Over the past 30 years, I've been a part of many business partnerships domestically and internationally. Most of these partnerships were focused on delivering word-class customer support including, business-to-business and business-to-consumer customer service. There are many assets that make partnerships a success, but as I reflect back, I find one common criteria: excellent people. Hiring the right people. Motivating people. Investing in people. Developing people and encouraging them to be their best. To do this, one must humble their own spirit and work to make others successful. That is the secret for almost any business, and it cannot be learned overnight. Staffing your business with the right people just takes time, focus and energy.
As the Founder and CEO of a business process outsourcing (BPO) company in Sonora, Mexico, finding the right people and retaining them is core to our business. We are people-focused in all we do. So, as we kick off 2022, I thought I would share three critical elements to staffing which have been important to our success. I hope you find these helpful as you review your own hiring and employee retention processes in 2022.
Although it takes time, it is critical to assemble a management team who is fully committed to your company mission and vision. And when I say committed, I mean at a grass-roots level. When was the last time you truly evaluated your executive team? Do you have the right people in the right roles? Do they truly understand the importance of hiring the right people in their area of responsibility? This may sound like broken-record question, so allow me to explain how to evaluate this from an employee staffing and retention perspective.
First of all, does your management team have passion for what your company does? I mean true passion, not just saying the right things at the right time. Do they live out what your company does, do they show genuine excitement in what your company does or how it plans to get there? Do they wake up excited about the work they are doing that day? Believe it or not, this is critical to success, and it is critical to hiring and retaining the right people within your business. Passion is infectious. Your employees love it, feel it, need it, and will eventually breath it in all they do when performing their job functions. But, it starts with you and your executive management team. Take the time to evaluate each team members passion for the business and their role within the organization.
Secondly, does your management team have the experience in what your organization does? I am not referring to the right resume, the right education, or the right previous experience. I am referring to business common sense. Do they view the work your employees are performing from the standpoint of how they themselves would do it? And, if needed, would they do it if called upon? Contrast that with management who prefers to find the right person do do the work. Now, there is value in delegating, but your employees need to know that if/when called upon, you will (and can) perform the same work they are hired to perform. This is critical to developing respect and trust with your team, which is critical to employee retention.
Finally, does your management team know how to develop your employees to perform the work necessary to succeed. Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of teaching your employees how to perform the work you expect from them. Yes, it is important that they have previous experience, but often that experience may not deliver the outcome you want or need. In this case, you need to teach them, show them. Empower them to perform the work, and allow them to make mistakes along the way. You will earn their respect, and dramatically improve employee retention.
For organizations with high employee turnover, it may be time to look at company culture. This can be the number one reason employees leave, or more importantly do not apply. According to an Indeed survey, “72% of job seekers say it’s extremely or very important to see details about company culture in job descriptions.” Prospective employees want to know what it’s like working at your organization. Is it a place where employees feel good about the work they do? Are they growing and becoming better at what they want to do? If you feel your current organization and culture may be missing the mark, could it be time to reinvent? And if so, how? Start by asking your employees. How do they like their work, their boss, their colleagues, their work environments and offices? Keep is real, authentic and confidential. Do they feel supported and valued? This starts with management and flows through the organization. One the best ways to establish culture is to implement a “service to others” mentality. For example, our overall company mission is “To Serve Others”. This is what we do, and it starts with the C-Suite and continues through your team to all the employees who are on the front lines serving your customers, clients and partners. My job as founder is to make sure my direct reports have all they need to be successful and that I empower them to do their job. Their job is to do the same for their direct reports. And so it goes through your organization. The goal is to create an environment of service that builds others up, and ultimately serves your customers and retains your employees.
In addition to culture, does your organization have clear communications among all departments, management and front-line employees. I think most organizations may have the tools in place for this, but often do not have policies and procedures that allow for effective communications from employees on the front lines or within other departments. Within our organization, our supervisors are responsible to facilitate communications with each of their direct reports. Part of this is to ask how they are doing, and do they feel supported. Do they have what they need to meet their responsibilities. and do they have concerns to be considered by management. Yes, we do this weekly.
And finally, does your organization keep it simple for your employees? The base of my experience here is tied to running call centers, and the need to measure performance of our representatives tied to our contract commitments. We found many of our clients wanted us to measure up to ten metrics on each call or contact they handle. It is just not reasonable to ask your employees to adhere to this. However, what is reasonable (and coachable) are three to five metrics. This aspect of work can make or break how some of your employees will feel about working at your organization. This could have a big impact on employee retention and turnover.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2021, “there were more than 11 million job openings in early November, according to jobs site Indeed, well above the number of unemployed workers.” Therefore, in order to maintain, or to accelerate company growth in 2022, it may be necessary to supplement your work force with an outsourced provider. However, when seeking a partner, it is critical to find one who values people (your front line employees) with the right passion, culture, experience and talent development as your organization. Do your homework, spend time with the management team and meet their employees who are currently performing work. Get to know their values, their passion for what they do, and their ability to deliver on metrics. Leveraging an outsourced provider can deliver many benefits, including reduced costs, improved service levels, disaster recovery, improved quality and a more efficient way to grow our business in 2022.
More about Emerging Global Services (EGS).
EGS Global, Inc., d/b/a Emerging Global Services (EGS), based in Phoenix, Arizona, USA is a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) provider delivering innovative technology and labor services from emerging markets nearshore in Sonora, Mexico. The EGS solution delivers high quality labor solutions and cost savings by leveraging our high quality, low cost of labor and technology servivces for any organization.
Learn more about EGS at www.emergingglobal.com