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itel’s Focus on the Employee Experience Leads to Lower Attrition, Better Performance, and Skills Retention 

April 25, 2024

In the Caribbean and Latin America, the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is a highly competitive industry, with an ongoing need for agents, especially for peak seasonal demand. This makes talent acquisition and retention paramount for any BPO, crucial to its contact center staffing levels and its ability to meet clients' future needs. Our ability to scale rapidly and to deliver exceptional 88% CSAT, or higher, could not happen without our continued focus on employee experience. This allows us to not only attract large pools of new hires, but to keep our most high performing, highly skilled workers through investments in training, career development, and employee engagement. This has resulted in attrition rates that remain 20%-50% lower than the industry average, with an agent tenure 30% higher than our competitors. 


Many BPOs in the region often vie for the same talent pools of contact center candidates, and as itel rapidly evolved into an international customer experience (CX) provider, we needed to stand out in the local hiring markets to attract large numbers of qualified job seekers. This was a challenge coming out of a global pandemic, when the nature of work itself had changed, and prospective employees began searching competitively for increased wages. We always had a focus on employee satisfaction, but now it has become an even more critical component of our sustainability strategy.  What did employees need to feel supported and successful in their roles? How could they be retained? How could we drive better performance by focusing on our fundamental principle of Employee Experience (EX) equals Customer Experience (CX)?  


By focusing on our employees, and by making significant investments in our workspaces, training, and career development programs, we have created a vibrant, engaging company culture, centered around strong foundational values, called our 4Ys (Quality, Integrity, Reliability, and Family). Throughout 2022-2023, we launched two employee-facing campaigns to boost employee engagement and hiring. “I am itel” was an internally focused communication campaign meant to engender a feeling of belonging that empowers our people and drives them to succeed. While “Be Unique” was aimed primarily at job seekers. Both feature the real faces and stories of our team members through videos, social media posts, emails, and onsite displays.  

Additionally, we: 

  • Invested over US$5 million in Capex to upgrade and enhance our facilities in Guyana; built a brand-new, multi-million-dollar 90,000 sq. ft. facility in Kingston, Jamaica, with ergonomic workspaces and stunning environmental design; most recently, we made a US$2.5 million investment in a modern, purpose-built 40,000 sq. ft. facility in Belize. 
  • Retooled our various training & development programs, unifying them under the umbrella program iRISE – with several intakes per year and steps that equip employees with the specific skills they need to take on roles such as Quality Analyst and Supervisor.  
  • Offer competitive pay, promotion opportunities, along with unique rewards to high-performing employees. One being a recent itel EXchange program that allows employees to visit other sites, for cultural exchange, and to learn more about our global operations. 
  • Miss Kitty’s “Townhall Tours”, where our official itel ambassador traveled to our various locations, hosting informal talks and motivational meetings with our employees. This included our management and executive teams and provided valuable employee feedback that helps us better target employee-facing programs. 


The employee feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive. By seeing colleagues taking an active role in public-facing campaigns, especially our social media, employees have reported feeling “seen” and truly valued for their uniqueness, which is a message we knew would resonate with our demographically younger workforce. This was proven by the exponential increase in brand recognition and engagement on our social media platforms. Facebook post engagement increased a whopping 855%, especially hiring posts. While our Instagram followers increased by 340%. This also led to a boost in recruitment, with a total of 22,461 new applicants over the course of the “Be Unique” campaign – a boost of over 200% from last year.  

Throughout 2022-2023, we saw employee commitment, retention, and performance increase. Attrition rates remained 20%-50% lower than the industry average, with average CSAT scores between 84%-88%. While our internal promotion rate also rose to almost 98% as we saw amazing results from our upskilling iRISE programs, with a 64% increase in new enrollees.  

Our internal hiring rate for Saint Lucia is a prime example of how well these programs have performed, with nearly all promotions in 2023 sourced internally from graduates of our training programs. Kingston, Jamaica also saw a successful 61% internal promotion rate, with 39% of those being direct promotions from entry level to supervisory roles, allowing us to retain valuable, skilled agents. This explains why our average agent tenure is 30% higher than the industry average, which shows that our people are choosing to stay within the company to grow their careers.  


These impressive performance results, and retention figures, are a testament to our focus on employee satisfaction and fulfillment, in the form of training and professional development opportunities, as well as direct career paths to management and supervisory roles. In fact, many of our senior leaders once started in entry-level positions and have worked their way up in the organization, which gives them a unique holistic view of how contact center operations are effectively managed.  

With our strong message in the marketplace that we offer not just “jobs” but long-term fulfilling careers, we continue to attract record numbers of new hires, even in a highly competitive labor market. While our stellar agent tenure rate allows us to retain the specialized skills and industry expertise that allows us to exceed client targets, giving us the flexibility to scale rapidly as needed, and to continue to grow our operations, our capabilities, and our client roster. 

Find out more about our EX=CX philosophy. Then, contact us to discuss how we can enhance your CX teams!

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