OSS and BSS solutions are known as technical challenges. Many of the people working on them or with them see themselves as technical experts. We therefore typically see the people and the technologies through a highly technical lens. However, the true success of OSS/BSS solutions comes when we see them more broadly, through human and technical lenses. 

In the previous article in this blog series, we looked at how OSS and BSS impact resilience and stress within an organisation. It cited an article where, “a whopping 75% of [interviewees] said that the biggest drain on their resilience reserves was “managing difficult people or office politics at work.” It discussed how OSS / BSS can have a positive effect on resilience, making it possible to overcome any set-backs, accommodate constant changes, and keep networks and customer services running regardless of what happens or what issues arise.

OSS and BSS strategies - the human side of telco operations

In this article, we take another look at how OSS and BSS can impact the human side of telco operations. We’ve all been in the situation before where the processes and systems within our organisation slow us down and sap our energy. We spend so much time working on the internal-facing things that we have no energy left to think about or engage positively with outwards-facing things, such as customers!

To counter this, people have discussed the Japanese business philosophy of focusing on employees first as a means of delivering cascading benefits such as increased productivity and customer satisfaction. We hear customer experience (CX) and net promoter scores (NPS) mentioned repeatedly in telco. We also hear user experience (UX) mentioned. Often these are only given lip-service, or act as a by-line in an annual report, shareholders’ meeting or product release notes.

Employee retention as an important aspect of the telco industry

We hear similar sentiments around employee experience (EX). Companies promise to shift their focus to providing a positive experience for their staff, offering them the necessary abilities and resources (and enthusiasm) that cascades into making customers happy. Moreover, the telco industry regularly cites the war on talent and skills gaps that they’re currently being curtailed by. Employee retention is clearly an important consideration for senior leaders within telcos.

Signals of employee dissatisfaction

According to data from the Workday Peakon Employee Voice report, which considered 32+ million responses from across 125 countries, the warning signs of dissatisfied employees begin to consistently appear 9 months prior to making the decision to resign. One of the main motives identified is engagement. Engagement is shown to be directly attributable to a sense of accomplishment. 

Moreover, they are shown to leave because of too much uninspiring work. The report indicates that, “when people consistently make progress on meaningful projects, they become more creative, productive, and engaged as employees.”

It also indicates that, “People leave when they don’t see a path for personal development.”

OSS and BSS solutions to help with engagement

As systems that are responsible for efficiency and automation, OSS/BSS are some of a telco’s most essential tools for eliminating uninspiring activities. Firstly, they can remove the high-volume, highly-repeatable activities that drive worker engagement levels down. Well automated solutions are designed to allow human operators to focus on the creative, productive activities that humans excel at and derive a sense of accomplishment from.

From a technical and human perspective, an efficiently managed OSS/BSS can make the whole organisation run more smoothly. Clearly an OSS/BSS doesn’t solve all of the issues identified in the Workday report, such as poor management, an inability to discuss pay / rewards / benefits or recognition. However, with dozens of roles within a telco that directly interact with OSS and BSS tools, well designed systems can directly and widely influence engagement levels within the organisation

When done well, OSS/BSS can help to generate activities and projects that are meaningful, creative and productive. When they’re under-optimised they can frustrate the workforce and leave them uninspired, creating workers that are the definition of flight risks.