Safety of Employees are Key Focus During New Times 

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped impact sourcing by IAOP members with at least one company hiring during this time. Employee safety has moved to the forefront as a result of the global health crisis.   
In our ongoing look at how the coronavirus is affecting our members and their organizations, IAOP talked with members of the CSR committee about the future of the business practice that has been gaining traction in recent years.
“Society is unifying against poverty and unemployment which could indeed benefit impact sourcing as a great socially responsible practice,” says Mauricio Odovaine, Head of Outsourcing at Facebook.

Joyce Lee, Chief Culture Officer of Alorica says the current situation has broadened the view of impact sourcing from hiring disadvantaged employees to creating and ensuring more people have jobs. Workplace and employee safety have become an even greater focus than ever.  

When COVID-19 began to spread rapidly in North America, Irvine, California-based customer experience solution provider Alorica, immediately began transitioning its existing employees to work at home and surpassed 80 percent by the end of May. The company is currently seeking to hire 9,000workers.  

Amid the start of the pandemic, the BPO company issued new onsite guidelines at its call centers, including social distancing, enhanced cleaning measures, temperature checks, sanitation stations, contact tracing and some site closures. 
“We are maintaining a balance between keeping our people safe while ensuring business continuity as we provide ‘essential services’ that are even more crucial during this health crisis such as access to healthcare, banking, food and logistics,” Lee said.  

Facebook’s many business partners quickly moved to work at home scenarios for providing outsourced services and continued paying employees. Except for some very sensitive workflows that the company retained internally, all other operations continued to run normally with its partners, Odovaine said. 
Neither sees increased risks to impact sourcing during this time. One obstacle to overcome, however, is ensuring that impact workers have easy access to the Internet and a separate area to work from their houses, Odovaine said.  

Moving ahead, protecting the safety of employees and business continuity will be a key focus long-term. “Social distancing and the new health protocols that have been implemented as a result of COVID-19 will not go away for a while,” Lee said. “It’ll be a new norm when people get back to business as usual…it won’t be the usual we knew from before.”  

Even in these challenging new times, companies that practice impact sourcing are continuing to give back and shared stories of compassion and generosity. 

Through its nonprofit partner, Making Lives Better with Alorica (MLBA), the company continues to help and empower its people to care for the wellbeing of individuals in their local communities by providing grants to those in need, according to Lee. 

MLBA has launched COVID-19-specific responses in countries where there is little or no government or local support and will continue to do this as the need arises, she said.
The company also has created resource lists specific for Alorica communities and started a social media campaign, creating awareness about charities helping to fight COVID-19 and highlighting people (MLBA Heroes) who have been giving back to their communities in various ways.

Facebook has been collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other groups to connect people to credible information on its mobile apps. The company has invested millions to support small businesses, the news media, health care workers and COVID-19 relief efforts, Odovaine said. 

The social media company also has dedicated itself to ensuring that is apps stay stable and reliable for people to connect with family and friends as well as with local governments, health organizations, well-being resources and more, he said.

“This pandemic has also given me an even greater sense of purpose,” Odovaine said. “We build tools to create community and bring the world closer together. Seeing it in action in this way is a humbling and highly motivating experience.”  

With businesses beginning to reopen in some parts of the world, the IAOP members were looking forward to once again being close to family and friends.   

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