The Impossible Reimagined: Defying the Odds to Achieve the Amazing
Throughout my journey to grow Teleperformance into the global leader it is today, I was often told that what I wanted to accomplish couldn’t be done. It was impossible.
More than 40 years ago, I started a small telemarketing firm with just two people and ten phone lines in Paris, France. I began with a meager office, a vision for what Teleperformance could become, and a determination to succeed -- despite the obstacles I knew we’d encounter along the way.
Within just seven years, TP became the industry leader in France. But I felt we could achieve even more – though others still remained skeptical. So, we stayed the course – continuing to grow through acquisition and expansion into new markets. Entering new countries introduced fresh challenges, but I was determined. As we enlarged the TP footprint, we also focused on increasing our services, solutions, capabilities, competencies.
Now, the Teleperformance family is more than 330,000 employees strong, supporting more than 170 countries in 265 languages and dialects. But we have never forgotten our humble roots, or how we defied the odds to accomplish what few companies in history have achieved.
It’s the same pioneering spirit that drives us today – knowing we all have the ability to dig deep and do more. So, we continue to challenge limitations in our constant pursuit of providing excellent service for our clients.
During the COVID-19 crisis, employee safety was paramount. When it became clear that self-isolation offered the best means for protection, I challenged our TP teams to achieve what had not been imagined before. So, in early March, while developments were still unfolding in China, I asked them to quickly move 20% of our workforce to work-at-home within four weeks. “It’s impossible”, I was told.
Yet, we persevered. Our enduring spirit and passion for protecting employees and clients drove us to do more than we had imagined. To go even farther than expected.
TP teams learned new ways of operating, collaborating, and executing in a faster and more agile way. Processes that used to take months were completed in weeks. Refinements that used to take weeks were done in days. As a company, we learned new ways to lead, manage, and execute – cultivating learnings and best practices that will benefit all TP clients for decades to come, making the new normal an opportunity to redefine what’s possible.
As a result, we ended up exceeding our 20% goal by successfully transitioning 35% to work-at-home by the end of March -- an absolutely amazing achievement!
But we weren’t done.
As COVID-19 continued to spread around the world, and the threat intensified, our dedicated TP teams persisted. More and more employees were safely moved to work-at-home, and we established a new goal of 50%!
And, again, TP teams rose to meet the challenge. Global knowledge-sharing and cross-region collaboration further accelerated work-at-home deployments and we ended up surpassing that 50% goal by achieving over 80% of our active workforce on work-at-home by mid-May! To put this in perspective, that’s over 220,000 employees transitioned within just 8 weeks.
I couldn’t be prouder of our teams’ tenacity and resolve. They have demonstrated -- once again -- that even the impossible can be achieved when we push ourselves to do more. To be more. To continue challenging the impossible.