefits and income tax payable. once in a quarter. the medical check-up can be done once a year. 9. Corporate Credit Card: The main purpose of the corporate credit card is enable the timely and efficient payment of official expenses which the employees undertake for purposes such as travel related expenses like Hotel bills. Regular Get together and other cultural programs: The companies organizes cultural program as and when possible but most of the times. personal trainers and showers at facilities. The parameters for calculation are process performance i. Medical Reimbursement. speed. acting. Apart from that the organizations also conduct various sports programs such as Cricket. etc and regularly play matches with the teams of other organizations and colleges. Page 2 of 10 . 2000/. The Flexible Benefit Plan consists of: House Rent Allowance.The factors on which Flexi time is allowed to an employee include: Child or Parent care. 12. Health situation. The Salary consists of Basic. And. Cafeteria. Formal education program 13. The new recruits are provided with interest free loans to assist them in their initial settlement at the work location. Performance based incentives: In many BPO companies they have plans for. 6. examination fees. Maternity. Personal Health Care (Regular medical check-ups): Some of the BPO'S provides the facility for extensive health check-up. Employees are also provided with financial assistance at the time of their wedding. 11.based on their level in the organization. in which all the employees are given an opportunity to display their talents in dramatics. 10. Recreation. DA and Conveyance Allowance. accuracy and productivity of each process. and purchase of books subject.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry 5. Air tickets etc 7. Leave Travel Assistance. chess tables and coffee bars. and/or other management qualification at India's top most Business Schools. Special Allowance 14. 8. 15. It is applicable of all the employees of the organization. For employees with above 40 years of age. The employee is responsible for the maintenance and safeguarding of the asset. Companies also have well equipped gyms. Flexi-time: The main objective of the flextime policy is to provide opportunity to employees to work with flexible work schedules and set out conditions for availing this provision.e.

A Big Challenge Fundamental changes are taking place in the work force and the workplace that promise to radically alter the way companies relate to their employees. Main retention strategies This is not an exhaustive list. the need of the hour is to have "right basics". Secondly. you have to work counter to prevailing trends causing the job churning. So. So. Page 3 of 10 . Employee Referral Scheme: In several companies employee referral scheme is implemented to encourage employees to refer friends and relatives for employment in the organization. the need of the hour is to have "right basics". and his emotions. Companies that understand what their employees want and need in the workplace and make a strategic decision to proactively fulfill those needs will become the dominant players in their respective markets. Secondly. Smart employers make it a strategic initiative to understand what their people want and need -then give it to them. Retention Strategies This is not an exhaustive list. dear HR-Professionals…sit down and concentrate on your basics. 17. his problems are different. Employee Stock Option Plan Now. Hiring and retaining good employees have become the chief concerns of nearly every company in every industry.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry 16. his needs are different. why people are leaving? What types of retention strategies are required? What is expected from HR Professional and how they can address this issue? Retention . dear HR-Professionals…sit down and concentrate on your basics. the actual question. and his emotions. his needs are different. Every individual is different. I have classified retention strategies into two parts: Main and Ancillary. one can add or delete any of the below mentioned strategies. one can add or delete any of the below mentioned strategies. Today's employees place a high priority on the following: • • • Family orientation Quality of life issues Autonomy To hold onto your people. the emerging work force is developing very different attitudes about their role the workplace. his problems are different. The fierce competition for qualified workers results from a number of workplace trends. including: • • • • • • • A robust economy Shift in how people view their careers Changes in the unspoken "contract" between employer and employee Corporate cocooning A new generation of workers Changes in social mores Life balance Concurrent with these trends. Every individual is different.

let everybody know where it came from. you set the tone for the entire organization. because you don't have set standards. As the store's owner or manager. Setting expectations initiates the process. how you are going to appraise. Set Clear Expectations o o o o How often do you appraise your employees/team-members? What are your expectations from your employees/team-members? What are the parameters to measure their performance? Have you communicated to them? What will be the consequences. Kenneth Philips. perhaps. they just may stay. the people who do the work every day. They may not have to worry about covering the payroll this week.Getting Your People to Care Communication is the first step toward creating the kind of environment that people care about. They may have some ideas to improve productivity. tell them what you expect to happen in December. The point here is that you want to treat these people as your partners. Management consultant. Treat them with at least as much respect as they give you. and they should be aware of what issues the company is attempting to address.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry 1. Setting expectations revolves around the following three areas: Page 4 of 10 . The pay-off is a contagious feeling of pride and. Listen to your employees when they have ideas for improvement. let them know. the benefits extend beyond just making people feel appreciated for their contributions. states that when expectations are not clear. and when they do come up with one. That means that you regularly keep your people up to date with important events affecting the company. They are also much more likely to enjoy their work when they don't have a fire-breathing dragon looking to singe their butts. Instead. 2." talk about them before they start making you crazy. after all. keep your people in the loop about what's happening with the company. you are going to be biased. if they exceed the expected level? If you are not having any expectations. HR Manager is like a director of a movie. Resources change. some new efficiency that saves the company money. If your salespeople. Priorities change. And if they don't get resolved. Managers need to sit down with each employee and clearly define what's expected of them. Share good news. Jobs change. as well as points of concern. Communications . enjoy their encounters with you. but they do have worries of their own. your employees? Yes. which they are. Managers need to revise and set new expectations throughout the year. and if they care. Again. for instance. or circulate an internal newsletter that touts these contributions. choreographer of a stage show. If November was good. where there is a defined role for each character. Post a "brag board" in your break room. employees may not be in sync with their job's current demands and priorities. The role of a CEO. if they fail? What will be the rewards. Setting expectations is not a once and done activity. all of your employees should have a pretty good idea of how business has been. each participant. and while you're at it. they are much more likely to greet customers with a positive attitude. I'm not talking about a lot of New Age stroking designed to bring out the inner person or false praise that creates a misplaced sense of security. At any time. figure out whether the problem stems from a couple of individuals or from your system. These are. If you've got "issues.

they can make adjustments as unanticipated factors crop up within the process. straightforward terms. not activities. Managers often make the mistake of attempting to direct the process that an employee will use rather than being clear about results. Clarity. The three principles that should drive expectations are clarity. 80% of your employees could perform significantly better if they wanted to. it does not represent an outcome. it allows them to focus on results and to monitor themselves against the set standards. Simplicity creates a sense of grounding for employees as they endeavor to carry out assignments. or change from week to week. 50% of your employees only put enough effort into their work to keep their job. Defining the objective often requires some thought on the part of the manager because it is easy to fall into the "activities trap. Proper Rewarding A research reports says that in today's scenario. developing a plan is the goal. rather than increasing your market share. If your employees have a full understanding of the project's importance. o o o 70% of your employees are less motivated today than they used to be. To accomplish this. you achieve clarity when you identify the expected results rather than the method for achieving them. seldom create high-performing work groups. In other words. Environments in which expectations are not clear. the employee will develop the method for achieving the desired results. Expectations should focus on outcomes. Relevance. If managers identify the work in simple. In the activities trap." While developing a strategic plan for a department or division is a worthy activity. This process builds good will with the employee and sets the stage for additional responsibilities. The advantage of identifying the outcome is that you. relevance. This understanding typically is accomplished through dialogue between the manager and subordinate. The principle of relevance helps define the "why" of the assignment. this process can be the cornerstone of improving the motivational climate within your sphere of responsibility. If your employees know what is expected of them. after all. 3. focus only on the goal. Simplicity. It is about both financial and non-financial Page 5 of 10 . employees will find it much easier to follow through on managers' wishes. the manager. and simplicity.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry o o o Key job responsibilities Performance factors and standards Goals Why is a setting expectation important? Quite simply. which allows for a more thorough review of the situation and for feedback and discussion. a manager must identify the key message in a fashion that the employee can embrace. As you might be aware of Employee Reward covers how people are rewarded in accordance with their value to an organization. They probably also will be more committed to the result because they can see more easily how it fits into the big picture and how their efforts impact the company.

Organizations can provide innovative recognition in an infinite number of ways. and is at the heart of the employment relationship. Recognition is the most cost-effective motivator there is. Don't let attendance be your major criterion for rewards. Personnel and development professionals will be involved frequently in reward issues. if they made it to the 5:30 shift without an accident. At 5:15 anticipating was building. When the 5:30 whistle blew. companies are finding that these new reward systems do allow them to give substantial rewards to those who really deserve them. I am constantly amazed at how motivating a pizza or movie tickets can be if is given with sufficient appreciation. Smart organizations are looking for opportunities to reduce across-the-board entitlements. Although not a panacea. confetti flew through the air and banners were unfurled. Some very ordinary items and events can be imbued with extraordinary motivational significance. at very little cost. far in excess of their monetary value. The aim of employee reward policies and practices. For example. Highly motivating organizations even celebrate small successes. (A Hypothetical Incident) a small manufacturing company made its employees feel like heroes when they attained a major safety milestone . structures and processes used to develop and maintain reward systems. without increasing the total cost of rewards. while designing a reward policy: Build a high degree of recognition value into every reward you offer. The ways in which people are valued can make a considerable impact on the effectiveness of the organization. Keep following parameters in mind. while the monetary cost was relatively low. learning and development or employee relations. recognition can be given any time. Reduce entitlements and link as many rewards as possible to performance.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry rewards and embraces the strategies. This is why so many companies are moving toward performance-based rewards. A health-conscious company distributes fruit bowls to employees' work areas when key personal milestones are attained. Managers took confetti and streamers to the balcony overlooking the shop floor. A sincere thank you can be delivered at any place and at any time. gain-sharing and non-monetary recognition. Page 6 of 10 . Today's employees have higher expectations for what work can and should be. Getting it wrong can have a significant negative effect on the motivation. if any in your organization is to help attract. policies. Clearly the traditional "pay for loyalty" systems in most organizations need to be changed. whether they are generalists or specialize in people resourcing. It was a great moment for everyone . On the morning of day 100. and they want to receive rewards that reflect their personal efforts and contributions. it was announced that a catered lunch would be served the next day. including performance bonuses. and thereby find more resources for discretionary performance-based rewards.and one that was not soon forgotten. commitment and morale of employees. The recognition value of this celebration was extremely high. Another company uses a more fattening approach: fresh-baked chocolatechip cookies to say thank you. Most employees resent those who only put in their time and yet receive the same reward as those who go the extra mile.100 days without a single accident. costs absolutely nothing and can be more motivationally powerful than a substantial monetary bonus. retain and motivate high-quality people. there were congratulations all around. While the high cost of other rewards forces us to give them sparingly.

"What you reward is what you get" .Is extremely powerful. A support to this. here is my favorite reward story: "When a senior manager in one organization was trying to figure out a way to recognize an employee who had just done a great job. and handed it to the astonished employee with hearty congratulations. and recognizes it. Food. This can be done in a number of ways: One of Page 7 of 10 . The Law of Rewards . A promotion might be more rewarding to one person. it is the rewards your organization gives that communicate the real expectations. while a job-sharing arrangement might be more rewarding for another. How do you know what will be rewarding to employees? Ask them. rather than quarterly or annually as in the past.the options are endless. It is better to focus rewards on the critical few behaviors and results. rather than diluting them by rewarding the trivial many. you should positively recognize it immediately. There is a well-accepted law of behavioral psychology. For example. others about movies. do the rewards we are giving elicit the performance we want? Start with the results you want to achieve and then pinpoint the types of behaviors needed to achieve them. and not internal competition between departments. others a book by their favorite author. Reward promptly. Some employees would love a dinner in a romantic restaurant. an employee opened a big drawer in his desk and disdainfully showed me all the "worthless trinkets" he had collected over the years.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry Troubleshoot your reward system to make sure that what it is rewarding is what you really want to happen. If you want long-term solutions. smart supervisors and managers can learn a vital lesson: Look for any employee doing something right. don't confuse employees with too many rewards. while others prefer more time off. Personalizing rewards shows that a company cares enough to discover what "interests" each employee. And. The most important question to ask in evaluating the reward system in your organization is. family-oriented activities . It also reduces the following danger: In one organization I was visiting. right now. rather than just distributing generic items. make sure you reward teamwork. travel. gifts. one of the highest honors in that company has been dubbed the "Golden Banana Award". Some people are excited about sports events. some people prefer more pay. fun." Give employees a choice of rewards. From this law. No matter what your orientation materials or job description might say. education. Increase the longevity of your rewards. make sure that productivity isn't over emphasized. Rewards are as different as the people who receive them and it doesn't make sense to give rewards that recipients don't find rewarding. Rewards should be given as soon as possible after the performance has taken place. improved work environment. For example: o o o If you believe teamwork is going to get you the results you want. If you want quality. Smart organizations are also letting employees choose their own rewards from reward menus and catalogs. that if you want someone to repeat a behavior. don't reward quick fixes Also. he spontaneously picked up a banana (which his wife had packed in his lunch). This is why the most successful gain-sharing programs pay employees monthly. Now.

There are many tokens of appreciation I still keep on or near my desk that remind me of the joy of past accomplishments. All employees receive a weekly bingo card. One company uses a game it Call Safety Bingo. and should probably have some input into the change process. and reduce them promptly. a number is presented (immediate recognition). the more likely it is to continue reminding the employee of why it was given. It is probably self-evident that considerable sensitivity is needed in the administration of any reward system. any reward system is probably destined to failure. It is not enough that the supervisor is well liked or a nice Page 8 of 10 . The more symbolic an item is of the accomplishment. points can be awarded. or use it. even though there might be weeks or months between rewards. The quality of the supervision an employee receives is critical to employee retention. Interestingly. Another way to increase the longevity of rewards in your organization is by using some kind of point system. One demotivator that is probably endemic in any reward system modification (especially as an organization moves from entitlements to more performance-based rewards) is a sense that something is being taken away. Most demotivators can be dramatically reduced by soliciting employee involvement in identifying highest-priority demotivators and by enlisting top-management commitment to support their reduction. This requires an objective measurement system that few organizations have. One company that designs motivational systems offers an electronic debit-card system to help larger clients cope with the complexity of distributing. This keeps the anticipation of rewards fresh for longer periods of time. Rather than rewarding each individual behavior or accomplishment. long after its initial receipt. and makes routine work more fun overall. they have found that the major motivator is the playing. a T-shirt of coffee mug with a meaningful inscription will continue rewarding those who wear it. it is important. that the process for allocating rewards is viewed by employees as being impartial. from sports equipment and clothing to automobiles and overseas vacations. Without such objective measurement. It also addresses the need for reward individualization. When an employee is observed working safely. when researchers have investigated the motivational dynamics of these workplace games. This type of program keeps employees interested for long periods of time. first and foremost. The rewards escalate for subsequent wins. which employees can accumulate and eventually trade for items from a reward menu or gift catalog. They only caveat for such programs is to make sure that the recognition value of the rewards isn't lost because of the impersonal nature of the technology. Be continually vigilant of demotivators that may undermine your organization's best efforts to provide power rewards. Ancillary Retention Strategies 7. understand the ultimate benefits to them and the organization. Employees can use their points to purchase virtually anything they want. tracking and redeeming employees' points. When they get "bingo". For instance. while the monetary rewards I have received are long spent and long forgotten. People leave managers and supervisors more often than they leave companies or jobs.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry the keys to reward longevity is symbolism. not the prize. To avoid the perception of unfairness. Employees need to be educated about the reasons that this is being done. they receive a safety jacket (along with appropriate verbal reinforcement).

His offer was ignored and he cited this as one reason why he quit his job. Failure to hold scheduled meetings. Minimally. The perception of fairness and equitable treatment is important in employee retention. Lack of feedback about performance. sit on challenging committees.000 in raises over a six month time period. Does your organization solicit ideas and provide an environment in which people are comfortable providing feedback? If so. and a great contribution record to the table. 9. Did the staff person deserve the raises? Yes. In another instance. and take the time to tap into it. she is likely to look for a new job. In fact. A career- Page 9 of 10 . 8. When she finds she is making less money than this employee. they feel they will stagnate. and Failure to provide a framework within which the employee perceives he can succeed. You can bet a number of them are looking for their next opportunity. Without the opportunity to try new opportunities. talent and experience. repeatedly offered to help. with seven years of ad agency and logo development experience. For example. How many people could contribute far more than they currently do? You just need to know their skills.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry person. Current staff viewed these decisions as taking food off their tables. Your best employees. in a small company. An internal sales rep. A motivated employee wants to contribute to work areas outside of his specific job description. The ability of the employee to speak his or her mind freely within the organization is another key factor in employee retention. Lack of clarity about expectations. attend seminars and read and discuss books. recognize that there will be impact on others. commission-producing accounts. you have a staff person who views her role as important and she brings ten years of experience. a new sales rep was given the most potentially successful. beyond any shadow of a doubt. Information of this type never stays secret in companies so you know. If not. But.until they leave. employees offer ideas. 11. they bite their tongues or find themselves constantly "in trouble" . Lack of clarity about earning potential. seek frequent opportunities to learn and grow in their careers. As an example. those employees you want to retain. a staff person. her morale and motivation will take a big hit. the recognition that the company didn't want to take advantage of his knowledge and capabilities helped precipitate his job search. In one company. starting with clear expectations of the employee. Anything the supervisor does to make an employee feel unvalued will contribute to turnover. was given 20. Talent and skill utilization is another environmental factor your key employees seek in your workplace. the morale of several other employees will be affected. the supervisor has a critical role to play in retention.B. a manager pursued a new marketing plan and logo with the help of external consultants. Frequent employee complaints center on these areas. an M. feel free to criticize and commit to continuous improvement. just a year or two out of college.A. knowledge and skill. 10.

13. Compiled and Shared by: Mr.Retention Strategies in ITES-BPO Industry oriented. acknowledged and loyal..com and on his Mobile No. Take time to meet with new employees to learn about their talents. +91-98102-89047 Page 10 of 10 . Personnel Management & Industrial Relations from Osmania University. Conclusion Take a look at your organization Are you doing your best to retain your top talent? Employ these ten factors in your organization to retain your desired employees and attract the best talent. Meet with each employee periodically. never.nair69@gmail. Currently he is at the helm of affairs as Head . These are just the basics and if implemented in a proper way can give good results. Hari Nair is a Young Masters in Public.Manufacturing HR. No matter what the circumstances are but never. Kolkata and Faridabad. By senior managers I refer to the president of a small company or a department or division head in a larger company. did his Graduation in Commerce and has a Degree in Education with Psychology also a Diploma in Journalism. abilities and skills. A commonplace complaint or lament I hear during an exit interview is that the employee never felt senior managers knew he existed. even if you're absolutely correct. 12. Balanagar. you can innovate many new strategies to retain your people. Hyderabad and is heading the Manufacturing HR & IR at Hyderabad. It's a critical tool to help employees feel welcomed. SHRIRAM Fuel Injection Industries Ltd. no matter how you phrase the information. your best staff members will update their resumes. however. I'm not advocating keeping solid information away from people. It makes them nervous. He can be reached by e-mail hari. ever threaten an employee's job or income. This report is not exhaustive. think before you say anything that makes people feel they need to search for another job. You'll have more useful information and keep your fingers on the pulse of your organization. valued employee must experience growth opportunities within your organization. USHA International Ltd. it is a mistake to foreshadow this information with employees. too. no matter how you explain the information.. Even if you know layoffs loom if you fail to meet production or sales goals.