If you have offshore staff, these are the 3 things you need to know

Building teams of offshore staff to support your on-shore 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 have seen many great outsourcing 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 that there are three key points that are central to successful outsourcing.  

  1. Get your onshore team onside
  1. Communication
  1. Build culture   

Of course, there are many other elements that decide the success or failure of a business initiative, but when looking at businesses that have been successful and have thriving teams of offshore staff, they all get the following three points right. 

  1. Get your onshore team onside 

Without the support of your onshore team, the outsourcing of any task is going to be very difficult. 

Initial resistance to the idea of bringing on offshore remote teams is quite common, which is why it’s important to bring them on the journey and inform them of your plans as early as possible. 

The biggest fear for your onshore team is, understandably, job security. From the very start, it is important to be clear and transparent with your team about why you are looking to set up an offshore support team.  

Explain to them that the new offshore staff are there to support them and make their days easier, not to replace them. 

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. 

Another consideration to take into account is the training that you will provide to your onshore team about the best ways to work with a remote team. 

It’s not uncommon for staff to be resistant or worried about new processes they are unfamiliar with. 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. 

  1. Communication 

Clear communication is important in any business setting, but when it comes to working remotely, having clear communications 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.

This feeling of being disconnected from what’s happening is to be avoided at all costs. It is terrible for staff morale and almost always results in a drop in productivity output. 

To help staff feel connected, it’s highly advisable to schedule a daily team check in meeting to make sure everyone is across what is happening and knows their jobs for the day. These meetings only need to be brief (10-15 minutes) but they are a great way to keep everyone focused and productive.   

Just as important as the frequency of communications between you onshore and offshore teams is the platform that you use to communicate. 

Shooting off a quick email or instant message might seem like the quickest and most efficient way to keep in touch, but it is fraught with problems. It’s very easy to misinterpret a text only email or message, especially when working with international teams. 

We would highly 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. 

  1. Build Culture

While in most cases your offshore team is directly employed by an outsourcing provider, they are effectively your staff. They work exclusively for you and get to know your business inside out. 

This is why 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’ work stations, as well as 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 instill your culture include online team building exercises, recorded birthday messages from your onshore team, virtual friday afternoon drinks, and featuring your remote staff in company newsletters. 

In some cases, 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. 

Looking for other outsourcing tips and strategies? 

Cloudstaff’s outsourcing experts are always available to help. We’ve been setting up offshore teams of outsourced staff in the Philippines for over 10 years for companies of all sizes.  

From helping you get started to fine tuning high-performance teams, we are always happy to share our experience with you. 

Reach out to us any time via info@cloudstaff.com