Offshore or remote teams are the foundation of the outsourcing industry around the globe. The outsourcing equation is simple – find the talent, hire the talent, onboard and integrate the local and offshore teams to collaborate as a cohesive team. The challenging part is managing the offshore team, nurturing strong and regular communication ensuring maximum resource productivity to ultimately result in a positive ROI.
Long-term strategies with specific objectives need to be in place to obtain success in an offshore team structure. It’s important to consider your required outcomes step-by-step. The following concepts will help you in your business avoid some of the common downfalls experienced by those new to managing an offshore team.
STEP 1: Establish the Role Values & Responsibilities
New employees are likely to be well-informed when it comes to their job description. But, do they know the value of their position and the impact their work has on the business? Communicating this improves productivity and morale in the office as everyone knows what to do and why they’re doing it. The offshore team can then target specific goals and any issues are resolved collaboratively.
STEP 2: Effective Communication
A potential challenge when managing an offshore team is consistent communication simply due to the time difference between countries. But many offshoring providers use this disadvantage to their advantage by strategically scheduling team meetings. Many hold daily morning huddles to catch up, evaluate yesterday’s performance and prepare for the coming day. Ultimately a team meeting is a time to connect and to get everyone up to speed. This is also an opportunity for team leaders or management to acknowledge members’ contribution. Followed by reinforcing the value they are contributing. This is when both local and offshore teams will realise the value and see their positive impact on the business or company.
Lack of communication only results in poor team performance and output and lessening engagement from both sides. Take advantage of video conferencing tools or software like Skype and Zoom so that online communication is available to everyone all the time.
STEP 3: Monitor & Evaluate Progress
Constructive feedback is vital to ensuring your team understand how they are tracking within their role. Positive affirmation reflects their development within the offshore team, whilst determining weak points creates room for improvement and the opportunity for your offshore team to provide feedback on where they may need support or further training. Project timelines provide a framework to measure the teams’ ability to deliver on time throughout and to meet the ultimate deadline. Utilising project management software enables transparency around tracking your employees’ responsibilities and deliverables.
STEP 4: Incorporate cultural diversity in the office
Cultural diversity in the office leads to employee motivation. According to study released in 2018 by researchers’ Laura Velten and Conrad Lashley found that “teamwork” and the “atmosphere” of a diverse office are motivating factors. You, your business and your offshore team no doubt will come from different cultures – don’t let that hold you back. Australia rates as one of the most diverse workforces globally, embrace it..! We know Down Under struggles with employee shortage leading to many employers resorting to outsourcing and other means, which is why Australia also has a world-class workforce made up of employees from all over the globe. Through our diversity, we can also take on the global stage motivated and driven by our differences, not in spite of them.
STEP 5: Rinse & Repeat
These are not one-time steps, this is a cycle. Realise not everything will go to plan 100% all the time, but that’s okay. Are employees struggling with focus and drive? Show them the value of their role again. If communication slows down, find a new rhythm. Use one-word starters for meetings – a great way to gauge the vibe of the team. With new projects, responsibilities and challenges along the way, track everything – progress and errors. If employees are feeling distant from one another due to cultural differences, use those differences to bring them together. Learn more about their lives and where they came from and where they want to go. They’re your team in our office, get to know them.
Managing an offshore team, much like any team of people, is challenging but rewarding. But first, you need the team.
OFFSURE is ready to help you build your DREAM OFFSHORE TEAM or DREAM REMOTE TEAM, however you want to word it.