There is probably no better example of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) where there is a need to have a common belief and spirit directed at a defined objective. In order to have this occur, morale also known as esprit de corps, must be in place. An atmosphere which allows the group to be a part of the institutional and client beliefs is essential. To increase the effectiveness of esprit de corps the coaching element is a must. Out of this we have seen the emergence of coaching as a nurtured role. I sometimes wonder why the skills of coaching had to be a trained endeavor. Where along the line did we lose this as an endowed skill? Maybe it happened at the same time we lost the socially responsible nature of business?
Coaching in the Ranks
Coaching isn’t necessarily a responsibility of management, coaching is often vetted amongst the troops. It’s one person helping another to be successful. In the information technology arena the fundamental notion of esprit de corps’ coach is reflected in Agile methods where the team wins (or loses) as a team - not as individuals. This places responsibility directly amongst your co-workers and leaves management to deal with the really hard issues that can inhibit productivity.
The Coach is someone special that possesses traits of compassion, empathy, understanding, and unique skills needed to deliver the much needed help. This does not imply that a coach will do your work if you don’t. Rather, a coach is able to evaluate, understand and deliver a message that puts behavior back into proper perspective. This ability is authoritative, pragmatic and consistent… all of the things necessary to insure expedient and effective results.
So what is a coach?? A coach is a…
- Role Model
- Honesty, Character, Trust
- Resilience, Patience, Skilled professional
- Enthusiasm, Energy, Engagement
- Results driven, Self aware, Thick skinned
- Don’t take yourself too seriously, sense of humor
- Sounding Board
- Concentrate, interact, and engage
- Observer & Guide
- Positive teamwork
- Constructive interaction
- Healthy conflict
- Problem solving
- Innovation & creativity
- Developing individualized training plans
- Growing teams skills (patiently)
- Develop mentoring relationships
- Climate of continuous learning & professional development
- Invest in formal/informal training
- Focusing on amplifying strengths and offsetting the weaknesses of the team
- Positive can-do attitude
- Recognizing team accomplishments
- Appropriate sharing & focusing credit
- Always looking forward even if you are making it up as you go
- Daily energy and enthusiasm
- Culture of fair treatment
- Acknowledging Top Performers
- Timely, honest, and open communication
- Understanding the overall team capabilities
- Pushing everyone at their own pace
- Fostering continuous improvement
- Seeking opportunities to grow & evolve the team’s capabilities
- Willingness to make the “hard call” (for the team)
- As a “change agent” - pushing the team towards change
- Team Builder
- Sell capabilities
- Be a Part with Them
I think you would agree that not everyone can be a coach but everyone must bring to the table their own unique coaching talents for the benefit of the team.
BPO companies that are viewed as highly successful realizes the unique talents that each employee has. They are not simply a body shop comprised of phone agents or form implementers, they are people. These people are an invaluable resource that requires care and attention. If the morale is low… so is the service that they deliver. No matter how hard an employee might try to maintain a positive attitude the climate must permit a sense of team and a sense of involvement. Coaching must occur within the ranks before you can ever expect that an appointed coach can effect change.
Until next time feel free to contribute your thoughts or send me an email at jdurant@Int-IOM.org.
About the Author
Jerry Durant is viewed by many as one of the pioneers in outsourcing. Starting his ventures in 1988 by supporting many of the premier global buyers he has carried this practice through to over 70 countries. Most recently Jerry established the International Institute for Outsource Management (IIOM) with the sole purpose of advancing professionalism in the supplier community. His practical and market specific innovation can be seen in the formation of the Outsourcing Management Body of Knowledge, the Global Star Certification (GSC) the only assessment measuring outsource company viability, Certified Outsource/Offshore Project Management Certification, and the establishment of the 1st International Outsource Management Research Center in Wuxi, China. Though his efforts the IIOM has quickly been recognized as the leading source for outsource service provider support. Jerry's unrelenting enthusiasm is constantly pushing forward the sourcing agenda as a means to global prosperity through responsible behavior and innovation.
Jerry has advanced degrees in Computer Science, Management and Accounting and is certified in a number of disciplines associated with technology. He is a prolific writer and widely sought after as a speaker around the globe.