John Keells Group HR conducts a workshop at the Mahavilachchiya BPO

By Charuka Thathsarani

John Keells, through John Keells foundation continues to empower various communities and the BPO initiative which takes city jobs to the village, is one such initiative. OnTime Technologies in Mahavilachchiya in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka is the first recorded rural BPO and it has completed over 7 years in operation. The immediate objective of these rural BPOs were to create sustainable employment to talented rural youth enabling them to work form their villages and home towns, where many rural youth now need to travel to Colombo or developed cities to find white collar jobs thereby having little to save from their salaries due to the spend on travel and lodging.

I was a part of the recently conducted workshop at the OnTime Technologies (Pvt) Limited – the Mahavilachchiya BPO in Mahavilachchiya – where our main objective was to enhance the efficiency of the outsourcing unit and to develop the ability to handle professional challenges among the employees. 17 employees of the BPO attended this workshop and it was a rewarding experience since I was directly involved in designing and delivering the program along with 6 of my colleagues in HR from across The Group.

We needed to blend in with these BPO employees and to share our professional experiences in order to give them an insight of professional as well as personal improvement. Hence we spoke about realizing individual values, setting self-targets and continuous personal improvement, leadership and importance of team work, taking initiative & demonstration of ownership, impact of quality on work, importance of time management & punctuality, telephone & e-mail etiquette and finally basic HR practices.

We were happy to see the positive responses of the young men and women as they highlighted the importance of our programme in building up their personal abilities and professional skills. They valued the time we spent with them, and were grateful to all of us who volunteered and many said that these workshops should be conducted more regularly as it helps build strategic expertise, professionalism, work ethics and many other values such as team spirit and leadership amongst the participants.

I was touched to have been a part of this programme with the support of all my supervisors and colleagues and consider it a valuable experience in CSR volunteerism.