The mistake that BPO companies make is that they think that their employees are there to do a particular job. This is wrong. They are there to deliver results that contribute to revenue. What am I talking about? I’m not making sense here.
Which matters more? Teamwork or hard-skills?
Let’s say that a software development company needs to get work done. So, naturally they hire some software developers. This is their first mistake. Someone who is merely a software developer or programmer is not qualified to work at a BPO. Why? Because at a BPO you work as a team in some way or the other, so you need to hire someone who is good not only at programming, but also at teamwork. India is an authoritarian culture. You keep your mouth shut and do as you are told. This type of culture doesn’t foster teamwork. Japanese culture is all about team work, but I haven’t lived there and can’t explain what they do.
So, how do you train your employees?
If you want to have a really amazing company, you need to train your people in all types of ways. They need to be good at their core skills. They need to be able to communicate, stay organized, work with others, and get things done on time. I believe that the majority of the training for a programmer would be to put them through a lot of diverse programming tasks with a very seasoned teacher watching over them. Many programmers are good at doing the tasks they do repetitively, but fall short the minute you give them a difficult task.
How do you teach communication?
Most programmers in India cannot talk to clients. This is usually not a problem because clients want to talk to the PM, not the programmer. But, what if you get a client like me who wants to know what type of person he is working with. I have endured countless buffoons, and want someone smart. This means I have to talk to them. Mastering the art of oral communication is not easy, and your BPO is probably not equipped to teach it either. Additionally, clear written communication is another key element in software development. Most programmers refuse to get back to people as a matter of policy, so what do you do with them?
In short, you need to train your employees in all types of ways. Whether you should give them a lower salary in the beginning when you are doing more training is up to you. Or, you could make them prove themselves before you give them much training. But, after enduring the incompetent behavior of dozens of outsourcing houses, I strongly recommend that you invest 10-20% of an employees time in some type of training and evaluation program. The training should be continuous and not stop , although it could intensify at particular points in their employment.
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