Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a common practice among companies that allows them to delegate tasks to third-party service providers. Aside from being a cost-effective solution, this strategy increases efficiency and brings consistent results to the company.
With numerous potential types of BPO partners to choose from, it can be difficult to spot which companies are truly ethical and practice fair outsourcing processes. This guide breaks down the process of vetting potential outsourcing partners to find the most ethical ones that share the same values as your business.
What is ethical outsourcing?
Ethical outsourcing is when companies partner with third-party BPO service providers that adhere to moral and responsible standards. These partners are those that prioritize safe and fair working conditions, abide by the law, and value the rights of their team members.
Since there are many misconceptions about outsourcing, such as poor wages and disregarding of human welfare, ethical outsourcing partnerships debunk those myths and show that it can be done soundly. By partnering with ethical BPO firms, all team members involved can work in a safe and sustainable environment while providing quality service to their customers.
Benefits of partnering with an ethical outsourcing provider
Partnering with an ethical outsourcing partner can help your company in many ways. Here are some of the advantages:
Happy and motivated team members
Working with reputable companies makes team members safe and secure while they focus on their tasks. If a company partners with an ethical outsourcing firm that prioritizes individual rights and wellness, there is a higher chance of maintaining team member loyalty and decreasing the turnover rate. Team members can go to work knowing that they are being taken care of, which increases their productivity and motivation to do their tasks.
Enhanced brand reputation
Ethical outsourcing enhances a company’s reputation as a socially conscious and responsible business. It shows that the business is truly committed to prioritizing wellness and fair processes, which may attract more customers and increase brand loyalty and trust. Furthermore, it also lowers the risk of legal issues, financial losses, or a negative perception from the public.
Reliability and trustworthiness
In relation to an enhanced brand reputation, companies that partner with ethical outsourcing firms are more likely to establish a trusted relationship with each other. Both sides already have similar goals and processes for their business, so there is less of a chance of friction or disagreements between the two.
Ethical outsourcing produces high-quality results as the team members and companies have established a good level of trust that motivates them to fulfill their duties efficiently. If you partner with responsible BPO firms, this collaboration is more likely to produce favorable results since your goals and objectives are aligned.
Potential risks of unethical outsourcing practices
Failure to carefully vet outsourcing companies can lead to some negative consequences for the company. Here are the risks to take note of:
An unethical outsourcing firm may be doing business illegally. Any company that partners with them could face legal repercussions. Facing lawsuits and other legal issues damages a business’s reputation, which could lead to a loss of customers, clients, and finances in the process. It is advisable not to waste years of hard work by associating your business with a sketchy BPO firm.
Higher turnover rate
Team members are more likely to leave the company if there are pressing issues. Things like unfair labor practices and lack of trust are clear signs that the company is not worth staying at. Team members find no fulfillment or reason to stay in a company that is involved in unethical practices.
Companies that pair with unethical firms are more likely to produce poor results that will lose customers and clients. These firms often prioritize affordable solutions over high-quality ones, leading to customer dissatisfaction or a decrease in revenue.
How to vet an ethical outsourcing partner
It can be difficult to find a BPO company that’s values and standards align with yours. Consider the following criteria when vetting your potential outsourcing partners.
First, you must establish your ethical priorities and what you are looking for in an outsourcing partner. Remember to research and verify their business operations and processes to see if they prioritize the same values your company does to determine if they are worth partnering with. By choosing a BPO that aligns with your values, it becomes a whole lot easier and stress-free to work with them.
Further, you may choose to partner with B-Corp-certified companies like Boldr, which are ideal when it comes to upholding social responsibility. B-Corp certification means that a company is held to a high standard for practicing social and environmental responsibility. These companies balance profit and purpose, establishing firm trust with their clients and customers with their transparency and accountability.
Living wage and labor practices
When pairing with an outsourcing partner, it is important to ensure that it pays liveable wages enough for their team members to have their basic needs met. Team members who are paid well are more satisfied and motivated to contribute to the overall success of the company. Your BPO partner must implement fair labor practices that keep team members happy and loyal.
BPO providers with a clear track record of pursuing a living wage for their team members are often good examples of ethical outsourcing partners that put their teams first.
Partnering with a partner whose values and goals do not align with yours will only harm both the business and the employees. One way to ensure that you are choosing the right partner is to assess their corporate culture, including how specifically they operate and what they ultimately strive for.
You can delve deeper into the company by interviewing its in-house personnel. If possible, visit their office to get a firsthand look at their business operations. Another way to learn more about the company’s culture is through its mission and vision statements. Find out what these are and determine if they align with yours as well.
You want to partner with a company that values social responsibility. Companies must engage in ethical practices that benefit society. Look for companies that engage in CSR or corporate social responsibility. It shows that they value the people around them and do business to have a positive impact on society.
You can also check if the company engages in community outreach and philanthropic programs to better the lives of others. These are the kinds of actions that B-Corp companies are known for, so you would want to find a BPO partner that can emulate these.
Outsourcing tends to use up resources, which isn’t ideal for the environment. It’s best to partner with BPO companies that value environmental sustainability to reduce the amount of waste and energy consumption.
Assess an outsourcing firm’s environmental credentials by researching its environmental policies, which should give a clearer picture of its commitment to sustainability. Check for certifications that showcase their efforts to maintain environmentally friendly practices. You can also interview personnel and inquire about their waste and energy management, which could give you some insight into how much or little they use.
Finding the perfect outsourcing partner
It takes a lot of time and research to find the perfect outsourcing partner to work with, but ultimately finding the right one will be worth it. When two companies abide by the same ethical standards and values, it causes both businesses to flourish and team members to be happy, which is ultimately the end goal when looking for potential outsourcing partners.