Aftermath: A Year After Worldwide Lockdown and Working from Home
More than a year has passed since the world first experienced the COVID-19 lockdown. The crisis tested global companies’ readiness to shift to working at home rapidly. Most were reluctant about the short and long-term effects of moving office work to home. Some, though only a handful at the beginning, responded without any hesitation.
Full Potential Solutions (FPS) prioritized people’s safety first. Even now, with most countries easing up restrictions, 100% of FPS employees are still working remotely.
Kasey Peterson, Director of US Talent Acquisition and Candidate Experience, shares that “After realizing that we can work remotely as a team and be able to deliver results, there are no more limits on whether we expand with or without an office. Our offices are spread across the US, India, and the Philippines. Even with the pandemic still ongoing, we have developed long-term strategies that will help us become even more effective in attracting the right talents. Our experiences working from home motivated fresh thinking across the board.”
Being more present for people
Looking back at how it started and how we’re doing now, the team has come a long way in terms of growth. The pandemic made everyone step back and rethink ways to expand productivity and manage resources.
“Many were worried about making an employment change, transitioning from the familiar to the unknown. They have been dealing with a lot; physically, emotionally, financially. Family members are getting sick, child care and schools were getting cancelled—making it more difficult to adapt. We had to really think long and hard about how to ease uncertainties. We ended up circling back to our mission, which is simple: putting people first and driving breakthrough results by creating a place where people thrive. We believe that a happy and motivated team achieves extraordinary results,” says Peterson.
One of the early fears in the outsourcing industry during lockdown was the possibility of business closure due to lost revenues. Jeff Inandan, Senior Director of Account Management, confirms that the transition had not been easy, but the team thrived together regardless of the circumstances.
While a few support programs had to be paused, new lines of businesses from other existing programs increased, which more than compensated for the gap. Strengthening client confidence from high-performing programs brought about an unexpected growth spurt.
“Our existing clients recognized our strong, data-driven operations management approach, which increased their confidence in our services. They trusted us with more lines of business. We had the advantage and confidence that in spite of the pandemic, we can execute programs of all sizes and deliver break-through results,” says Inandan.
Effective communication strategy
On occasions when clients ask about possible timelines for employees to go back working in the office, managers are upfront about deliberately foregoing plans. The co-founders of FPS, Amit Basak and Steve Kezirian, and the rest of the leadership team, believe that we will work from home until we are confident about the safety of our employees. “We can deliver great results while working from home. If we put our employees first, the client results will continue to follow.,” shares Inandan.
On the recruiting side, Peterson says that “We have had to walk them through our pandemic plan; how we are going to keep them safe and how we will continue to make safety as our number one priority. We have had many conversations around equipment and security, and ensuring that we provide them with the right tools at home to be successful.”
More opportunities for contact center agents
Sondra Cooper-Ortega, Vice President of People and Culture, confirmed that FPS global leadership team made a consolidated effort to avoid layoffs or placing employees on furlough status.
In fact, FPS actually grew over 10% in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and is on track to grow over 50% in 2021 compared to 2020. New accounts and expansions for existing accounts are on-going, which requires rapidly hiring of new employees and significant career growth opportunities for everyone at FPS.
Innovating in the new normal
FPS is one of the few firms that successfully leveraged its people-first principles to achieve growth despite challenging conditions. We trusted the core values we share to emerge from the pandemic with an even stronger culture and deeper client relationships. The team finds comfort in this solidarity, and so far, it has helped us achieve our goals together, even from a distance. Those business goals are primarily focused on helping clients optimize their customer engagement with analytically-driven, omni-channel programs.
“We're working on some exciting initiatives this year that will focus on creating AI-driven conversational experiences for a wide spectrum of global enterprises, designing and developing amazing user experiences across data visualization and analytics, enhancing contact strategy and routing as well as optimizing customer engagement and agent performance using various data science frameworks and services on AWS. There’s so much more we have in the works for innovation this year, and we’re very excited to see them rolled out in the upcoming months,” shares Peterson.
Find out more about our core values and COVID19 experiences by visiting our website www.fpsinc.com.