Most of the outsourcing staff in BPO companies in the Philippines comprise of fresh graduates. Despite the training provided by companies to prepare their new hires, the adjustment period can be tough on those who are new to the workforce. It’s also difficult for those who relocated because of an outsourcing job and those who had to change jobs and work for a new outsourcing company.
As a manager or team leader, you can help your outsourcing staff deal with the challenges of starting a new job with your organization. Here are some tips to help you.
Helping Fresh Grads Adjust Emotionally
Fresh grads or freshers are more excited than apprehensive about their first job. They’ll be exhilarated to learn all about their new job and their company. This makes them trainable and easy to mold into upstanding employees.
But, their lack of worldly experience can make the adjustment period more difficult for them than their fellow new hires. They’re often unsure what to do when socializing with others in the company. They’re also more sensitive to what others say or think about them. According to HR professionals, it’s more challenging for new employees “to learn the cultural nuances of the firm, including how people prefer to communicate and collaborate.”
During training, try not to put your new hires on the spot. If you’re training them on-site, pull that person aside when you want to give him or her a piece of your mind. Choose your words carefully and be mindful about your tone of voice and gestures.
Because they were hired right out of college, freshers often experience pressure to perform well on their first job. This kind of pressure may cause them to crack. They’ll either lose their focus at work and bungle things up or give up thinking they’re not the right person for the job. They’re not allowed to terminate their probationary contract before a specified time period is up, which adds to their emotional burden.
This may seem like you’ll have to walk on eggs whenever you’re with a new hire, but when you got the cream of the crop and you don’t want to lose them, you’ll have to give them space to make mistakes and open up with you about the problems they’ve been facing in their new job.
Dealing with Information Overload
New hires will ordinarily experience information overload in their first week. They will have to absorb as much knowledge as they can about their tasks and the organizational processes and policies they must follow. Tell your new outsourcing staff to take down notes to help them remember the most salient points you’ve tackled during training.
Another option is to provide printed materials, such as an employee handbook or a primer that they can study at home. They’re used to highlighting important phrases or sentences in their textbooks when they were students. This will surely help them remember the procedures and policies they needed to know.
Modern training methods now take advantage of videos and audio clips for greater learning effectiveness. People have different learning styles. Some prefer to watch videos that show them how to do things correctly. Others would rather listen to audio clips than read a book or a sheet of paper.
Welcoming a Newly Relocated Employee
Boris Groysberg, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, estimated that people switch jobs on average every three to four years. And, some of them had to move to another city or region. This in itself presents many challenges to the employee.
In outsourcing, it’s not unusual to see people from other regions or towns coming to you for a job. Your provider may have hired them or you hired them directly from an online source. Whatever the circumstances may be, you’ll certainly face many challenges in integrating a new member to your team.
One of the best things about outsourcing is the fluency of your staff in English. It does not matter what dialect they speak at home or in their hometown. They can clearly communicate with each other through English.
The regional differences in culture may be more of a barrier than language. If you’re outsourcing to the Philippines, you’ll soon understand that each region in the country has its own sub-culture. For example, people from the Visayas are more laid-back compared to people from Luzon or Mindanao. And so, they’re easier to get along with at work.
When you have a new member of the team coming in for work, tell your staff to go out, have fun, and get to know their new co-worker. A team building activity on a weekend also helps your team bond together. This also improves their morale and productivity at work.