Announcing the Second RTS Impact Report

January 2019

By Mike Dershowitz, somewhere over the North Atlantic

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Nearly a year ago now, we rededicated Rethink Staffing to the social and economic welfare of our Agents, not just as the right thing to do, but as a whole new way of doing business in the Outsourcing/BPO industry. Today, I’m pleased to report our results for our second quarterly Impact Report.

Profit Maximizing Businesses (PMBs, as defined by Yunus), by definition, measure themselves by the profit they create. This is the reality of the global market-based economy that we have. They rarely measure themselves otherwise, and by corporate by-law, and the laws of their respective countries, they are not required to do so.

Many leaders of PMBs are looking at this basic measurement again and asking, “Is this enough?” Is profit really the only measure my shareholders and I care about or are there other metrics by which we should be judged? The investment community is doing a good job of trying to hold themselves to a standard, with the creation of the “ESG” investment movement (Environment, Social, Governance), benchmarking results other than just profit.

I do not view RTS as a Profit Maximizing Business. I can think of 3 major decisions I have made, in the last quarter, that have negatively impacted profits, but which have positively impacted our social goals. While we are still pursuing the legal framework to formalize this, it does not mean that we should not positively measure our social impact, now. Thus, every quarter we will measure both our financial, and our social, results.

Our social impact goals, consistent with our mission, vision, and values are quite simple: 1) move people from poverty to the middle class, and 2) create capital owners from wage earners.

As such, I present the 2nd quarterly impact report. With this 2nd report, many of the metrics within this report are feeling more familiar and valuable as the metrics we should be using to measure our social impact. This is such that I am prepared to formalize some key metrics, including:

  1. How many times the poverty line is the average Agent’s salary?
  2. What percentage of our Agents are earning higher than a middle-class wage (for a family of 4) in their respective society?
  3. How many people have been impacted by RTS since its founding?
  4. How many dependents, on average, does the average Agent have?
  5. What’s the average total time this quarter spent by Agents in our Capacity Building (learning & development programs)?
  6. What’s the percentage of Agents owning private transportation?
  7. What’s the number and percentage of Agents that are business or capital owners?

You can see with just these simple 7 metrics, we can cover the gamut of how people live and progress in their lives, and work toward their personal and professional goals.

What we also do this quarter, and in every quarter going forward, will be to produce a new agent story highlighting how our mission, vision, and values are impacting individual lives. People learn through stories. Otherwise, how can you learn about the impact we’re making if you cannot also hear the stories of the people whose lives are changed?

Overall, we’re pleased with where things are headed but have much work to do ahead. In the coming months, we will get more involved in the transition from public to private transportation, experiment with our own micro-lending programs, and work to build curricula in more subjects that can advance our Agents’ capacity building.

As I write this, I’m coming home from a lovely week in Paris with my wonderful wife to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. So, instead of saying goodbye, I will simply say “À tout à l’heure!”

Mike is the CEO of Fair Trade Outsourcing, a people-first BPO company that uses the power of the free market to fight poverty and promote moral leadership.

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