Building teams of offshore staff to support your onshore operations is a great way to boost productivity, cut costs, and accelerate business growth. However, it’s not a guaranteed recipe for success.
As a leading outsourcing provider, we’ve worked with countless businesses over the years to provide them with remote staffing solutions and helped facilitate many excellent success stories. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen quite a few outsourcing setups fail when businesses didn’t get their foundations right.
In our experience, we’ve found three key points that are central to successful outsourcing
- Team cohesion
- Effective communication
Of course, many other elements are instrumental in the success or failure of a business initiative. When looking at successful, thriving businesses with offshore teams, they all got these facets of offshoring right:
Ensure team cohesion
Without the support of your onshore team, successful task completion will be challenging.
Initial resistance to outsourcing is quite common, which is why it’s important to bring your onshore team on the journey and inform them of your plans as early as possible.
From our experience, job security is typically the most significant fear for onshore teams. From the very start, it is important to be clear and transparent about why outsourcing is part of your business plans, including how it can help with your team’s efficiency and productivity. Explaining that offshore staff are there to support them and make their days easier, not to replace them goes a long way to gaining their support for your outsourcing plans.
When your onshore team feels secure and feels that they are part of the process, you are far more likely to get everyone on the same page.
Working with both on- and offshore teams requires more than team cohesion. Accessibility and communication tools that make working together effortless are integral to success. Businesses considering outsourcing need training for their onshore teams on the best practices for working with remote teams.
It’s not uncommon for staff to be resistant or worried about unfamiliar, new processes. In many instances, it will be the first time your staff will have experienced working with a remote team, so investing a little time into training can be very beneficial in the long run.
Effective communication is vital in any business setting, but when it comes to working remotely, having clear communication guidelines is paramount.
Any worker who has ever worked from home for more than a few days at a time can testify that it is very easy to feel out of sight and out of mind.
The feeling of being disconnected from what’s happening must be avoided at all costs. It can have a profoundly negative impact on staff morale and almost always results in a drop in productivity.
To avoid staff disconnect, we suggest scheduling a daily team check in meeting to ensure everyone understands what’s happening in the business and knows where they should be focusing their effort for the day. These meetings only need to be brief (10-15 minutes) and are a great way to keep everyone focused, productive and motivated.
Aside from how often you communicate with your team, the platform you use to connect with them is just as significant.
Shooting off a quick email or instant message might seem the quickest and most efficient way to keep in touch, but it is fraught with problems. Text-only emails and messages tend to become subjects of misinterpretation, especially when working with international teams.
We recommend using video conferencing as your default communication platform. So much of what we communicate is non-verbal, so having the opportunity to both see and hear your staff when assigning tasks and giving directions will be hugely beneficial.
Additionally, putting a face to a name also really helps with team comradery and cohesion.
Emails and messages will, of course, always have their place, but we find that they are much better used as a follow-up to information that is first delivered via a video call.
While in most cases, your offshore team is directly employed by an outsourcing provider, they are your staff. They work exclusively for you and get to know your business inside out.
It’s important to help them to feel as though they truly belong to the wider organization and aren’t just an add-on.
At Cloudstaff, we are happy to assist our clients with setting up their logos and corporate signage around their teams’ workstations and sourcing staff uniforms that feature dual branding.
These are just little things to start with, but when your staff come to work and see your name and logo, they automatically feel included.
Other popular ways to help install your culture include:
- Online team building exercises
- Recorded birthday messages from your onshore team
- Virtual Friday afternoon drinks
- Featuring your remote staff in company newsletters
We have even had customers who have flown their offshore staff to their home countries for year-end parties and team building activities.
The key here is to make your offshore staff feel included as a part of the team because when staff feel included and feel that they play an important role in your organization, the results will speak for themselves.
Outsourcing with Cloudstaff
For over 10 years, Cloudstaff has helped businesses across the global achieve their goals by sourcing knowledgeable, high-performance offshore teams. Whether you’re looking to create efficiencies in your business processes or improve customer experience with 24/7 availability and free up time for your onshore teams to focus on growing your business.
With a talent pool featuring thousands of qualified candidates, we have the staff you need to achieve success. Contact our team today to find out more.