All About Human Resources Outsourcing 

In the aftermath of the Christmas Day mayhem, Cebu Pacific has to put together remnants of its shattered image as the fastest growing budget airlines in the world; a distinction it earned in 2008. Since its establishment in 1988, Cebu Pacific has had its share of mishaps. The most notable was the 2 February 1998 when a Cebu Pacific DC-9-32 carrying 104 people crashed on a slope on Mount Sumagaya in Misamis Oriental killing everyone on board. President and CEO, Lance Gokongwei immediately addressed the situation, providing answers to the media and attending to the bereaved families of the fatalities.

The Solution to the Customer Service Debacle

For this recent debacle, neither Lance Gokongwei nor any of Cebu Pacific’s directors have addressed the matter publicly. Refunds, free re-bookings and lower charges for online accommodations were offered by Cebu Pacific’s management group but based on general feedback, the offer of remuneration appears a little bit too late. Why Lance Gokongwei did not move as quickly as he did with the place crash at Misamis Oriental remains a question.

But the inability of Cebu Pacific’s director’s to accept responsibility and their inability to provide a face to represent the company has blown up into a public relations disaster of epic proportions. To make matters worse, Cebu Pacific has been content having low level personnel face the media and respond to questions with obviously scripted answers.

Damage control would have been successful had Cebu Pacific’s directors chosen to confront the situation head on rather than hide behind the coat-tails of its rank and file or contracted personnel. The refusal to address the matter directly to the public is taken as an affront and a sign of utter disrespect to their customers.

Not a good idea considering this day and age of social media.

According to Light-Core CEO, Tim Glover, the refusal of Cebu Pacific’s management team to deal with the situation directly corresponds with their belief that they don’t have the capacity or bandwidth to handle the problem properly.

We all have fears and self-limiting beliefs. The challenge is to overcome them so we can move past these barriers. Managers do not have a holistic scope to business; they lack the experience of more senior managers and they have no understanding of the behavioral component. While they might know what to do at a gut-level; they have no idea how to arrive at the answers and thus have difficulty lending assistance to others.

Light-Core is one of the leading proponents of “Behavioral Leadership”, a concept that is the cornerstone to their approach to increasing the value proposition of Human Resources Outsourcing. In July 2014, Light-Core signed a business development agreement with Benchmark Global Management Solutions, a Philippine company that provides outsourcing services. The venture between Light-Core and Benchmark integrates the organizational power of Business Process Outsourcing or BPO with the adaptive properties of Behavioral Leadership. The end result is a hybrid, updated framework for Human Resources Outsourcing that optimizes the performance of people through the tenets of leadership development.

Since 2001, Light-Core has helped North American companies navigate business through turbulent economic periods punctuated by 9/11 and the economic crises of 2007 and 2012. 100% of Light-Core’s clients realized unprecedented growth and sustainable success during these difficult periods. Light-Core’s approach was to guide their clients on the path they designed; the business plan, and enable them to confront obstacles by overcoming their fears and taking challenges head-on.

Tim explains:

“Managers and business leaders know what to do and where to go. The problem is how to get there. That’s where we come in. In Cebu Pacific’s case, I believe they knew the situation and what had to be done. But they did not know how to get it done. A lot of it may have to do with short-comings in technical, fundamental competencies and especially with the behavioral component.”

In their 2013 annual stockholder’s report, it was revealed that no one in the board of Cebu Pacific had experience in the airline industry. They were successful businessmen in their own right but from wide and varied industries. Majority held director positions in other companies not related to the airline industry.

So how could they assume responsibility when they are not familiar with what these responsibilities are about?

If Light-Core was given the opportunity to resolve the situation of Cebu Pacific, for Tim, the solution would be easy. In fact, it’s right under their roof.

“The answer is ‘People’. Any interaction between customer and the agent or company representative is organic; it must be retained at the human level. Cebu Pacific must be willing to open up their decision-making process with people.

We would help them identify potential leaders among their people and enroll them in the program of ‘Behavioral Leadership’. You simply cannot and should not attempt to automate people and reduce them to script-reading robots or puppets whose thoughts and actions are controlled by a higher power. People have the ability to foresee and adapt to change. You have to let them function. This is the value of Human Resources Outsourcing.”

Tim concludes that Cebu Pacific should re-examine its core values.

The inconsistency in the way management proactively managed a catastrophic tragedy which led to the loss of over 100 lives in 1998 compared to a customer service disturbance is glaring. They need to re-examine who they are and figure out why they are in the business of serving people to know what to do.