I know I’m not alone in feeling that I am living through the most uncertain and challenging time I ever will. Yet somehow, despite the global chaos, fear and often seemingly insurmountable challenges of 2020, we grew our international telecoms engineering teams across Australia, the US and the Philippines threefold. Partnering with a super-cool and efficient offshore outsourcing company, we recruited, onboarded and managed three Filipino teams entirely online - as the global pandemic took hold - and are continuing to do so in the year that has followed. The experience has been a hugely inspiring learning curve - and proof that there are always ways to make positive and uplifting things happen, no matter the external circumstances.
Many of the young Network Planners recently joining our fibre optic network design and optimisation team are new graduates and have never worked in an office before. None have ever met us, our outsourcing partners or their colleagues in person. Yet somehow these wholly online recruited, onboarded and remotely managed teams feel like they know each other, like ‘they’re all an important piece of the puzzle’, they all matter, they’re all invaluable. Despite being quarantined and locked down, they feel grateful, bolstered, cared for and supported, both professionally and personally, by management and their peers. Pretty unprecedented right? What’s the secret? Culture. Yup - culture - it’s the fundamental cornerstone of success - never more than in these volatile and uncertain times. Peter Drucker wasn’t kidding when he said it eats strategy for breakfast. I can’t stress enough how important it is that your values and culture are aligned with those of your outsourcing partner. When they are, no challenge is too big to overcome.
Anj, our outsourcing partner’s People Manager, feels Karamo Brown (from Netflix’s ‘Queer Eye’) sums up the sometimes nebulous and often misunderstood concept of culture pefectly: “Culture is really about shared attitudes, shared emotions, values that make us who we are.” She plays a fundamental role in our teams’ overall cohesion and engagement, regularly interacting and checking in with everyone. There’s not a lot that our teams don’t choose to share with her, given the motherly and incredibly supportive role she plays in our corporate dynamic. She affectionately refers to all the newbies recruited since the start of the pandemic as her ‘Quarantine Babies’ - she’s a rock solid resource for them to lean on. One of the many things they’ve learned from her whilst working entirely online is the importance of the language they choose to use. ‘Mama Anj’ reminds our newbies to think carefully about using mindful and positive words of affirmation when building online relationships. It’s not easy interpreting how people are really feeling when videos are switched off and there’s no regular in-person eye contact or body language to go on. Our teams are learning, amongst so many other invaluable life skills, that language is powerful.
This collaboration is providing so much value to our business that we’ve just taken on another new team in the Philippines in March 2021 - and are SUPER excited to welcome our latest batch of newbies in Vietnam in April 2021!
If our story is hooking you in and you’d like to hear more (super succinct!) first hand tales from some of the newbies themselves, click here for more Covid Tales Of Triumph.