There is no universal secret sauce in handling an offshore team or any type of team for that matter. Outsourcing tasks to an offshore team leads to more time and money saved down the road but if you don’t know the workarounds, it might cause more headaches.
Identifying objectives and making things clear
When working with a team, it is essential that you visualize your goal to the team. Educating your employees about your goals helps them align their objectives with yours. Once the main goal is explained, you see to it that the strategies you come up with is in accordance with each other. You want to make sure that you have everything covered from the output to the minor tasks your members will have to perform. It also helps you to know the process of each of the tasks so you will know what to expect. Doing this will also give you an idea of realistic timelines wherein you can plot which projects should be prioritized and which ones would need more time.
On a larger scale, however, you don’t have to go into the details of each member. But having an overview of which department is taking care of which helps you keep track of the progress. Having a regular meeting once a week or monthly is healthy for an organization. This way you get to highlight all the improvements, make the necessary changes and whatnot. These regular meeting also create a heightened sense of responsibility for your offshore team.
Keeping your team onboard with you
How do you keep your team passionate about their work inside your company? How do you keep each and everyone of them motivated to give the best they can?
Successfully managing a team comes with acknowledging the work of your employees. Sometimes, you offshore team from the other side of the world may feel detached if you don’t make a strong enough connection with them. Having a relationship with your offshore team is as important as networking to seek out clients. Keep in mind that your team is the foundation of your business and that you should take care of them as well. This builds loyalty within the company.
- Provide learning opportunities such as trainings and out of office seminars they can attend to.
- Add business travels as one of the perks. This might attract new employees as well, if you’re looking to expand.
- Get to know their culture and respect their traditions to know how your team can relate and respond to your own corporate culture.
- Commend good work.
- Allot budget for incentive pay.
- Make time for regular team building to enhance their relationships inside the office.
Overcoming cultural differences
When you are working with an offshore team, cultural differences will be inevitable. Some of the available outsourcing partners out there are not very familiar with the ways of your countries. Sometimes, this may result in misunderstanding and may cause a negative impression on your company.
Having one of the least expensive workforces in the world, Asia boasts the top outsourcing hubs in the world. Asia is ranks second for having the highest average of English proficiency for adults, coming in second to Europe. In a data collected by the EF, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines were the top 3 among Asian countries with the most proficient English speakers. Below is the complete set of data collected regarding their proficiency score in the language.
For top English speaking countries such as Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia, language barriers would be the least of your problems. However, maintaining constant communication with your team is still vital to avoid miscommunication.
- Stick to common words
- Avoid slang or idioms if possible
- If jargon words are unavoidable, include brief explanations
- During phone conversation make sure the line is clear
- Make things more visual (screen sharing, screenshots, diagram, etc.)
- Always check for clarifications or questions
Aside from the language barrier is the holidays and schedules you have to keep up with. While some teams are happy to adjust their work hours for your convenience, some problems regarding schedules on the calendar may still arise. You have to understand that they have specific holidays and certain traditions that they have to attend to. Compromising schedules beforehand will not only provide a seamless process but also will show them how much you value their contribution in the company.
- Set realistic timelines considering unexpected delays
- Provide buffer times including both working and non-working holidays
- Familiarize yourself with the tradition to know their availability during these events
- Plot meetings, deadlines, and projects beforehand so your team can schedule accordingly
- If it’s not possible for your team to work the same time as you, find overlapping hours when you can still communicate during work hours.
Know the offshore process
Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the team. Know the behind-the-scenes of every project. Although you can’t have the answers to every problem that they face, your mere presence gives them the motivation they need. Showing your team that you care goes a long way and give them a reason to provide high-quality output. Doing this will also allow you to have realistic expectations of deliverables.
While it is important to know the process and be in the know, you should also make sure that you show them trust. Each individual on your offshore team is an expert on their field. As much as you know how your company works, you should also let them voice out their ideas.
Managing an offshore team would not work unless you hire the right talent and pair with the most compatible outsourcing partner. Anderson Group BPO Inc. offers comprehensive solutions from contact centre and back office so you can focus more on what you do best. We will help you support your customers through inbound calls, outbound calls, email, chat, and social media management. Our skilled team can also help you keep your operations flawless with data entry, data cleansing, data analysis, and market research.
Interested in managing your own offshore team today? Contact us!
Business Development Manager
Anderson Group BPO, Inc.
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