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Challenges Faced by the BPO Industry, Challenges for the BPO Industry

Challenges Faced by the BPO industry today

BPOs have proved a grand success. However, certain problems have cropped up in the process for which long-term solutions are necessary.

Areas of concern in BPOs:

  • Working in a BPO, many feel is a job that does not require much skill. Any body possessing a basic education, good communication skills is employable after some training. Companies do not mind taking in people who are middle aged, and homemakers. There is no sense of accomplishment among the employees.
      
  • Financial desperation on the part of some people leads them to take up jobs in BPOs- People out of college join BPOs to earn money to finance their higher education, some as a way of improving their life styles. Some others join because they could not find anything else. In short, very few people take up employment in BPOs for the love of it.
      
  •  The tasks that BPOs perform are diverse: telemarketing, technical support service, customer support service, insurance processing, data entry and conversion services, bookkeeping and accounting and online researching, and form processing. The problem that this creates is that there can be no standardized training program suitable to all the BPOs that can be given to the prospective employees before they are actually absorbed into the company.
        
  • High expectations from the outsourcing companies tend to de-motivate the workers. In many cases, the outsourcers think only of achieving targets. They are obsessed with quality work, business continuity, time frame, security of information. However, satisfying them is not always possible. The expectations should be realistic taking into account the work ethics of the region of the service provider, as well as, its culture and polity.
      
  • Attrition in BPOs:
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The single largest worry of the BPO industry is attrition. In the outsourcing context, ?attrition' means a gradual reduction in the number of people working in a company due to retirement, resignation, or death. The rate of attrition in the BPO industry in India is currently nearly 50%. Attrition in individual firms varies from 15% in the larger firms to up to 40% in the smaller ones. Analysts believed that if this left unchecked, there would be a shortage of professionals.

The major reasons for staff attrition in BPOs are outlined below.

  • BPOs do not present attractive career prospects. They are not challenging enough for the employees after a period. Most of them are stuck for good in their present placement once they start working in call centers.
      
  • People join BPOs because of the lucrative salaries offered to them. They do not have the slightest hesitation in leaving their current employees for a firm offering a bigger paycheck. They do not experience a sense of obligation toward their employers.
        
  • Higher education in countries like India is expensive. A lot of money has to be deposited as capitation fees in professional colleges. Young men and women just out school and graduates join BPOs as a means to earn and save money to finance their higher studies. The trend is for them to slog for 2-3 years in a BPO and get out of it for studies.
        
  • BPO employees suffer from many health problems. The strain of working in changing shifts, of meeting deadlines and realizing targets take a toll on their wellbeing. Some of them end up being jittery and still others clinically depressed.
     
  • Social life eludes most BPO employees. The nature of their employment is such that they are left with little time and energy for their family and friends.

The miseries of the employees are compounded by managers who are not supportive and sympathetic towards their sub-ordinates, by policies that are unfriendly and ill advised. The employees do not feel secure in their job.

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