In 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of “remote work” has entered our lives closely. Some companies, like all employees of the outsourcing contact center and IT developers of Global Bilgi, have completely switched to this format of work. Many businesses implemented remote work partially, and some companies continued to work as before. Organizing the work process in new conditions and creating the right atmosphere at home – only at first glance it seems like an easy task.
In this article, Nataliya Manko, Head of the Global Bilgi Recruitment Group, and Oksana Pacela, Head of the Staff Development and Training Group, will share their own experience of transitioning to a remote work mode and talk about the features of this process. This article can be considered our guide to surviving the “new reality” for the newbie.
Remote work: pros and cons
Global Bilgi is one of the largest outsourcing contact centers in Ukraine and, together with the parent company Turkcell, Global Bilgi unites more than 16,000 employees. Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked in offices located in different cities of Ukraine: Kyiv, Dnipro, Sumy, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia and Nikopol. However, with the start of quarantine restrictions, we were forced to significantly revise our approach to staff placement in favor of remote work.
Our Company quickly adapted to the changes and enabled employees to work from home, but many nuances arose in the process. Selection, development, the adaptation of personnel – all this also had to be adapted to new working conditions. Today, having gone through this path on our own, we can highlight both the positive aspects of the remote work of outsourced contact center employees and certain difficulties of this process.
So, among the main advantages of remote work of colleagues in the contact center, we can highlight:
- saving time and money on the way to work and back;
- reducing the risk of disease and the spread of viruses;
- it is easier to concentrate on important tasks in the work process.
If we take into account the disadvantages, then they are also:
- the need for greater self-discipline and responsibility when working at home;
- lack of full communication with colleagues.
These are the main points that apply to all aspects of remote work. Of course, for each of us, the pros and cons may be different depending on the type of work and circumstances.
The recruitment function was the first to face the challenges presented by the new reality. This process was completely transferred to the online format. Now, mainly, it goes through social networks, messengers, job search sites where the Company posts vacancies. We also have a “Bring a friend” program, so that employees can invite friends, relatives or acquaintances to work with us. For some positions, there is an internal selection, when employees can apply for a higher position, that is, the employee’s career growth takes place. According to statistics, 80% of the Company’s vacancies are filled by internal candidates.
During the interviews, the Company pays special attention to the conduct of the candidate. We understand that you should always be in touch with him: before, during and after the interview, so the future employee will remember and understand how important he is to the Company. This process takes place online, using video communication and messengers.
Training and adaptation of employees
After we have selected new employees, they are joined by trainers who conduct training for contact center employees and provide ongoing support. Now the term of distance education – e-Learning – is gaining even more popularity. We first conduct introductory and theoretical classes using video communication, and then a practical part, where trainees can consolidate the material learned and understand in more detail the systems in which they will work in the future.
At the end of the internship, future employees are sent to “passive listening” to experienced agents in an online format to listen to how to correctly frame their dialogue with the client and learn “chips” that will be important in further work. In this way, the trainee can see what is happening on the screen and hear the dialogue between the experienced agent and the client, which will be important for their future work.
At the moment, we use various training formats depending on the project:
- video instructions (some even in cartoon format);
- simulators in the form of tests to consolidate skills and acquired knowledge;
- games and polls.
After training, each prospective agent must complete a test call. And then, in case of success, you get to know your manager. The meeting takes place via video link to establish contact and get to know each other, as well as to answer organizational questions.
Feedback and getting started
At the end of the adaptation and training period for new employees, the hiring manager must contact the agent and establish feedback to discuss the points that the new employee liked or did not like in the Company.
Online meetings with representatives of the Company’s departments are an important adaptation tool that was introduced when switching to remote work mode. At these meetings, new employees are introduced to the corporate culture and events taking place in the Company, and the payroll process is disclosed in detail. Representatives of the planning department show the peculiarities of creating a shift schedule, and the project team conducts an introduction to representatives of the Quality and Back Office.
The final stage for new employees is feedback to the recruitment team. The agent gives his feedback after two months of adaptation at the Company.
This model enables a new employee to quickly become part of the team, learn important internal features of the project and better adapt to the new conditions of remote work.
You can familiarize yourself with this adaptation model in more detail and learn about additional corporate communication tools that help employees work effectively in a remote format by watching a video about the remote work of an outsourced contact center from the online Round Table, on the Customer Experience Management YouTube channel.
Natalia Manko, Head of the recruitment team
Oksana Pacela, Head of the staff development and training group