A work from home model needs to account for a number of factors including routine quality monitoring and overall performance management
MakeMyTrip’s journey to remote work started four years ago, when the company saw a surge in customer queries for holiday packages. The company also dealt with a churn among its female employees on account of marriage, maternity and managing their home. To tackle this churn, the company had to either increase the bench strength at the call center or explore ways to retain employees. It was decided that a hybrid solution would be the best bet, whereby women employees leaving could be given opportunities to work remotely. The solution allowed the company to not only tackle the seasonal demand but it also saved infrastructure cost.
A work from home model although it appears easy to build, needs to account for a number of factors. There is a need for routine quality monitoring and overall performance management. Businesses should also ensure that data is secure and that enough support is being provided to the employees. The long term success of such initiatives requires discipline and passion on the employee’s part.
In order to ensure cultural fit, the company focused on identifying the right employee profiles. In MakeMyTrip’s case, it was mostly women in the age group of 25-45 years, who had great relationship building skills and were at ease with using social media tools like WhatsApp and Facebook. However, the organization does not restrict itself to just women. Of the eight differently-abled employees that the organization employs, five are men.
Most employees are based out of metros or state capitals. The company also looks for prior experience in sales or in the service industry. And the primary means by which employees were recruited was through referrals, job boards and the MakeMyTrip website. Once selected, employees go through a seven day long on-boarding program where they are familiarized with their job, process and get an industry orientation. After a round of mock calls and on the job training, they are live on the platform.
At MakeMyTrip the emphasis is on support, we have a team of 60-70 people who are capable of managing 1000 holiday experts. The current strength of holiday experts working remotely is 700. Out of the team managing these employees, they are further classified based on the kind of support that they provide. One team takes care of training and development, they are responsible for onboarding and for keeping employees engaged. There are relationship managers, who manage 80-100 holiday experts and are responsible to mitigate any issues that the experts may have with the platform. Then there are technical spocs, who are responsible to help the employees plan itinerary and helping in customer conversion. A customer experience team then follows up with the customer to brief them about their travel packages.
Employees are expected to work 7-8 hours a day, with defined tasks and variable pay. But the emphasis is on the output in terms of business deliverables rather than the actual number of working hours. To ensure that employees stay motivated, we ensure that we celebrate small and big moments of a remote team member, whether it is a career milestone or a birthday. Members are also provided with reward and recognition opportunities along with small promos and offers than ensures that there is a winning habit.
The future of remote work is a blue ocean. Employers can leverage this talent pool and it helps them save infrastructure cost with lesser liability and an increase emphasis on pure performance based work. If it is structured well, it can help organizations scale up and down as and when required.
As told to J. Jerry Moses