Let me start by saying I am a big proponent of the BPO Industry in the Philippines.
I’ve worked in the industry for over 10 years and have spent countless hours involved in sharing information about the growth and success we have enjoyed.
I speak at schools on a regular basis explaining to student the huge opportunities a call center career can have.
Overall, I think the positives far outweigh the negatives in the industries impact on the economy of my adopted home country.
However, some days I just shake my head. One of my former employees was just telling me about her recent experience with her new employer and the challenges she is facing really leaves me feeling blue about the BPO Industry in the Philippines.
Still under a new hire training period she, she is not technically entitled to any paid time off even when she is sick or there is an emergency. So when she recently had an illness and had a doctor’s note prescribing time off, she expected that her employer would allow her at least unpaid off until she recovered from a pretty nasty infection. Because it’s the right thing to do.
However, her request was denied and on top of not being allowed even unpaid time off she was instructed to work an 11 hour shift because of business needs. Wow.
Being the top of her training batch and having zero absences to date have zero impact. The fact that she is one of the most dedicated and hardest working employees I have ever worked with has zero impact. She had to go to work sick and put in 11 hours.
The short sighted lack of compassion demonstrated by the low level manager of the business unit of the huge multinational corporation that makes billions makes me sad.
But it also reminds me that this is why I set up my own company, because being part of something so big and so focused on profit is not something I want to be part of anymore.
So to all my friends and connections who are BPO executives, managers and leaders… lets not allow this to happen in our businesses. We have to change this mentality for the simple fact is that there are not enough qualified workers for our industry. The answer to being short staffed and metric driven cannot be just the bottom line when it makes us push our best workers to the point of making unhealthy life choices. We lose out of so many talented contributors to this industry because we treat them like a piece of machinery and just look to replace then when they breakdown.