35: Managing Performance Issues with Simone Secci

35: Managing Performance Issues with Simone Secci

Simone Secci and I share similar experiences running into performance issues with outsourced teams. 


I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!

Charlotte Ward  0:13  

Hello and welcome to the customer support leaders podcast. This is Episode 35. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is managing performance. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. Today I’d like to welcome back Simone Secci. So Simone, the topic for this week is managing performance issues. And if you have any particular wisdom or excruciating or wonderful stories in this area, I’d be very pleased to hear them.

Simone Secci  0:52  

Absolutely Yeah. So I managed for most of my career outsourced team, like teams in different locations. So the challenge here I think with managing the performance, it’s even more complex because sometimes most of the time the conversation can be asynchronous, sometimes I would have only two or three hours overlapping with some of the people that would report into me, which made it made it a, you know, hard to do to really have a system of checks and balances there. And a lot of it had to rely on trust. Right. So I think this concept is very important in managing especially remote and outsource team is trust. So you need to be able to hire the right people. And to by no means getting into anything remotely close to micromanaging because that’s just 

Charlotte Ward  1:45  

Yeah, you can’t at a distance anyway, can you? You can’t micromanage at a distance. So when you talk about outsourced teams, you’re talking about teams that are provided by other businesses. You’re not talking about just offshoring. Like you’re not just talking about remote employees on the other side of the world, you’re talking about teams that belong effectively to other organisations. And I mean, I’ve been in that situation three times at least. And the biggest challenge I found with managing performance and outsourced teams is where the responsibility lies for the human resource part of that’s always a bit tricky. And indeed, you know, because particularly if they are, you know, located in a remote office somewhere, they have their own local line managers, right, and we’re effectively dotted line into you. So it’s how much responsibility you take for the measurement and the communication of any performance issues and any fallout from that so, and I’ve had really mixed experiences with all of those things. With outsourced teams and I have had underperforming I mean, drastically underperforming individuals on outsourced teams, and I’m sure you have as well. I’d love to hear particular how you deal with that with a BPO situation?

Simone Secci  3:04  

Right? I mean, you know, I’ve been in the situation where I was managing two different teams for two different products at the same time. So then the time like you really have to be drastic in the way that you decide what things are priority and what not. And that includes, like having to, to, you know, really do a lot of handholding of people, I think you have to have the right metrics to measure performance. If you don’t, you might let a situation linger for longer than it should. And it becomes like more of a problem with the people that you’re providing a service to. Focus on the quality of the conversation that these people are having, rather than focusing on some classic metrics like to get solved, for example, right then they really don’t tell those stories. You can have somebody that’s like, trying to fool the system, especially with this like a large team. 

Charlotte Ward  4:06  

Yeah, cherrypicking. Yeah, yeah.

Simone Secci  4:07  

Cherrypicking, they’re only working half the time that they’re supposed to work, but it looks like they’re they’re, you know, they’re solving a lot of tickets. It’s supposed to be a system of trust. And that usually happens when you’re not directly involved with the hiring

Charlotte Ward  4:21  

Yeah, I agree. That’s been my experience too. So how do you deal with that?

Simone Secci  4:26  

Well, you have to set the right expectation from the beginning, right, but like, if you have somebody that it’s going to be disingenuous, that doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, that’s not gonna necessarily save you from an uncomfortable situation. If somebody betrays your trust, you have to really make them understand the gravity of it and you know, try to correct that, but still make. I think you have to make the situation official, so I work directly with it with HR when things like that happening. I will give people more trust and more freedom than Then a lot of companies would. And so they were completely free to manage their time, starting from the very beginning, this is for entry-level positions, because I want people to immediately understand what responsibility means, you know. And if you instead create an environment where everything is very rigid, you’re not really giving people a chance to be responsible for themselves. 

Charlotte Ward  5:24  

Yeah, you’re not giving them that trust from the get-go.

Simone Secci  5:27  

Right, exactly. So they need to get familiar with trust, because that’s the only way for them to evolve into… to go forward in their career and become autonomous and also saves you time in the long run. 

Charlotte Ward  5:39  

Yeah, performance issues are often maybe slightly simplistically boiled down to a mismatch of expectations. You expected them saying, and they expected another, as you said, I mean, there are always people who will try and play the game. If that’s the case, then you shouldn’t be employing them and if you weren’t involved in their hiring, then it’s certainly time To help them consider their place in the organisation, right. But if we, if we’re talking just more a performance issue that can be coached away, part of the coaching exercise for me is re-establishing those expectations and whether it’s outsourced or not remote or you know, or formal or not. I think that’s the answer. I think it’s it’s, you’re right. It’s about expectations and it’s better to set those early. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/35 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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