Derek Gallimore talks with Jeffrey Johnson, the Senior Vice President for Human Capital Resource Management at Teleperformance.
Teleperformance is one of the world’s leading providers of outsourced services across various industries.
Its Philippine operations, Teleperformance Philippines, started in 1996 and has since grown to become one of the largest and most respected Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms in the country.
In this episode, Derek asks Jeffrey to share his – and Teleperformance’s – secret to successfully managing the firm’s 55,000 strong employees in the Philippines alone.
This episode sheds light on the vital aspects of employee management needed to ensure the successful management of a vast workforce.
Power in people and people in power
Jeffrey “[had] always been a big believer in human resources or human capital … as something that is not just important but … has to be at the center of every outsourcing company’s strategy.”
This is the core belief that made it possible for Jeffrey and his team to efficiently manage Teleperformance’s 55,000 staff spread across the Philippines.
Jeffrey acknowledges that “the mantle of leadership can sometimes be daunting,” but “[having] an amazing team that all [are] working towards the same vision … helps make that process so much [smoother].”
For Jeffrey, this team is the 3,000 people he works with in his department.
While many people may be surprised at the large number of people on Jeffrey’s team, he explains that this is necessary to ensure the efficient management of an even larger workforce.
“As we grow, as our organization adds more capabilities, it’s also important that our support functions grow as well.”
Overcoming the burden of largeness
With many employees come many responsibilities.
Teleperformance Philippines started out with just 175 employees 26 years ago and has since grown and reached its present count of 55,000 seats across the Philippines.
With such a huge number of employees to manage, “a very large human resources team and people management team helps.”
As mentioned earlier, Jeffrey leads a 3,000-strong people management team that ensures the smooth running of Teleperformance’s operations.
Another dilemma often faced by large organizations is retaining the talents they presently have.
As Jeffrey pointed out, “It’s important in your organization to create a culture where people actually want to stay. Because if you only focus on money or benefits or growth, there’s going to be times [when] these things have a peak or valley.”
The key to remaining agile as a continually growing organization, Jeffrey reveals, is simplifying some systems and processes as others become more complex.
“As you build on the systems and become more complex as an organization, there are some parts of the system where it makes it more difficult to be agile … You’ve got to drive those systems to think ‘before I add another layer, how am I going to remove a layer? Or if I’m going to add this complexity, how can I make it more simple somewhere else?’”
Never-ending issues: The nature of the beast
Even with the company’s large number of dedicated staff for people management, the fact remains that “there is no perfect organization, there is no organization where people can just sit back and relax.”
“You have a very large operation and you’re going to have issues that come up … at any given time.”
As a problem solver in his industry, Jeffrey notes that “as soon as you’ll get one thing fixed, you’ll have another problem somewhere else.”
He admits that “[it] can seem tiring over time, especially when you get decades into doing it.”
However, Jeffrey and his team make sure they’re “never losing sight of what’s causing the problem in the first place, doing a root cause analysis, understanding the journey mapping, and [addressing] issues before they become a problem.”
Looking at Teleperformance Philippines’ Great Place To Work certification for the past three years, it’s evident that Jeffrey’s efforts are not for naught.
People-wise, Jeffrey has shown that “a team that trusts that their employer is going to try their best do the best that they can for them” and that, as cliche as it may sound, “what makes organizations great is when people trust each other.”