Top 10 Onboarding Tips for Outsourced Staff

Congratulations! You’ve pulled the trigger and decided to set up an outsourced team. A world of benefits awaits, but before you can begin reaping the rewards, you need to have a strong foundation in place for your remote team. In this blog, we discuss the top onboarding tips for your new team. 

The way you onboard your remote staff matters if you want to unlock the full value of outsourcing. Even if you already have existing onboarding programs in place for your local staff, there are a few things to consider when working cross culturally with a remote team.  

Even if you already have existing onboarding programs in place for your local staff, there are a few additional considerations that you will need to make when working cross culturally with a remote team.  

Most outsourcing providers should be able to assist you throughout the process, but to help you hit the ground running, we have come up with a list of tips for successfully onboarding outsourced staff members. 

Top 10 tips for onboarding outsourced staff

1. Train your local team

Before you begin training and onboarding your new staff members, it is imperative to make sure that your existing local team is on board and knows the processes that are involved. It’s likely that they will have many questions about the changes that are happening and may even have some concerns around what bringing in outsourced staff will mean for their job security. We suggest setting up training sessions with your local employees. These are a great way to clear the air and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

2. Build relationships 

Most global workplace onboarding sessions involve some type of ‘ice breaker’ activity to begin the session. These are usually brief (and sometimes a little awkward), but that’s okay because over the following days and weeks, new staff will have plenty of opportunities to build relationships around the watercooler or while on a coffee break.

However, this isn’t the case with remote working. To make new staff feel welcome and build the sort of relationships that foster an exceptional workplace culture, you’ll need to be a little more proactive in facilitating conversations and getting to know your new team members. 

Rather than a single activity on the first day of onboarding, many of our successful customers recommend starting each meeting with short conversations to help your staff get to know each other. This sets a positive tone from the outset and helps to build a productive, collaborative work environment. 

3. Document the process

If you have a good business head on your shoulders you’ll know the key to success is preparation.

In terms of the onboarding process, this means having your training materials and processes ready ahead of time. We highly recommend documenting processes and making them available in a central repository for staff to refer to during and after their training. In an onshore setting, new staff members can simply ask the person next to them if they didn’t quite get something, but this becomes a little more difficult when your staff are working remotely. We find that having access to recorded process guides is extremely beneficial when onboarding remote staff. 

4. Visit your staff (if possible)

Just because your team will be working remotely doesn’t mean that they won’t benefit from some face-to-face training and interaction – especially during the onboarding process. While traveling overseas to conduct training isn’t always practical or possible, being able to meet the staff in person and seeing their working environment first-hand will likely benefit you, just as much as it will them. 

5. Choose the right communication methods

Corporate communication is an ever-evolving beast. From email and traditional mail to phone, video calls, chat messages and apps, there are numerous ways for your teams to stay connected and collaborate no matter where they are on the globe. However, during onboarding, there is only one platform that you should be focusing on and that is video conferencing.

So much of our day-to-day communication is done non-verbally, so being able to see each other during the training process is particularly important. 

Research conducted by Forbes reports that 73% of executives at high growth companies found that video conferencing improves the quality of communication when compared with other methods.

Even after the initial onboarding period, we highly recommend maintaining video conferencing as your primary means of communication, with other methods used for follow ups and supplementary materials.

6. Establish regular team huddles

When working remotely, it can be very easy to feel out of sight and out of mind. We suggest scheduling daily team huddles, just to check in and make sure that everybody understands what they will be doing for the day. These huddles might only be 10 or 15 minutes but they can make a huge difference and help your team feel connected. To be effective, these huddles need to be consistent, so it’s best to emphasize their importance right from day one. 

7. Learn about the culture

Take the time to read and learn about the culture of your outsourcing country. It’s inevitable that there will be some cultural differences when offshoring, but knowing a few local customs and cultural traits can go a long way towards building strong working relationships and achieving better outcomes. 

8. Reach out for advice

This might be your first time setting up an offshore team, but your outsourcing partner has done it many times before and has seen first hand what works and what doesn’t. Any quality provider will be only too happy to share their experiences and help along the way. Many will also assign someone to be there to answer any questions.

For example, at Cloudstaff each customer has a dedicated Account Manager to help set up your team, as well as Customer Success Managers who are industry experts in specific industries who can assist with setting KPIs, training, team configuration and metrics.

9. Show your team the bigger picture

One common mistake that we regularly see businesses make when outsourcing is the tendency to only introduce their new staff to their direct line managers. While this may seem like the best use of time, we suggest introducing the new staff to your wider team. Doing this has the dual benefits of helping your outsourced staff feel as though they are part of something bigger and understand their roles better, as well as helping both teams to put faces to names.

Interestingly, many of our customers have commented that their onshore teams have felt far more comfortable with outsourced staff once they were able to e-meet them.

10. Be patient and positive

Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor will your outsourced team. There will be hiccups along the way, but that’s all a part of the learning curve when trying new things. Most challenges are easily overcome and your outsourcing partner will be there to help when they occur. The important thing is to remember that you are well on the way to establishing smarter, more efficient operational methods for your business. Stay positive and enjoy the ride!  

Looking for other outsourcing tips and strategies? 

Looking to take the next step in your outsourcing journey? With over 10 years’ outsourcing experience and a huge talent pool full of highly-skilled professionals, we have what you need to achieve success. Contact our team today to find out more.