It’s not easy staying motivated at work. However, if you’re a manager or a business owner it’s not only your motivation you need to worry about. You must ensure your employees stay motivated as well.


The BPO (business process outsourcing) industry is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing sectors right now. Yet, the nature of work and corporate culture within those companies are making it hard for employers to retain employees for longer periods of time. Which is why motivation has become a vital part of the employee engagement.


Why Is Motivation an Issue in BPOs?

BPOs usually work 24/7, which means employees are working night shifts, weekends, Holidays, etc. With these hours it’s not easy maintaining a social life. Add to that a repetitive, monotonous job, stress and burnout BPO workers feel, and you can see why it’s hard to keep them motivated. Additionally, BPOs usually don’t have a lot of space for career growth, and professional development, which is another reason why employees keep leaving these companies after a couple of months.


Low motivation causes low employee retention, and BPOs are constantly struggling to retain employees for longer than 6 months. High attrition causes unforeseen expenses. You must hire and train new employees, this can cause client and customer dissatisfaction as well since new hires will take time to learn everything.


Two Types of Employee Satisfaction Factors

BPO company owners and managers must ensure they’re aware of the best motivating factors, and they should incorporate them in the everyday activities in order to raise job satisfaction and improve staff’s performance. Additionally, they must also pay attention to the hygiene factors that affect their employees.


Motivating factors are those that satisfy employees and motivate them to perform better. On the other hand hygiene factors don’t really create satisfaction, but they can be a major cause of dissatisfaction at work.


One medium-sized BPO company conducted a survey among its employees to determine what are the most important hygiene and motivating factors. Here’s what they found:


Most important hygiene factors are:

  • Satisfactory facilities for effective working (82%)
  • Good relationships with coworkers (80%)
  • Acceptable work shifts (78%)
  • Fair salary (76%)
  • Amenities such as housing, or medical coverage (60%)


When it comes to motivating factors, employees ranked them this way:

  • Achievement of the desired goal (86.7%)
  • Good relationships with team leaders (85%)
  • Job challenges (83.3%)
  • Recognition (83%)
  • Authority related to the current job position (80%)
  • Opportunities for personal growth and development (76%)
  • Good self-esteem (75%)
  • Job security (75%)
  • Perks and benefits (65%)

‍What Can You Learn from These Results?

The hygiene factors employees listed as most important are basic conditions any BPO should provide to their workers. However, these aren’t enough, and motivating factors on this list tell you that.


What you can learn is that employees need to have a sense of purpose in order to feel motivated. Workers are looking forward to facing challenges, which they can resolve and feel fulfilment. Additionally, the achievement of these results brings them internal satisfaction, and calls for recognition from peers and managers. Relationship employees have with you, and other higher ups, are extremely important. For all those who don’t remember, it’s been 20 years since Buckingham and Coffman wrote that people leave managers, not companies. Yet, it seems that a lot of managers ignore this, and don’t see that they are the problem.


As you can see in the results of the abovementioned survey, the majority of employees want opportunities to grow. In most BPOs tasks are repetitive, and workers can’t see a clear picture of their future, which leads to a lack of interest in the work. Therefore, managers must find a way to help employees develop through different internal trainings. 


What Should You Do About It?

First of all, you should create clear, achievable goals for everyone on your team. That way, they have something to work towards to. You can incorporate some kind of a recognition program for employees who achieve the set goals to boost motivation a bit more.


Next up, you should get a remote workers time tracking software, which will allow you to track everyone’s progress in real time. This tool can also help you spot employees who have trouble with certain tasks, and provide them with additional training for them. Additionally, employee tracking software itself can help increase employee productivity, because people tend to work more efficiently when they know they’re being watched by someone.


However, you should keep in mind that every employee on your team should be aware of the activity monitors before you start using them. Otherwise, you’ll be creating an atmosphere of distrust and risk losing even more employees because of the tracker.


Wrap Up

BPOs rely entirely on their people, so it’s one of the industries that really craves employee motivation. Work culture in this sector is completely customer-focused and it can be easy to forget about what your team needs. So, pay attention to your employees, listen to their problems and try to make the working environment as motivating as possible.


Establish employee recognition programs, and ensure that your team know they’re appreciated. Satisfied and stable employees are those who will drive your business forward.

This article was originally written on February 3rd, 2017 by Gina Ora. It was updated on December 3rd, 2019 by Bojana Djordjevic.

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