If you’re considering transitioning your existing contact center staff and management to a new outsourcing services provider, the process doesn’t have to be painful. When handled with sensitivity and a proactive mindset, you can offset many of the traditional transition pitfalls.
Some of the advantages of rebadging existing employees from an incumbent provider include:
- Minimal disruption in service delivery to your customers
- Maintenance of tribal knowledge and minimal training costs
- Continuous customer satisfaction ratings during the transition due to the use of the same staff
- A “no excuses” approach to the achievement of contractually obligated metrics
REQUIREMENTS FROM THE INCUMBENT SUPPLIER
Ideally, the incumbent outsourcing services provider will provide the following information prior to the transition. However, be prepared to build a contingency plan in the event that the information is not available.
|Transitioning employees means minimal disruption to end customers
- Current wage ranges/salary bands
- Incentive schemes and leadership development plans
- Benefits plan details
- Tenure details
- Performance/ratings history
- Tenure based benefits programs (i.e., vacation)
- Approved holiday schedules and/or lieu time
- Variable pay (i.e., language and shift premiums)
- Non-medical/dental benefits (i.e., education assistance, EAP, 401K, employee service award programs)
- Paid holiday commitments and any cultural expectations that have been set as a precedence
EMPLOYEE TRANSITION: A SIX-STEP APPROACH
In the case of a large-scale transition of employees, assuming a 90% rebadge situation, a best practice is to assign a dedicated rebadging team
. This team will be responsible for ensuring a seamless transition and continuous services to clients with minimal impact to employees. Communication, which is key to success, will also be driven by this group through six steps:
- Understand organization scope and plan your retention strategy:
- Identify employees eligible for rebadge
- Develop your plans to address performance issues and pain points while ensuring the successes of the operation are celebrated
- Schedule group meetings (keep in mind call volumes/advisor availability):
- Introduce the new employer
- Conduct meetings to provide an overview of compensation practices and benefit offerings and give employees the opportunity to ask questions. Take the first step toward creating a positive culture. Treat the meetings like a new product launch or kick off and build excitement.
- Make detailed presentations outlining the organization–history and future direction. Deliver the message from the top.
- Provide employee impacting details regarding wages, applicable incentives, benefits, location of work, hours of operation, training, contact information for their questions, etc. You could even consider delivering the information via kiosks.
- Schedule individual meetings (Ideally 30 minutes per employee): During these meetings, the HR team should meet with employees to review resumes and assess career history and skill set. Following this evaluation, hiring decisions can be made and formal offers of employment extended. As well, the representatives from the new provider can take note of potential future leaders.
- Orientation: Once the new hire paperwork has been completed, conduct training sessions on policies/procedures. In the event that workforce management and quality processes remain the same, the orientation process can be accelerated. Computer-based training programs are great for providing refresher support.
- Establish a Partnership Council: The council should be comprised of representative employee members and I recommend that they meet weekly during the transition period to address concerns or questions.
- Conduct follow-up three months after rebadge to assess integration success: This is perhaps the most important step. Operations, projects, planning etc. will not succeed without a careful post launch and follow-up strategy. If step 6 is not well executed, steps 1 through 5 will need to be repeated.
- Coordinate small group meetings/satisfaction survey geared to your specific program and the effectiveness of on-boarding
- Review orientation checklist
WELCOME NEW LEADERSHIP INTO THE FOLD
The leadership team of the incumbent supplier needs to feel that they’re part of the new team. Making sure that they’re comfortable with their new employer can help them alleviate apprehension among their own direct reports.
- Both Operations and front line support staff should be included in the new employer’s introduction sessions with employees.
- Individual front line leadership should undergo interviews with the new employer’s Human Resources (HR) and Operations teams. Testing to help determine leadership style and capabilities can also be performed during this time, however, keep in mind that this can be intimidating during a time when employees may be insecure about their jobs. Therefore, position it as career pathing and a way to learn and grow. Results should be reviewed one on one with every participant in a timely manner and be incorporated into the annual goals.
- Consider holding separate meetings to introduce rebadged site leadership to key players from the new employer’s staff (i.e., Workforce, Training, Quality, Client Services, Operations, etc.). I recommend an “all hands” approach in a meet and greet environment. Lunch and learn sessions can also be a nice informal way for employees to learn about the new employer’s processes and practices.
- Front line leaders will begin to participate in any specific leadership training programs offered by the new employer.
TRANSITION: SEAMLESSNESS IS THE GOAL!
By deploying a dedicated team familiar with an established transition process, and seasoned HR team members on site, you will better be able to ensure continuous services to your customers and minimal impact to employees. Remember that communication is crucial throughout the entire process. Be sure to anticipate and proactively address as many questions and concerns as possible.
Have you ever managed an employee transition or yourself been transitioned to a new employer? Do you have recommendations for best practices to ensure a seamless transition. Leave a comment.