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Human Resources in Call Centre Industry

n today’s world the biggest challenges for any organisation to manage its human resource. Mathis (2008)

India is the second best economy in the world (after china) for its growth rate (Nassimbeni and Sartor, 2008). In fact India’s GDP at 9.4 Per cent was the second fastest growing GDP after china in 2007 – 08. As per Reserve bank of India (RBI).

The Researcher Specifically looking at the employees and HR Professional of Epicenter Technology. In Indian call centre industry increasing rapidly which help to generate new employment in the country but same time employee turnover rate also increase in call centre and BPO industry. To reduce this high level of attrition is very essential for HR professional because company pay lucrative amount for employee training and development. HR profession can motivate employee by different techniques and can reduce employee turnover loss of organisation. So author will be conducting a research to investigate the challenges faced by HR professional to motivate employees in call centre of Epicenter Technology.

At the same time, despite these major strides, the IT – BPO sector is facing significant challenges that could impact its future growth if corrective actions are not taken. (Budwar et al., 2006). BPO firms are looking to increase the overall productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of their processes, which can result in huge gains. According to the NASSCOM Everes Study, ‘The Indian BPO sector has been growing at more than 35 % over the past three years, FY 2005-08. In this speedily going industry employee attrition level also higher in BPO sector. Attrition remains an enormous challenge, as the average BPO attribution rate was 30-35 per cent in the last few years. A NASSCOM-Hewitt Associates survey shows that the cost of attrition is one and a half times the annual salary of an employee. Costs are due to loss of productivity, temporary replacement, loss of knowledge and new recruitment and training.HR manger keep trying to make down attrition level by giving training, effective work environment and conducting a research to review rewards, bonus or other incentives and career promotion.

Epicenter Technology serves multi type’s business process outsourcing to organisation spread all over the global to achieve high services with maintains balance cost management. Epicenter Technology provides business process outsourcing to fortune 500 companies from different countries. Epicenter Technology is one of the leading call centre which serve telemarketing and customer service. Epicenter Technology provides Business task outsourcing for global customer. Epicenter Technology mainly focuses on their employee and customer. Epicenter Technology believes team work and continuous improvement which is necessary element success of organisation. Epicenter also believes in high standard of quality and innovation. Epicenter Technology derives low motivation levels which directly reflect on employee satisfaction toward their work.

Epicenter Technology is the leading customer contact centre’s which engage with collections, sales, Telemarketing and customer service. Epicenter Technology believes that employee are biggest assets of organisation and they always their priority. Epicenter Technology is paying a lucrative amount in their personal development and growth which is direct helps employee to future career option. Company believes effective team work and effective training is require to achieve higher service level in work. Company spend higher amount of money to provide training new employees as well as promoted employees. Some employee quit the job to dissatisfaction in job and low level of motivation.

Employees are the main driver of any organisation. If employees do not know about their responsibility and they should not know about organisational goal and what organisation want from employee than it is directly affect organisation productivity. It is also necessary to focus on slow learner employee. HR professional conduct special training programme for slow learner and give them more time to grasping skills so that do not feel like looser because of slow learning.

It is necessary that HR manager choose right talent to achieve organisational goal. It is HR manager responsibility to check performance of employee and if employee is not performing better then find a best way through employee can give their best performance to achieve high quality standard. Human Resource Management can play a vital role to motivate employee in right way.

Epicentre Technology is doing multi task and it is very difficult to manage all task and high level of emotional staff. When conflict is arise in different tasks same time and problem resolution by HR professional necessary. This high expectation which directly reflect performance of employee and same time motivate employee is challenging job in call centre.



Student can get benefit from this research for their career perspective. Call centre and BPO industries are rapidly growing so it required more skill and knowledgeable employee. This findings will help student can implement the outcome in future job in call centre which will improve quality and productivity of company.

Researcher want to growth of call centre industry remain sustainable for that researcher believe that finding of this research will help to human resource management to solve problem of employee motivation.


The main motive behind this study is that researcher has own interest on call centre industry and author personally believe that in this 21st century this industry has tremendous opportunity to grow and research has a dream to be successful HR Professional of call centre industry. This is very interesting for to know more about call centre industry and evaluate their problems.


Researcher believes that Management is the main part of any industry and Management active role can directly affect services provide to the client. Management always try to find that employees are satisfied and keep monitor all process of organisation. As earlier said that researcher has personal interest in call centre industry. Researcher observe that large amount of employee leave the company in very short time so what HR Professional can do to motivate employee in call centre which improve quality of call centre.

This Research helps to understanding of HR profession facing difficulty in order to motivate employee and try to find out what are the necessary measure is require to resolve this problem when working as a HR professional in call centre. It will help to understand current motivation technique that use HR professional and their effectiveness and how to improve this motivation technique.

This Research will help to emerging HR professional who wants to work in call centre who already work in HR professional that get more aware about call centre difficult issue and know how to resolve this issue through this research.

Company can improve their employee satisfaction basis on job by HR professional using effective motivation technique for employee who is directly affected on company performance and productivity. So through this research company get more powerful workforce. This research will decrease stress and emotional burnout of employee and it acknowledged employee to deliver better performance.


  • To analyse the factor’s that HR professional are facing in order to motivate employees in call centre of Epicenter Technology
  • To evaluate Motivation techniques that are currently used by HR professional in call centre of Epicenter Technology
  • Developing and Recommendation to improve motivation technique by HR professional in call centre of Epicenter Technology


What is factor’s that HR Professional is facing in order to motivate employees in Call Centre of Epicenter Technology?

What are motivation techniques that are currently used by HR professional in call centre of Epicenter Technology?

How to improve motivation technique by HR professional in call centre of Epicenter Technology?


Company’s marketing strategies alone can’t make it successful, the company’s most valuable assets are their people and to manage the people efficiently it is also important to have a group of people to look after all the other people of the organisation and i.e. Human Resource Team of the organisation. The efficiency of the business is directly linked with the efficient functionality of Human resource Department.

In order to expect better results it is necessary to make sure that the staffs are motivated enough. Motivation is mandatory for every individual who undertakes a task. Motivation can be of different type such as positive, subtle, tangible or intangible.

Motivation is sought of internal power that encourages a person to achieve specific things in life.

Motivation definition: weiner (1935), defines motivation as a search for determinants of human activity.

(Buford, Bederian, & Lindner, 1995), agree that motivation compels a human activity to perform in certain manner to achieve unmet goals.

An organization will have to motivate an employee right through the day he joins the company. Every employee has first been a new comer and at that stage he wants to learn the tasks of his new job and once he has learnt the task he develops self-confidence to attain a faviourable level of job performance.(Feldman 1981)

Even Fisher (1982, 1986) agreed on the task mastery for a new employee to become comfortable and successful in the organisation.

Employee are expected to work in groups or team rather performing tasks individually and the indicator of successful team work would be getting along with the team members and immediate team supervisor, following the norms and values of the team and adjusting to group culture. (Feldman, 1981; Fisher, 1986)

Fisher (1996) and Schein (1978) agreed that apart from working in groups another important aspect of socialisation is personal learning. So at the initial stages an employee tries to learn the type of individual he is and he will organize himself to perform within the organization


Douglas McGregor’s theory X and theory Y are very essential for the research as he has discussed the human behaviour in organisation.

McGregor (1960) has made an assumption in Theory X that it is human behaviour, whenever and however way possible to avoid work in every possible way they can in their control. In today’s competitive environment where there is a constant threat to our call centres and BPO’s that they might lose their contract to china or Philippines, it is very important that company reaches the benchmark set by the clients and even try to exceed the set benchmark.

However, if the employees are not motivated enough towards achieving goal, than these could directly reflect on the productivity of the organisation in terms of poor service quality.

McGregor (1960) has emphasised that management should control and threaten the poor performing employees to work hard towards meeting their individual SLA’s (service Level Agreement)

However McGregor (1960) further clarifies that would be a set of people who doesn’t want to change because they do not want to take the responsibility or ownership of the work assigned. It is a human tendency to stay clear and unambiguous so that they feel secure at work.

In the Theory Y McGregor (1960) is trying to look at the other side of the human behaviour by taking an example of people who consider their job as their own business. In this theory employee consider jobs as natural as play and rest. This kind of employee believes in same or more amount physical mental effort in their work as they would in their private lives.

According to McGregor (1960) has made an assumption that the control and punishment should not be the only mechanism to force the employees to perform well in their SLA’S. Employees should be motivated through an effective Human Resource Management team otherwise they would be self-directed towards the foal of the company.

McGregor (1960) “Job satisfaction is the key to engaging employees and ensuring their commitment� Different people perform different level of job, some may be easy and others may be extremely stressful due to the nature of the job, for example an employee working for a sales process which is a target driven job. On the other hand there might be person working for a customer service where there is no target but still this person could in more distressed if there is no proper motivating and rewarding activities initiated by the Human Resource Team, otherwise the work becomes very monotonous and there is no motivation to strive harder to achieve better results.

Management should make an initiative to promote the best performing employee so that there is a sense of seeking responsibility and ownership in order to climb up the ladder.

As per McGregor (1960) such people are imaginative and creative and management should make every effort to use them for solving problems at work. This kind of approach can be conducive to managing professionals and participative complex problem solving.

After evaluating Theory X and Theory Y, McGregor (1960) Preferred to adopt Theory Y as an efficient model to motivate employees in the organisation because Theory Y assumes that employee seeks responsibility: every manager wants their team to work as family who cares about the business rather than someone in Theory X who just wants to come to work 9 to 6, go home and enjoy. However it seems that it would not be viable to implement this model in large scale operations.

2.2 THEORY Z (Ouchi 1981)

Ouchi (1981) developed new theory which is based on the Japanese and American companies and used Theory z management styles. There is contrast in operating philosophies between Japanese and American organizations is quite revealing. Japan is also well known for its technology but according to Ouchi (1981) their success was due to their exceptional management styles. Japanese organisations offer virtually lifelong employment while American organizations are characterized by comparatively short-term employment.

Japanese organisation invited employee in decision making process and individually employee get responsibility so they can learn to take responsibility of every issue which is related with them while Rapid turnover requires quick evaluation and promotion, with considerable employee unrest if a promotion takes more than three years in American organisation.

Raises and promotions can be evaluated after certain intervals that depend on employee performance. Most deserving employee always gets promotion whereas because of competition for promotions and raises, people tend to work alone rather than collaboratively in American organisation.

Career paths include learning all functions rather than one function and Organization mechanisms for control of worker behaviour are implied in Japanese organisation. In contrast, Career path tend to be highly specialized. Standardization is the main method of control, and integration and coordination are almost impossible because of the emphasis on specialization in American organisation.

Japanese organisation decision making is a collective activity and responsibility is also collective. American organisation decision making and responsibility are individual matters. The organization concerns tend to be segmented and impersonal rather than holistic.


One of the earliest researchers in the area of job redesign as it affected motivation was Frederick Herzberg (Herzberg, 1959).

Based on survey, Herzberg discovered that employee tended to describe satisfying experience in term of factors that were intrinsic to the content of the job itself. These factors were known as motivators and included such variables as achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, advancement, and growth. Conversely, dissatisfying experiences, known as a hygiene factors, largely resulted from extrinsic, non-job-related factors, such as company policies, salary, co-worker relations, and supervisory style (Steers, 1983). Herzberg argued based on these results that eliminating the cause of dissatisfaction (through hygiene factor) would not result in a state of the use of motivators.

Kreitner & Kinicki (1998) highlight one of Herzberg’s findings, where managers rather than giving employee additional task of similar difficulty which consists of giving workers more responsibility. This is where employees take on tasks normally performed by their supervisors.


Working Conditions: Work place is important part of any organisational success. Just to motivate employee by rewarding is not enough when working condition is not sufficient. It is always necessary that good working condition through employee get more satisfaction in work place.

Quality of Supervision: supervisor or manager need to guide new employee at work and give them proper training about work. It is very essential to provide good quality training when organisation requires high level of performance.

Safety: health and safety is very important aspect work place. Health and medical benefit also gives employee to high level of satisfaction which is directly affect performance.

Salary and Bonus: It is necessary to know required job position get relevant salary to match perfectly fit in organisation. However, employee need to motive by giving bonus to good performing talent.

Status: It is HR professional responsibility to make proper system for talented employee so employee get promotion time to time depending on their performance.

Company policies and administration: company policies is reflect company objectives so policies should be more clear for all employee and administrative work require more transparent so everyone know what going on in organisation.

Interpersonal relationship: Human Resource Manager need to organise meeting and feedback session with management and employee so any problem related work can be resolve.

Fairness and Equity: With increased effort and higher performances employees also expect to be rewarded more significantly than counterparts who provide output at or below the norm. An outcome or reward that is perceived to be highly significant and important can result in higher level of effort and performance by the individual employee.

Effort: Even though employees may exert higher levels of effort into a position based on perceived significant reward, this could be a short-term success if the task itself does not challenge or provides satisfaction to the employee.

2.4 HIERARCHY OF NEEDS (Maslow 1943)

According to Stephens (2000), Maslow believed that human being aspire to become self-actualizing and viewed human potential as a vastly underestimated and unexplained territory.


Physiological needs: Every employee needs basic human physical need like Food, Water and Sleep etc. if this basic need is not satisfied than employees do not feel good in work place. However, employee cannot pay more attention on work and became ill or frustrate etc. HR Manager needs to concentrate on individually employee activities. HR Manager has to make sure that employee feel comfortable during work. It is important to know employee personal problem by maintaining good relation with employee.


Company should inform their employee time to time what is going on organisation so employees feel more comfortable at work. HR Manager always make sure that individually all employees are safe and secure at work. If any employee feel unsecure with organisation than HR has to clear employee perception by discussing matter.


HR Manager create lively environment where can get positive relations between employee and manager as well as supervisors. Participation in work group shows electrifying confidence among workers. HR Manager to pay attention on motivate employee in the work place by rewards. HR can make sure that higher performing employee should appreciate by giving certificate of performance.


Within organisations, esteem needs reflect a motivation for recognition, and increase in responsibility, high status and credit for contributions to organization.


Self-actualization needs: these needs include the need for self-fulfilment, which is the higher need category. The concern developing one’s full potential, increasing one’s competence and becoming a better person. Self-actualization needs can be met in the organization by providing people with opportunities to grow, be creative and acquire training for challenging assignments and advancement. Person can reach this level who completely focused on their work and he do not worried about what other think about him, he just concentrate in achieving target and set as a successful.


Maslow (1943) stated that people, including employees at organizations, are motivated by the desire to achieve or maintain the various conditions upon which these basic satisfactions rest and by certain more intellectual desires. Humans are a perpetually wanting group. Ordinarily the satisfaction of these wants is not altogether mutually exclusive, but only tends to be. The average member of society is most often partially satisfied and partially unsatisfied in all of one’s wants (Maslow, 1943). The implication of this theory provided useful insights for manager and other organization leaders. Another implication was for organisation to implement support programs and focus groups to help employees deal with stress, especially during more challenging times and taking the time to understand the needs of the respective employees (Kreitner, 1998).

McGregor argued that work motivation was much more commonly underpinned by workers’ self-generated drive to better themselves and fulfil their own potential (“Theory Yâ€?)

McGregor argued that traditional organisational practice placed too much emphasis on the role of lower-order needs as motivators of workers’ behaviour. Aligned with this view, Herzberg recommended that managers should put their energies into providing avenues for the satisfaction of workers’ personal needs in order to get the best from them. A similar argument was also endorsed by other theorists, so that general message to emerge from needs-based research is that employees’ motivation will be greater to the extent that they are allowed to self-actualise, grow, and progress as individual.


Vroom in 1964 developed the formal model of work motivation drawing on the work of other researches.

There are three mental components that are seen as instigating and directing behaviour. There are referred to as valence, instrumentality and Expectancy. Vroom (1964) defined the term valence as the affective (emotional) orientations people hold with regard to outcomes. An outcome in this case is said to be positively valent for an individual if she/he would prefer having it or not.

The most important feature of people’s valences concerning work related outcomes is that they refer to the level of satisfaction the person expects to receive from them, not from the real value the person actually drives from them.

Work effort result in variety of outcomes, some of the directly and some of them indirectly and can include pay, promotion and other related factors. Vroom (1964) suggested linking instrumentality as probability belief linking one outcome (performance level) to other outcomes. According to vroom an outcome is positively valent if the person believes that it holds high instrumentality for the acquisition of positively valent consequences and avoidance of negatively valent outcomes.

Expectancy is the strength of a person’s belief about whether a particular outcome is possible. Vroom (1964) described expectancy beliefs an action-outcome associations held in the mind of individuals and stated that there a variety of factors that contribute to an employee’s expectancy perceptions about various level of job performance.

The second variable that is relevant here is the concept of reward value or valence. This refers to the individual’s perception of the value of the reward or outcome that might be obtained by performing effectively. Although most expectancy theories do not specify why certain outcomes have reward value, for the purpose of this paper I would like to argue that reward value of outcomes stems from their perceived ability to satisfy one or more needs. Specifically relevant here is the list of needs suggested by Maslow that includes security needs, social need, esteem needs and self-actualization needs.

Expectancy theory states that motivation is a combined function of the individual’s perception that effort will lead to performance and of the perceived desirability of outcomes that may result from the performance (Steers, 1983). Although there are several forms of this model, Vroom in 1964 developed the formal model of work motivation drawing on the work of other researches.

Vroom (1964) defined the term valence as the effective (emotional) orientations people hold with regard to outcomes. An outcome in this case is said to be positively valent for a individual if she/he would prefer having it or not. The most important feature of people’s valences concerning work related outcomes is that they refer to the level of satisfaction the person expects to receive from them, not from the real value the person actually derives from them. As the other models, there is the emphasis on the level of motivation and the outcome of performance. Work effort results in a variety of outcomes, some of them directly, and some of them indirectly and can include pay, promotion, and other related factors.

Vroom (1964) suggested linking instrumentality as a probability belief linking one outcome (performance level) to other outcomes. According to Vroom, an outcome is positively valent if the person believes that it holds high instrumentality for the acquisition of positively valent consequences and the avoidance of negatively valent outcomes. The third major component of the theory is referred to as expectancy (Pinder, 1984). Expectancy is the strength of a person’s belief about whether a particular outcome is possible. Vroom (1964) described expectancy beliefs as action – outcome associations held in the minds of individuals and stated that there a variety of factors that contribute to an employee’s expectancy perceptions about various level of job performance.


McClelland’s work originated from investigating into the relationship between hunger needs and the extent to which imagery of food dominated through processes. From subsequent research McClelland identified four main arousal-based, and socially developed motives:

  1. The Achievement motive;
  2. The Power motive:
  3. The affilative motive;
  4. The Avoidance motive

McClelland’s (1961) described the theory of needs focusing on three needs; achievement, power and affiliation. The need for achievement was defined as the drive to excel, to a set of standards, to strive to succeed. Achievement theories propose that motivation and performance vary according to strength of one’s need for achievement (Kreitner, 1998)

The need for achievement and is defined as a desire to accomplish something difficult. Kreitner & Kinicki (1998) cite Murray (1994) explaining the need for achievement as mastering, manipulating or organizing physical objects, human beings or ideas.

The need for affiliation suggested that people have the desire to spend time in social relationships, joining group and wanting to be loved. Individuals high in this need are not the most effective managers or leaders because they have a hard time to making difficult decisions without worrying about being disliked (Kreitner, 1998)

The need of power reflect an individual’s desire to influence, coach, teach or encourage others to achieve. Because effective managers must positively influence others, McClelland proposes that top managers should have a high need for power coupled with a low need for affiliation (Kreitner, 1998)


Employees are the main part of any organisation. Organisation success and failed ratio is depending on employee work performance. So it is necessary to improve employee moral time to time by motivating employee. Human resource department is directly associated with employee motivation.

Any organisation or institution need people to carry out specific task so that the goal and objectives of that drivers people to behave in various ways and to seek to fulfil a variety of needs, employee need to know what makes their employees ‘tick’ so that they can channel this energy toward certain outcomes.

In today’s competitive environment where there is a constant threat to our call centres and BPO’s that they might lose their contact to china or Philippines. It is very important that company reaches the benchmark set by the clients and even try to exceed the set benchmark. However, if the employees are not motivated enough towards achieving the goal than these could directly reflect on the productivity of the organisation in terms of poor service quality.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model consist of five levels where bottom level is physiological, safety, love, esteem and top level self actualisation. Physiological needs through HR professional provide basic requirement like water, coffee for employee, provide canteen facility and required break time during work so employee feel comfortable and deliver good performance. Safety needs through Management make sure health and safety of employee is very important for organisation. HR professional can provide free health check and medical insurance of employee which help to motivate employee.

Maslow’s also derive love needs through It is directly related with organisation management and employee relation. It is necessary that mutual understanding between employee and manager is required which generate satisfaction in work. Esteem needs through It involves HR professional give particular responsibility or task to employee and when employee successfully completed task, HR professional appreciate employee and improve self confidence of employee. Self actualisation needs derive that employee and HR profession know their strength and come out best in work to achieve organisational objective.

Herzberg (1966) developed this theory which is based on motivation factor and hygiene factor. According to Herzberg motivation is main key for employee to achieve higher level in the company while hygiene factor as not more relevant because employee not only satisfied with proper working condition and good salary base on their qualification. Typical hygiene factor derives employee can’t perform well because working condition in the company is not good level. Health and safety is important when employee work in company it is necessary that HR professional conduct regular meeting with employee and deliver transparent policy for employee. Typical motivation factor derive that if employee achieve or complete task should be rewarded.

Mc Clelland (1961) theory share need for achievement, power and affiliation. Need for achievement derive HR professional work as compa

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