British Telecoms have applied some creative thinking to try and ride through the recession with as few compulsory redundancies as possible. Back in June they suggested ‘lending’ out employees to a competitor in a move that raised eyebrows due to the associated difficulty of protecting corporate secrets and know-how. Industry sources, however, said this wasn’t an issue as the employees involved weren’t party to anything more than ‘water-cooler’ gossip.
BT followed this move at the beginning of July by asking staff to take a 75% pay cut in return for long term holidays. Other initiatives included offering staff a one off payment of £1000 for going part time and giving parents the opportunity to work around school holidays.
Today’s move represents a major shift in thinking for BT. They have announced that they are bringing at least 2.000 call centre jobs in India back to Britain as they close half of its customer service operation on the sub-continent. BT insist this is nothing to do with the quality of service offered in India.
BT is just of a number of companies that has been forced into a radical rethink of its employment terms. Others include British Airways and KPMG, to name but a few. It just shows that a little lateral thinking and creativity can go along ways in the fight for corporate survival.