Outsourcing Romania – are the local leaders READY to manage the rapid growth?
Have you ever wondered how it feels to be a manager in the outsourcing industry in Romania (BPO/SSC’s)? Truth be told, it’s more difficult than you would’ve imagined!
Let me give you some hints: extraordinary pressure in terms of targets (efficiency, costs, attrition, quality, sales etc); always dealing with a fast-paced environment, finding timely solutions for customers or employees; always looking for new ways to sell, cross sell, up-sell; constantly looking to improve processes or procedures, always searching for ways to automate or simplify! Fighting for every resource you have, accepting that you cannot retain all, continue to invest in people’s development even when you know that their stay is only temporary…
Sometimes, involuntarily looking to “please” internal or external customers – because let’s be honest, I always said (some people may not agree) that outsourcing sometimes feel like a forced marriage – others will decide what business will be transferred and where – and you, as manager – have to deal with the process in a perfect, polite manner and try to minimize the emotional impact of receiving transferred business from different locations where headcount was reduced. That is not an easy burden to carry… Sometimes you face the emotional implications of that “low cost label” easily misunderstood and you need to have the power to smile and to constantly prove your professionalism.
Quite the cocktail, all of the above! Feel free to add some quick changes in terms of customer’s strategy, fast business/team expansion. Take into consideration prompt project cancellations and staff reductions and you will have the complete image of this roller coaster…
This is why, in my eyes, leaders and managers that take part in this industry are real champions or … contortionists of globalization as I called them once.. Why? Because they have a very special “equipment”:
- They have a winning mentality and a can do attitude!
- They are strong and timely decision makers!
- They have to be flexible and adaptable!
- They have personal drive!
- They embrace change and are familiar with ambiguity!
- They have the competence to deal with multicultural differences!
- They are able to cultivate operational excellence!
- They are motivated and motivate others at their turn!
However, the big question remains: how many of them will be able to handle the fast rapid growth of Romanian Outsourcing industry projected for the next 2 years?
How many seniors do we actually have in this industry, people with vision, able to ensure business continuity for this industry, in this geographic area? How skilled are they in handling office politics when the decision to outsource or insource will point towards Romanian towns with less potential or non-Romanian towns for that matter?
How ready are managers to support the rapid growth with fast trained suitable resources? Are the processes ready to support the fast growth through automation and process re-engineering? Do we have all the mechanisms in place to monitor and stimulate performance for a higher percentage of new hires?
Moving forward – what about attracting talents, managing existing ones and employee loyalty programs? Fast growth also includes new management roles on the organizational chart – do we have a pipeline with managers ready to take the next step? Do we have succession planning processes in place?
Scanning all this important aspects will give us the measurement of how ready we are to face rapid growth. Let the record show I am not wearing my consultant hat now – but I have had a leader’s role, in charge with start-ups in outsourcing and I was forced to handle rapid growth while trying not to let performance be affected.
For many years, as one of the leaders in the Outsourcing Community in Romania, I struggled to attract new investors by selling the benefits of investing in Romania. At present, the results of that struggle are visible. That means we did a good job! However, facing rapid growth can stimulate some certain recruitment/headhunting practices, it can restart the battle of salary offers on tier 1 cities, it can pull out of tier 1 towns medium players – and this can be normal in a competitive environment. On the other hand, I truly believe that rapid growth can be handled wisely, without harming Romanian Outsourcing industry overall.
Despite short term goals and bonuses associated, leaders of Romanian outsourcing industry – now more than ever – should use their vision because that vision can make this industry stronger or can destroy it in a few years. So again, how ready are you to manage the projected growth?
Author : Amalia Sterescu, CEO & Founder Outsourcing Advisors