The Offshore Advantage
We’ve said it time and time again, we love outsourcing! Offshore teams come with a unique set of advantages. With global talent at your fingertips, you can staff your team with the best people for the job no matter where they’re located.
Bridging the gap between workforces through language barriers and cultural backgrounds is an impactful and sometimes difficult journey.
Whether it’s development teams, customer support, or admin work, it’s important to have clear communication and management practices in place. Working with your staff to ensure success for everyone both in their work and their growth.
Who To Hire?
Be Involved In The Hiring Process!
When you outsource, you are trusting a team of people to represent your company. It’s important that you find employee’s that are the right fit for the job and that they share your company’s values. The last thing you want is to have a misaligned team that isn’t working towards the same goal.
Work with the agency or individual that is doing the hiring to help screen candidates. This way, you can be sure that everyone on your team is the right fit for their position.
Offshore staff isn’t the end-all-be-all of the workforce. Unloading your entire company’s workload to a team halfway across the world could be a recipe for disaster in and of itself.
These teams require a healthy give-and-take between employers and staff. It all comes back to attitude. Just as you would hire locally, looking for someone with the right perspective when it comes to how they view their work.
You can always create a good structure around training your employees if they have the aptitude to learn. Hiring someone self-motivated, with a good range of soft skills, and someone whom you can train in specific areas.
For example, hiring a designer, then giving them the skills to implement that design into front-end work for software like WordPress.
It’s Not Always The Employee
Avoiding an employee that might say yes to having a specific set of skills, but underdelivers when on a project. Avoid issues down the road when relying on a false understanding of an employee’s skill set.
If an employer and employee can’t come to a resolution, it often falls on the employer to manage and change the situation.
When roadblocks occur, they can quickly de-motivate an employee. Remember that it might be a misunderstanding on the part of the employer.
The more you communicate the better the result. Those conversations can build trust with an employee, understanding from their perspective, and bring the reality of the situation to light.
Culture Is Key
Employees aren’t machines! Each person is living a distinct and unique experience like the next. Expecting teams from diverse cultural backgrounds to completely adapt to your ideology isn’t the answer.
It’s important to learn about someone’s customs and how they might interact with co-workers or clients. Just as you would in any business relationship, getting to know your team on a personal level is crucial for managing them effectively.
It can be difficult to find this kind of information online, so the best way to learn is by asking questions and speaking with people who have first-hand experience
Put yourself in their place. Coming from a one-sided viewpoint and expecting the same results will only create resentment and animosity.
Rather, it’s important to build a relationship coming from a place of understanding. This can involve learning new languages or understanding local customs and traditions.
You’re planning to hire an employee or team from a different country. How will your communication come into play? This can involve everything from adjusting your language style to adapting your work habits to better.
Try to be as clear as possible with your company’s objectives and standards. While this is an effective practice no matter where you’re looking to hire, presenting a clear status quo to an offshore team can bridge many gaps.
Establishing project timelines and deadlines, setting up regular check-ins with your team members, or creating team structures that encourage collaboration and feedback between staff members.
All of this boils down to translating your current management practices in a way that resonates across various backgrounds and languages.
Use Distinct Visuals And Instructions
Visual components are so effective! Adapting written instruction to either a screen cap or recorded process will help your team better understand what you’re trying to convey.
Store a variety of instructional videos or even record the steps it takes to carry out more complex tasks. Share them with your team, answer questions, and clarify the process. They can even reference these later if direct communication is unavailable
No matter how effective or well-written your communication is, not everyone will be able to pick up on verbal cues and follow along with the exact direction you have for a project.
Meet with your people! Schedule regular meetings with your offshore staff. Discuss projects, timelines, and exciting personal milestones that your team members may have.
It’s also important to use this time to assess the effectiveness of your management practices and what changes you can make in the future.
After all, these regular meetings should be two-way streets that allow for the free flow of information between employer and employee.
By creating a more transparent, collaborative environment, you’ll be well on your way to managing an effective offshore team. With open communication and clear expectations, you’ll bring to light the real power of an offshore team.
Track Your Progress
It goes without saying, every company needs a way to track its deadlines and timelines.
With the potential for your offshore team’s workday to be vastly different than yours, how do you account for progress made?
This goes back to the clear communication and layout of your projects. Using either a tracking software or spreadsheets, laying out the process and tracking updates can be referenced no matter the time of day.
Try to be specific with your needs. When your expectations are clear, the project layout is firm, and the increments are specific, tracking progress is much easier than with a vague description.
Secure Your Data
When you outsource, you are trusting a company with handling some of your company’s most important data.
This is a scary thought for some, but there are ways to ensure the safety and security of your information.
For starters, be sure that you have an airtight contract in place that protects your data. This should include things like what happens in the event of a data breach and how the company will go about handling your information.
You should also have security protocols in place on your end. This might include things like two-factor authentication or only allowing certain employees access to certain bits of data.
Partner with a reputable company. Do your research and read reviews before you make any decisions.
Creating a global network of people can be an incredible resource for your business. Giving your core group of employees time to focus on the most important parts of your company’s growth.
However, it’s important to be mindful of how much you outsource. Your company may benefit from outsourcing some parts of your business, but keeping a healthy mix of local and offshore employees will help ensure the best outcomes in the long run.
From clear communication to secure data protocols, there are a lot of moving parts to consider. But, by taking the time to plan and prepare, you can create a productive and positive relationship with your offshore team.
Before you jump in, make sure that you’ve done your homework and are aware of the best practices for working with offshore teams. With clear communication, secure data storage, and a firm contract in place, you’ll be ready to take advantage of all the benefits that come from outsourcing.Best Practices When Working With Offshore Teams.