Yesterday's blog post discussed the first 5 of the fundamental principles of fair trade labor outsourcing. Read on for the rest of the FTO principles that will serve as guidelines for every company that's interested in becoming a fair trade call center and labor outsourcing provider. In this two-part series, we'll discuss each of these principles and shine the spotlight on the ones that play the most crucial roles in changing the global outsourcing industry for the better.
6. Respect diversity, uphold fair opportunity, and honor fundamental human rights and freedoms.
While it's considered good labor practice to carefully choose one's employees based on whether or not they'll be a good fit with the company, it's a different matter altogether to deny someone the opportunity to get hired based on his or her gender identity, religious beliefs or age. Everyone is welcome to apply for a job in a fair trade outsourcing company. As long as they're qualified and have the skills, they're given the chance to prove themselves a worthy addition to the company.
7. Ensure peace of mind with workplace safety regulations, health care and accident insurance coverage.
Workplace safety as well as healthcare and insurance coverage are standard benefits provided by companies from different sectors, not just in the call center industry. But, in this regard the strong push towards physical safety, employee health and wellness, and financial security is unique to fair trade. It's a commitment that takes precedence over other business concerns, making employee welfare a priority for a fair trade labor outsourcing company.
8. Develop life, leadership and peer support skills.
A fair trade labor outsourcing company recognizes the importance of life, leadership and peer support skills for their employees on top of technical know-how they receive from training. Soft skills help clients identify which agents can become valued members of their team. And, like all other skills these are continuously enhanced throughout one's lifetime. In this regard, the company is partly responsible in giving agents the opportunities to improve themselves personally and professionally.
9. Educate prospects and clients about fair trade outsourcing and promote its principles.
An outsourcing relationship is a collaborative one. In this sense, what one party believes will be shared with others involved in the relationship. That's why a provider has the responsibility of educating their clients as well as their friends and business associates the value they'll get from integrating fair trade labor practices into their outsourcing strategy.
10. Campaign for individual and company contribution on energy conservation and waste management.
The world cannot go on to survive through the next millennium and beyond without help from all sectors, and that includes the outsourcing industry. Companies that provide services and those that outsource are hugely dependent on electricity and technology. And, the production of these utilities often result to non-biodegradable waste.
In that respect, a fair trade call center is encouraged to implement paperless processes and adopt alternative ways of generating power, such as solar PV systems. Another way of reducing a company's carbon footprint is to conserve energy by shutting down lights, PCs and printers as soon as work hours are over, and using power generators that consume less fuel.
Looking at the bigger picture, all these principles may not be applicable to your company because of some limitations, such as scarce resources. But, to be considered a fair trade business your company must have the capabilities to follow through with the following principles:
- Openness, honesty and accountability in relationships between and among management and employees. Address issues freely, thoroughly and objectively.
- Raise the economic and social welfare of employees.
- Secure payment of living wage and benefits at the beginning and all throughout employment.
- Ensure peace of mind with workplace safety regulations, health care and accident insurance coverage.
- Develop life, leadership and peer support skills.
These are the most fundamental of all fundamental principles of fair trade labor outsourcing, and the ones you should focus your efforts when developing your own fair trade business.