In 2013, 83% of Americans reported being stressed at work. Three out of five claimed to be so affected that they can't work properly. And while it is said that personal problems shouldn’t get it in the way of work, what if it’s work that gets in the way of living a full life?
Workplace stress robs employees of the energy, concentration, and interest to do their jobs. In the US, one million workers miss work each day to evade stress. The World Health Organization reports that USD $1 trillion is lost to the global economy per year because of this fall in productivity.
Call centers have a notorious reputation for being toxic workplaces. That's not hard to imagine. Just look at the extreme pressure placed on agents to make zero mistakes as possible when dealing with anxious customers. It's no wonder that 29% of workers admittedly yelled at their coworkers because of stress.
How then can fair trade call centers operate at their peak without tremendous stress? Is it truly possible to deliver optimum results without driving people to the end of their wits?
Here are reasons why fair trade outsourcing companies are mental health-friendly workplaces for employees.
#1 There will always be fair compensation and job security.
Insurance mogul Arthur L. Williams Jr said it himself, "I don't believe people die from hard work. They die from stress and worry and fear - the negative emotions. Those are the killers, not hard work."
By upholding employees' rights, fair trade call outsourcing companies create healthy working conditions that are sterile to these stress-causing factors.
Will one be enthusiastic to wake up in the morning, commute, and work eight hours for a salary that only gets him through the next payday? Will a person be motivated to work hard when he sees co-employees being fired at a seemingly random manner? Will a female employee feel inspired to contribute her magnificent ideas when she knows no matter how brilliant she is, she will never be compensated equally as her male colleagues? Chances are these people are brewing feelings of resentment and discontent.
A fair trade outsourcing company wants to free employees from these worries by providing fair and equal pay, and job security. When they are well-compensated and tenured, employees can focus on their work and concentrate on improving themselves.
#2 It respects employees.
A Danish study found that a company's management has more to do with stress than the workload. To curb office-related stress, the researchers suggested "a management style in which there is a clearly expressed wish to treat employees properly – combined with a transparent organisational structure."
Because of fair trade outsourcing principles, employees are safeguarded against any form of discrimination or bullying. The company looks at them as valuable assets and treats them like family, not just mere worker bees. When they feel valued, they are grateful and inspired to contribute more to the organization's growth.
#3 It encourages personal growth and career advancement.
According to the 2012 American Psychological Association Workplace Survey, 60% feel there aren't enough opportunities for internal career development.
Fair trade outsourcing, also known as impact sourcing, exists to drive workers into a higher socioeconomic level. It is in the company's best interests to advance an employee within the company and in society. This is why it provides opportunities for training and education, and supports personal goals, including mental wellness.
#4 It allows flexibility and freedom.
The 2015 Employee Engagement Report revealed that most employees feel they aren't given sufficient time to finish their work. The American Psychological Association also claimed that more than half of the workers feel as though their employers aren't doing a good job of ensuring work-life balance.
Fair trade outsourcing companies aren’t afraid to break free from rigid schedules and structures as long as the results meet the standards and, if possible, go beyond expectations. It understands that every employee is a multi-faceted human being with complex needs and responsibilities. By extending consideration or some leeway, employees will feel less pressured and less prone to burn-out.
#5 Managers listen.
Only one-fourth of employees disclose their anxiety disorder with their managers. That’s because 38% feared they will be accused of malingering while 34% thought it would get in the way of promotions. Sadly, mental health problems are rarely discussed, but 64% of employers said they will assist a depressed employee to get professional help if only they could recognize the symptoms. Incidentally, about 80% of depressed people can be treated.
At a fair trade call center where transparency and accountability bear much gravity, a culture of openness is carefully fostered. Managers understand their job is to support and lead the employees, and that includes actively listening and giving options regarding their concerns. In fact, there will be little to no room for workplace stress in the first place if employees always feel they are being heard.
A fair trade outsourcing company invests in its employees. By believing and upholding their individual value, by looking after their financial and safety concerns, the company can help its employees concentrate more on doing their work effectively.
Caring about employee mental health is bulletproofing a company, safeguarding it from a future where, according to WHO, the world's foremost ailment is depression.