For any business to flourish, employees have to give their best. In return, the company takes good care of their employees. Most popularly referred to as valuable assets to any enterprise, employees are considered the lifeline of any company; relevant is the case with the BPO sector. There are some companies which believe in not just retaining employees but also innovating new techniques or benefit programmes for them. vCustomer is one of those organisations which in their early years of establishment recognised that they should not only hire an employees' hands and brains but a complete individual -- the individual who from time to time requires some kind of a push or re-enforcement to not just work but work efficiently and enthusiastically.
Vcustomer, established in 1999, provides BPO, customer service and technical support solutions. The company has four support centres in India staffed with 3500 employees. Managing such a huge employee base is a commendable task in itself. vCustomer was recently identified amongst the â€˜Top 15 Exciting Emerging Companies to Work forâ€™ in the IT-BPO sector by NASSCOM. The company's efforts are well-recognised by many other surveys, also conducted for the employee satisfaction.
Talking about the various best practices in the company, Navin Joshua, executive director, vCustomer India, said, "vCustomer's result-oriented work culture fosters a spirit of individual initiative, teamwork and celebration. Besides making the work environment fun-filled, we strongly promote individual's training and growth within the organisation."
Highlighting some of the learning and development programmes within the organistion, Joshua explained that vCustomer has always stressed on the learning and training for career growth and personal development of the employees. To implement this, vCustomer has organisational and individual development programmes for each and every employee, charted according to the different role an employee plays.
Some of the training programmes are mandatory. Whereas for others, the employees can enroll themselves as per their choice. "We promote self-learning within the organisation. We have an online portal wherein employees can enroll for a programme and complete assessments and modules and gain certification after completing it successfully," shared Joshua.
Keeping in view the work stress on the employees, the company also conducts training on well being and health-related issues, including training on yoga, meditation, stress management, etc. Also there are selected individuals (representing the employees and not the management) who decide on the quality of the food and the menu also.
To create a desired environment for employees at workplace, vCustomer also celebrates 'Birthday Bash' with employees every month. The company also holds a 'Team Synergy' programme under which a team is selected, every four month, as the top performer and is given an allowance to spend whichever they want. The company also promotes freedom of speech by allowing creative writers to express their thoughts through their monthly magazine 'vCampus'.
vCustomer recently conducted outdoor sports activities for its employees, wherein employees participated in Inter-Process Cricket Tournament, Smash 2007 (in-house Table-Tennis Tournament), Inter-Corporate Soccer Tournament and Inter-Corporate Basketball Tournament.
Joshua added, "Our training and development programmes are broadly categorised into behavioral training programmes and skill development programmes. The behavioral training programmes include personality development, conflict resolution and handling team communication etc. With the skill development programmes, the company provides process-specific technical training and various certification programmes like CCNA etc. to its employees and the training is imparted by highly trained professionals in house; if required we do take help from external trainers at times."
vCustomer has customised career development programmes, and more so most of the company's promotions and seats are filled internally. Joshua elaborated, "Over 60 per cent of all our positions are filled from within the organisation through Internal Job Postings. We encourage employees in cross-functional promotions as well. There are many employees who have moved within the organisation both laterally and vertically."
However, there are some vacancies which require expertise in the specific sector and are filled by external candidates. Such posts account for some 40 per cent of the total number of seats. Joshua sounds exciting when he says, "Most of our management employees, on an average, have worked for a span of five years and more. This highlights the kind of growth opportunity and development they get within the organisation. This kind of scenario is very rare in the industry."
Most of the recruitments are also done through referral programmes. Joshua explains, "Almost 20 per cent of all our recruits are through referral. It has always been the most cost-effective channel to find quality talent, and this also helps the organisation on saving the recurring cost on recruitments as these employees are more stable."
Most importantly, vCustomer has implemented various security measures for the employees. Explaining about the new security system deployed, Joshua said, "We have a specialised software developed by in-house software development team which keeps an eye on the security of the employees. It tracks the information from the access cards of the employees." Also, as a regular practice, women employees vCustomer at are not given first or last pick and drop. If the situation arises, then it is mandatory for the security to escort the woman employee.