We recently organized a mid-quarter and CSR update for investors, analysts and journalist in Stockholm. We gave an update on Transcom’s financial performance and important priorities for 2014. But the main focus was on describing our CSR program, Transcom Cares, and how our activities in this area form an integral part of our day-to-day business activities.
The audience was very engaged, which led to several interesting discussions. One topic which was discussed was whether CSR is truly an important factor for investors. Everyone seemed to agree that it is. Here are a couple of the comments made by investors and analysts:
“CSR has become a more important factor in making investment decisions. It’s really a “need-to-have” in order for us to consider an investment. And studies have shown that companies that prioritize CSR and sustainability have a better financial performance in the long term.”
“Companies that take CSR seriously tend to have better governance in other areas, lowering risk.”
During the meeting, we highlighted some of the key messages that we presented in our Q4 and full-year 2013 report, e.g. that a very important priority for 2014 is to improve results in North America, both through new business development and increased efficiency. Overall, our focus currently is really on improving profitability, which will likely result in somewhat lower top line growth in 2014.
Malin Lindfors Speace, CSR consultant from Ethos International gave an update on our recent stakeholder dialogues and supply chain management process.
One of the questions Malin answered was how Transcom’s CSR activities compare with our international peers:
“Thanks to the improvements they have made in the last few years, I would rank Transcom among the top three players. Three years ago, I would have given a lower rating.”
CSR has a profound impact on Transcom’s daily operations, not least because it is important for us to be recognized as a responsible employer, attracting people and strengthening our employer brand. We hire and train thousands of new people every year, and our long-term success depends on our ability to attract and develop the right people. Therefore, we believe it makes sense to focus our CSR efforts on people as well. Our recent stakeholder dialogues have confirmed our view. Three prioritized focus areas make up the core of the Transcom Cares program:
- People development
- Equality & diversity
- Community engagement
People development is one of our most important priorities and we are very proud to say that over 85% of our managers are recruited internally. Our ability to attract and develop top talents is business critical. In order to ensure that we are successful in finding the right people, the company has a clear goal of becoming an employer of choice in our industry. Besides offering a stimulating working experience, competitive compensation and robust training, we believe that the opportunity for career development is one of the key factors that attracts new talents to Transcom.
We offer a multitude of opportunities for employees to develop in their roles. There is a clearly defined career progression, either as a line manager or specialist, and there are many examples of senior leaders at Transcom who started out as agents or in junior support roles.
In 2013, Transcom decided to launch a redesigned Talent Management Program, putting the necessary tools in place to manage the process on a global level, ensuring greater transparency and efficiency. We have also decided to design and implement a program with the objective of identifying top candidates in a more structured way.
Equality & diversity is very important to us. We strive for gender equality on all levels, and are dedicated to showing that equal opportunity employment is part of our DNA. Diversity of cultures and languages is fundamental to our service delivery capability, e.g. in our multilingual near shore centers.The gender distribution among managers is good overall, with women making up 39% of managerial employees. Our target is to improve this number even more.
A unique position that Transcom is proud to fill in many markets is that of a platform for career development for young people and new graduates. In many countries, we are a top employer of people aged 18-26. Our agents learn about direct client interaction in a dynamic environment, strengthening their communication and technology skills.
We also run successful programs in several countries with the objective of hiring disabled people, for example in the Netherlands Germany, Spain, and Chile.
Local community engagement is how Transcom Cares started. Getting involved in the communities in which we operate not only strengthens our employer brand, but also maintains our license to operate in the markets where we choose to compete. Many of our community engagement activities depend on our employees’ passion to contribute their time and energy. People want to work for a company that has a sustainable approach to business and that contributes to building communities. It is clear that our community engagement activities support recruitment and staff retention.
Transcom also runs programs to make life easier for our employees. On-site child care centers, pharmacies, and employee microloans are some examples.
The last question we received during the meeting was if we will be back next year with an update. The answer is yes and we take this comment as proof of a successful seminar. Feel free to have a look at the presentation below. I also invite you to visit this blog for regular updates.