Leading People Today

The COVID-19 pandemic was an unforeseen crisis that brought unprecedented uncertainty to companies globally. One such challenge is leading employees in a time of great upheaval. Companies have struggled with huge changes in their day-to-day operations as they tried to balance business continuity with the health and safety of their employees. 

In a recent webinar held by the British Chamber of Commerce, Jeffrey Johnson, Senior Vice President for Human Capital Resource Management of Teleperformance Philippines, shared several tips on how companies can adapt to this new normal in a way that would help motivate and ensure the wellness of their employees. 


Focus on your most important asset: Your People 

In the new normal, people remain the most important asset of companies. In times of crisis, companies need to maintain open communication with their employees. This can be done through digital channels but it is important to deliver meaningful interactions to help provide support and encouragement.  Overcommunicating and increasing the frequency of communications can help ease anxieties – for example, instead of just sending emails, try creating recorded video messages and chats from leaders addressed to employees.

Job security is another common concern amidst the pandemic and Jeffrey advised addressing this directly, if possible, to ease concerns. In line with this is to assess existing employee benefits – one critical piece is to check with their health insurance provider to make sure their employees are covered in any COVID-related problems. Another is to provide for the needs of people who work on-site such as hazard pay, and potentially covering meals, accommodation, and transportation. Companies can look into benchmarking among others in their industries to help them craft these new benefits. 

It is also important to have employee engagement activities hand-in hand and to think about mental health and wellness. Consultations with professionals can help especially when employees express that they are burned out. Have a resource available that employees can speak to, whether it be through their HMO or within their organization. 

Foster a culture of innovation

Innovation plays a big role in adapting to the new normal – companies shouldn’t be afraid to get out of their comfort zone. For instance, widespread work from home arrangements were implemented in most BPO companies, including Teleperformance. In terms of hiring and recruitment, some companies have begun utilizing digital technology to screen and process applicants. Teleperformance, Jeffrey shared, has been using chatbots and video interview platforms, which has been received positively by applicants. He also stressed that companies must ensure data and information security amid remote work setups by utilizing existing technology and investing in advanced software.

Protect employees by adapting government-mandated policies 

Companies should ensure that they keep track and adopt government-mandated policies for health and safety in the workplace. Implementing health and safety protocols onsite is critical such as temperature checks in facilities, social distancing among employees, and routine disinfections of the workplace. In addition, revisiting your attendance policy and allowing employees who are not feeling well to stay home can be a proactive safety measure for companies. Company policies should also ensure that employees who may contract the disease are protected from discrimination in the workplace.

Empower employees through Learning and Development

The predicted new normal will also be heavy on digitization as people try to minimize physical interactions. Companies should prepare their employees for this upcoming change through e-learning tools and upskilling programs, which not only helps the company meet the potential challenges of the new normal but also adds more value to the services that they offer. Teleperformance Philippines, for example, hosted free English training webinars for the public during the quarantine period. The company also recently launched its Analytics Academy that aims to grow the skills and expertise of Teleperformance employees and build a critical mass of Data Science and Business Analytics professionals in the company who will support a forward-looking data culture to address the challenges of the workplace of the future.

Stress the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

The social needs today are greater than they have ever been, making Corporate Social Responsibility even more important. Jeffrey shared that this could help to improve morale and the psychological well-being of employees by making them feel like they are a part of something bigger. Some ways companies can help are through donating meals to communities and frontliners, community outreach, and assisting employees in the company that are at higher risk such as persons with disabilities. For example, during the pandemic, Teleperformance employees raised funds to donate personal protective equipment to frontliners, shared grocery items to families at the Teleperformance-Gawad Kalinga Village in Tanay, Rizal and sponsored meals for pediatric patients of Kythe Foundation.

The COVID-19 pandemic may continue to pose challenges for companies, but the crisis could also be seen for companies as an opportunity to learn, grow, innovate, and be more compassionate. “Our goal during this pandemic should not only be about surviving through this crisis, but to come out stronger and better as an organization because of it,” shared Jeffrey. 




ABOUT TELEPERFORMANCE

Teleperformance (TEP – ISIN: FR0000051807 – Reuters: ROCH.PA – Bloomberg: TEP FP), the global leader in outsourced omnichannel customer experience management, serves as a strategic partner to the world’s largest companies in a wide variety of industries. Its customer care, technical support, customer acquisition, consulting and analytics, digital integrated business service solutions, and other high-value specialized services ensure consistently positive customer interactions that are reliable, flexible and intelligent. The company has established the highest security and quality standards in the industry and uses proprietary deep learning technology to optimize flexibility on a global scale.

The Group’s 300,000 employees, spread across 80 countries, support billions of connections annually in 265 languages and enhance the customer experience with every interaction. In 2019, Teleperformance reported consolidated revenue of €5,355 million (US$6 billion, based on €1 = $1.12).

Teleperformance began operations in the Philippines in 1996 and has grown to become a preferred offshore contact center outsourcing option. The company employs over 47,500 people in the country and operates over 30,000 workstations in 21 business sites located across Metro Manila, Antipolo, Baguio, Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. 

From 2012 to 2018, Teleperformance received the Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Contact Center Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year Award for its significant performance in revenue management, market share, capabilities, and overall contribution to the contact center industry. In addition, Teleperformance Philippines was awarded in 2017 as Outstanding Employer and Outstanding Community Project of the Year by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the Top Employer of the Year at the Asia CEO Awards, and the Outstanding Volunteer by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). 

This 2020, Teleperformance Philippines was again certified as a Great Place to Work® and is the only organization in the country to receive this certification from the Great Place to Work® Institute for three years in a row. This year, Teleperformance celebrates its 24th year of continued excellence and leadership in the country. This milestone highlights the company’s commitment to steadily provide the best employment experience for Filipinos, proactively support the nation’s ICT-BPO sector, and uphold its socio-civic engagements to create a difference in the lives of the Philippine community. 

For further information, please visit the Teleperformance website at teleperformance.ph. 

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