The BT Brand: Creating a Unique Environment

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The Budapest Business Journal talks with Zoltán Szabó, general manager of the BT Regional Operations Centre, about what the British-based company is doing to promote family-friendly practices at offices in Budapest and Debrecen.

Zoltán Szabó, general manager of the BT Regional Operations Centre.

BBJ: Retaining staff is as important as finding them today, and BSCs often have a high “churn” (staff turnover) factor. What is the churn percentage at BT ROC, and what do you do to keep hold of staff?

Zoltán Szabó: BT (British Telecommunications) established its business services center in Hungary in 2007. Like other BSS companies in the country, we work mainly with “Generation Y” colleagues: the average age is 31 in our company. Since the amount of available workforce is getting lower year by year, not just attracting but retaining people has become important. Our churn figures are below the market average. Having a 2,500-plus organization, it is always challenging to be competitive, especially on such busy job markets as Budapest and Debrecen. This is why I consider our churn figures as great achievement and it is a great proof that our employer branding strategy is working well. We have been able to create a unique environment by offering a large scale of programs that have boosted our engagement. Social programs, team and volunteering events, a wide range of learning and development opportunities and the family-friendly attitude, just to mention a few examples.

BBJ: Given the tight labor market, one obvious source are mothers returning from maternity leave. How does BT try to maximize this potential?  

ZSz: BT has won the family-friendly company of the year award three times, and we have been a family-friendly mentor company since 2017. This is a great recognition for those programs we implemented in order to support our colleagues before establishing a family and when having children. This is not just about helping the integration of mothers returning from maternity leave, but helping them during pregnancy with a private healthcare package, as we do with all of our colleagues, and also keeping the connection live with them. We provide the opportunity to do part-time, flexi and remote work where it is possible in order to help out parents in organizing their lives with children.

BBJ: How does BT measure how successful it has been in creating a family-friendly environment?

ZSz: Our family-friendly company culture is well-known in the job market and it is also proven by our colleagues. Our measures towards the creation of a family-friendly environment have contributed to the fact that every second colleague has children. We are dedicated to continue developing those measures and to help our colleagues – both before or after having a family – retain a healthy work-life balance.

BBJ: Somewhat unusually, the BT ROC comprises offices in Budapest and Debrecen. Are there any significant staffing differences between the two (churn, age, gender split, returning moms etc.)?  

ZSz: Besides the size difference between our offices (1,900 people in Budapest, nearly 700 in Debrecen), we have reached totally similar numbers, the gender split is 50-50% in both offices, the age average is the same as well. However, churn is below our company average in Debrecen, because of the less saturated labor market in the region.

BBJ: Family-friendly policies are important for the staff of today. What is BT doing about attracting the workers of tomorrow?

ZSz: We build a strong community where people are in the focus, we provide a decent benefit package above the market average and an opportunity to build a long and exciting career. BT has been here for the past 20 years and we are planning for the next decade already, hence job security with us is a proven fact, too.

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