- Employees working within the Global Services Sector (GSS) are welcoming the vast opportunities provided through the industry for professional growth and development.
- Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, recently at the agency’s Regional Office in Montego Bay, St. James, Customer Service Specialist, at Vistaprint Jamaica, Nicole Reid, said her experiences at the company has changed her outlook on the sector.
- “I can say that I have benefitted quite a lot from the GSS sector. When I just started to work at Vistaprint, of course, my family and other persons saw it as a call centre, so there were questions as to how such a person could end up there,” she said.
Employees working within the Global Services Sector (GSS) are welcoming the vast opportunities provided through the industry for professional growth and development.
Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, recently at the agency’s Regional Office in Montego Bay, St. James, Customer Service Specialist, at Vistaprint Jamaica, Nicole Reid, said her experiences at the company has changed her outlook on the sector.
“I can say that I have benefitted quite a lot from the GSS sector. When I just started to work at Vistaprint, of course, my family and other persons saw it as a call centre, so there were questions as to how such a person could end up there,” she said.
The 29-year-old informed that prior to working at Vistaprint, she had started her degree in chemistry, but had to stop due to circumstances.
“I felt really discouraged because I didn’t know how I would continue my tertiary education. Nevertheless I started my job, I went there with an open mind and it has been one of the most amazing experiences,” Ms. Reid stated.
Among the benefits available at Vistaprint is a scholarship which covers 80 per cent of employees’ university tuition fees.
Ms. Reid told JIS News that she took full advantage of this and is now in her final year of study, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) at The University of the West Indies, Mona – Western Jamaica Campus.
The single mother noted that even though it has been a rough journey, the company has been supportive by ensuring that her shifts are customised with consideration for her studies.
She also informed that the company offered “day-care services, so my son is fine while I am working and going to school.”
The company also offers health insurance which covers up to 90 per cent of the cost for generic drugs, while also providing an on-site nurse and doctor. Seminars are also held with focus placed on financial literacy and other topics.
Vistaprint also undertakes activities such as a kid’s day where employees are encouraged to bring their children for a day of fun, games and giveaways for staff members.
Among the other offerings at Vistaprint are week-long paternity leave and three months’ maternity leave for staff. The organisation also offers a supervisor successor programme, which ensures that staff are promoted from within, as well as an internship programme.
The company also takes its corporate social responsibility seriously, as it has a ‘Making a Difference’ group within the organisation, which undertakes charitable endeavours, as well as a football team which raises funds for different causes.
Ms. Reid noted that there are several opportunities for upward mobility in the company, and compensation is very generous, as a result, “nobody leaves Vistaprint.”
“Vistaprint is my place to shine and I am grateful to be a part of this sector,” she stated, adding that more young persons should give the GSS sector a chance.
Vistaprint offers services in areas such as printing, design, website and digital marketing services. The company is also located in North America, Europe, Africa and Australia.
For her part, Junior Operations Manager at Itelbpo Smart Solutions in Montego Bay, Stacey-Ann Robinson, said her outlook on call centres completely changed when she started with the company in 2016.
“Initially, I was just looking for a job, to be honest. I wasn’t looking for somewhere I could be for a long time. I thought that when I got a job in the call centre, it would just be for a few months until I got another job, because the stigma that I knew was that call centres were “pass through” (organisations)… just get a job because you need one right now,” Ms. Robinson admitted.
“When I got there the (sense of) family that I felt, I thought that I could stay here for a while. (I also) said to myself that if I am going to be here, I don’t want to be an agent,” she added.
Through hard work and dedication, she was promoted from a customer service agent to a supervisor the following year.
Ms. Robinson noted that the company places emphasis on training, as Itelbpo promotes from within.
The company’s Junior Trainer and Junior Quality Assurance Programmes allow agents to learn how to be trainers and quality assurance representatives. At the end of those programmes, staff who participated are considered for job openings in those areas.
Some of the benefits of working at Itelbpo include staff engagement activities, flexible work schedule for staff who are attending school and soon to come, a day-care centre for the children of employees.
The company is also serious about its corporate social responsibility, as they participate in several charitable endeavours including raising funds to aid in hurricane recovery efforts in the Bahamas, as well as allowing staff to execute Labour Day projects of their choice annually.
Currently Itelbpo has a plastic-free environment as part of its ‘No Plastic is Fantastic’ campaign, which encourages employees to discontinue the use of plastic containers.
The 27-year-old told JIS News that persons interested in working in the sector needs to have a positive mindset in order for professional growth to occur.
Itelbpo offers voice and non-voice contact services, including high-value customer experience management, and digital marketing. The company also has locations in the United States, the Bahamas and Mexico.
The company is also the first Jamaican-born GSS company to establish a global footprint outside of the Caribbean.
Itelbpo is also the recipient of the Frost and Sullivan Best Practices 2019, Latin American and the Caribbean Contact Centre Outsourcing Services Growth Excellence, Leadership Award.
Meanwhile, Senior Supervisor at Contax360 BPO Solutions in Montego Bay, Huandrae Frater, who started his journey in 2015 as a customer service agent, had no intention of getting too attached to the company.
“Actually, I told myself that I just wanted to earn some school fees and move on. It didn’t turn out like that, as not only does my company give me the opportunity to further my studies, but to also learn and grow in the company. Coming here to Contax360 has been a great decision on my part,” the 27-year-old said.
Mr. Frater stated that his interest in the company piqued when he was informed that the company allows employees to learn other skills in areas such as workforce and supervisory management, senior management, and accounting.
The St. Ann native, however, lamented the lack of males in the sector, highlighting that more females gravitated to GSS. He surmised that stereotypes may be the cause of this and is encouraging young men to experience the sector for themselves, as therein lies several growth opportunities.
Mr. Frater, who is currently training to become a manager at Contax360, told JIS News that he attributes his success in the sector to “knowing what you want, working on that talent and just moving forward. If you have that ability to learn and you want that growth it is there for you.”
Contax360 BPO Solutions is an onshore and nearshore business process outsourcing centre, with an office in Florida, and is one of the largest privately owned and managed centres in Jamaica.
The company is also a charitable one as it donates in cash and kind to children’s homes, and other organisations in Western Jamaica every quarter.
GSS, more commonly associated with business process outsourcing (BPO), also includes operations in areas such as information technology-enabled services (ITES), knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), and legal process outsourcing (LPO).
The GSS sector is slated to employ an additional 14,000 persons next year.
The sector currently employs 36,000 persons to 60 operators, to include 10 fortune 500 companies across the island.
Markets of the sector consist of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, the Caribbean and the Philippines.