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Growth & Jobs | Staff training, development vital to BPO industry

Published:Monday | November 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Business process outsourcing (BPO) firms are committed to investing in the training and development of their employees to meet the increasing expectations of the industry, according to Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) President Gloria Henry.

"Staff training and development is extremely important, as the BPO industry is a 'people' business, and the quality of human capital is critical to the success of any BPO centre. Also, one of the key characteristics that we use in positioning Jamaica as a BPO location is the availability of highly productive and skilled talent. So training is absolutely critical to ensure that staff is up to the level required by the sector," she stated.

Henry explained that training opportunities are a fixture of the industry, and persons who choose to make a career out of BPO could reap the benefits of ongoing professional development. She noted that entry-level employees who master the initial training for a particular project could move up through the levels within a company and receive additional training.

"They could start as an agent and move on to become a subject matter expert on another campaign. They could then move on to team leader or supervisor. They would have been receiving the necessary training and acquiring the necessary skill set to take on these positions," she stated.

... Empowering employees

STARTEK Jamaica, a BPO company in New Kingston that provides inbound and outbound call services, affirms its commitment to staff development in its corporate statement of purpose to enable and empower its "brand warriors".

AndrÈ Cunningham, STARTEK's senior operations manager, underscored the importance of development and ongoing training for all members of staff.

"The personal and professional development of our brand warriors directly impacts our abilities to be a trusted partner to our customers. Our brand warriors are the face of our company, and their development correlates with our initiatives to provide great customer service and partnership to our customers," he said.

Cunningham noted that STARTEK has maintained an engagement learning management system called STARTEK University to develop the skill sets of all brand warriors through courses designed for all departments. He indicated that several other programmes and initiatives were in place to engage, motivate, and reward staff. Cunningham added that the company's focus on staff development reflected the value placed on employees.

"We believe in our employees, as shown in our vast number of internal promotions. Our support staff in the supervisor, quality, information technology, and workforce management departments consists of 100 per cent promotion from within, and 50 per cent of our current management staff was also promoted from within."