Nasscom estimates Indian IT-BPO revenues to grow by 23-24 percent in FY09; it grew 29 percent last year in rupee terms to touch $64 billion. The underlying factor however remains addressing the shortage of skills and employee retention. Though western countries view India as a low cost destination, BPO employees contribute about $5 bn to the country’s GDP.
Repetitive low-end jobs, physical and psychological problems and inadequate growth opportunities are the major reasons cited for the high attrition rate. This disadvantage has increased the operating costs of BPO organisations and is considered to be a threat to the industry.
BPO organisations earlier paid huge salaries to attract a large number of employees. Though the high packages and sophisticated work environment in BPOs succeeded to attract a large pool of youngsters, they failed to sustain the pool. And the reasons range from physiological fatigue, psychological stress to fear of an illusive future.
Across the industry, there have been 12 typical causes of employee turnover –
- Pace of effort required
- Sense of being overwhelmed
- Frustration of not being allowed to do a good job
- Day claustrophobia- being at the desk for extended time
- Rank and file regimentation
- The feeling of being scrutinised
- The feeling of not being appreciated by others
- Handling complaints and problems all day
- Odd work hours
- Better opportunities elsewhere
By and large the pay factor is not huge and is often small, incremental differences. The challenge for HR folks then remains to address the following areas
- Broaden and extend the training of agent level employees and the responsibilities they have.
- Involving agent level employees in managing the centre — quality improvement, forecasting, and collaboration with other teams and departments, establishing schedules, etc.
- Ensure everybody have an understanding of (and involvement in) the direction and values of the organization.
The essence is to make improvements, by improving upon the factors that cause them to be where they are. Second, as with any measure, factors must be accurate, complete and as unbiased as possible.