The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of remote work, prompting businesses to adopt flexible working policies. According to data, remote work is here to stay with remote opportunities increasing through 2023.
This lays down the foundation for a hybrid workspace in organisations. With this, companies need to adapt by learning how to manage their onshore and offshore teams effectively. This will allow them to enhance their organisational productivity and efficiency, which are key factors in boosting profits.
Let us take a look at the best practices in managing hybrid teams.
7 Best Practices to Manage Onshore and Offshore Teams
Onshore teams are composed of employees who handle business processes within the same country as the company’s headquarters. In contrast, offshore teams work under the same company but are situated in another country.
Without proper coordination, onshore and offshore teams will have difficulty carrying out tasks. The lack of harmony can also lead to miscommunication, negatively affecting the delivery of results and the quality of work. Let us discuss some best practices in managing hybrid teams and how your company can facilitate effective coordination between your onshore and offshore teams.
Set clear rules of engagement
Laying down guidelines for both your onshore and offshore staff will give them an idea of how they should perform and behave. Hence, it helps to set clear expectations by communicating workflows and deadlines. Also, share the project’s progress regularly to maintain momentum.
Remember that you have staff based in different locations, so make sure everyone understands their own and other team members’ roles. Creating a shared group calendar where everyone can indicate their task for the day will help facilitate communication between teams.
Ensure team members have the right tools
Successful businesses rely on efficient and productive teams. Thus, equipping your onshore employees and offshore staff with the proper tools should be one of your business priorities. By providing them with the right tools and setup, they can operate more efficiently and productively.
Investing in technology for your onshore and offshore teams also fosters collaboration. This is a crucial factor in improving organisational productivity, which plays a role in generating revenue.
For remote workers, collaborative tools can include headsets, webcams, video conferencing software, and online collaboration platforms. These will allow them to engage in a fluid, strategic conversation that aids in fast-tracking projects. These also help build team connectivity for improved coordination and faster problem-solving.
Communicate work schedules and accountability
Communicating work schedules is just as important as creating them. It allows team members to know who will be working on what on a particular workday. This leads to efficient task management, speeding up the completion of projects.
At optiBPO, we helped some clients in implementing a daily report with their team members. There are many different formats for a daily report but a simple format is included below:
Putting accountability at the forefront of your members’ values builds commitment, serving as a positive reinforcement toward achieving organisational goals. For starters, you can run virtual meetings with your entire team to start each week on the right foot.
Make communication a priority
Managing hybrid teams can pose challenges, especially in terms of communication. It can be tricky to build a connection with members working from different locations. However, knowing how to address this gap helps make things more manageable.
There are ways you can equally engage your on-site and remote teams. One way is by leveraging technology. For instance, you can conduct virtual meetings regularly to foster familiarity among teams.
Leading a Monday morning team call for just a few minutes to catch up can go a long way. This is especially true for offshore workers who cannot engage in that type of conversation on the elevator ride up to the office. Similarly, you can organise virtual team-building activities to improve morale, encourage creativity, and enhance communication.
Regardless of their location, make it a goal to have frequent conversations with each team member. Remember that there can be a variance in employees’ job satisfaction levels, especially with remote workers in the mix. Thus, do not let too much time go by before checking in on everyone.
Build trust and inclusion
Trust and inclusion encourage employees to perform at their best. They also help drive engagement, which often leads to better work quality. According to a survey, 55% of business leaders believe a lack of trust and inclusion in the workplace negatively affects operational efficiency.
It can be tempting for managers to monitor every move of their employees. However, this is counter-productive. Instead of promoting productivity, it lessens employee engagement by eroding their confidence.
optiBPO Hub Team in the Philippines
Show that you have faith in them by giving your team enough freedom to perform their functions. Whether you are dealing with your on-site employees or offshore team, resist the urge to micromanage. This way, they will feel more confident to do their job, increasing their morale and productivity.
Fostering openness in the workplace helps build connections among the team members, improving employee engagement. It also diffuses issues before they escalate and allows for faster resolution of issues. In turn, it improves organisational productivity.
One way to promote transparency is to encourage employee feedback. For example, you can create anonymous polls and ask your team members about their experience on a certain project. Have them identify which elements they consider successful and which are not. This will make them feel they are heard and valued. In turn, this drives them to do better at work, ultimately benefiting the company.
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Provide opportunities for growth
Another concern you need to address is how to keep your employees engaged in their professional development. Remember that being stuck often leads to discontent, which further leads to turnover.
A great place to start is to map out the development path for your employees. It can be difficult for your staff to feel motivated if they do not have a clear picture of the career path they can take. By understanding their motivations, you can help them decide for their professional advancement.
In particular, you can give them access to training programmes or certification courses. Be sure to conduct periodic assessments about their professional development to check their progress. In addition to providing upskilling, professional development helps maintain employee productivity, prevent burnout, and improve business value.
Creating a Strong Team Culture
Managing a hybrid team can be tricky. However, it is possible to create a strong and inclusive team culture that enhances employee engagement and increases organisational productivity. With the best practices discussed above, you now have the relevant knowledge to manage your onshore and offshore teams effectively.
If you are looking to grow your business, consider working with a business process outsourcing company in the Philippines like optiBPO. We can help you plan, build, and manage a dedicated offshore team that serves as an extension of your organisation. Contact us today to learn more about our services!