Offshoring has become a strategy used by many businesses to find staff with specific skills, increase efficiency, and reduce administration and overhead costs. While having an offshore team can assist with helping you reach your business objectives and goals, the concept of offshoring is still misunderstood and for some, frowned upon. There is a widely held belief that it causes disruption, and is hard to manage due to cultural, language and other perceived differences.
Working with a remote team does not need to be difficult, stressful, or complicated. All it requires is good business planning and the right approach to managing your people.
Here are a few things you can do to maximise the productivity and growth opportunities that your offshore team can offer:
Clearly define goals and KPIs
Take the time to explain to your offshore team what your expectations are of them. Goals and KPIs can be easily accomplished by clearly defining their roles, briefing them on the assigned projects, identifying which projects to prioritise, and having them take ownership of their work. This will enable them to be aware of what you expect from them.
Dedicate time to train your staff
Share your business strategy and goals
It is important that your remote staff have a clear view of what your business goals are and the purpose of the projects they are working on. This makes them feel part of your organisation and allows them to align the quality of their work and professional goals with your company’s success.
Provide Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Building SOPs for your organisation helps increase efficiency, reduces errors and improves the quality of deliverables. While the concept of creating SOPs may seem simple, many organisations get stuck thinking about the format and structure. Optidocs is the easy way to rapidly and cost effectively build Standard Operating Procedures.
Provide technology and systems training
When people know how to do their job, they can work efficiently and effectively. Instead of spending their time troubleshooting or trying to navigate around various systems, it is important that offshore staff are properly trained in your systems and given the necessary access to deliver their daily tasks.
Develop regular communication forums
In a global team setup, it is very important to develop a good communication rhythm as it brings a huge amount of comfort, connectivity, and engagement to the team. With so many virtual tools, it becomes much easier to communicate with your team members. You just have to choose the right tool depending on your specific needs.
- Email – use sparingly for official communication, project schedules and notes
- Chat – use this for quick questions, status updates or clarifications with any member of your team
- Video Conferences – tools such as Zoom, Skype for Business, and GoToMeeting can help improve communication as they add real human element to the conversation
- Project management tools – tools like Basecamp, Trello, and Monday.com provide an easy way to track and manage tasks assigned to your offshore resources
Assign a local team leader
There is no need for a BPO Manager or leader from Day 1. However, identifying an internal leader over time can support the development of your team and ensure alignment and continuity of work. In considering the tasks this person should take on, a few ideas include:
- Support the sourcing of future roles
- Help onboarding of new team members
- Communicate with the team to understand issues
- Help identify training needs
- Proactively identify process improvement ideas
- Facilitate team catch ups / lunches
Make them an extension of your team, not a separate part
The real value for an offshore team is making them an integral part of your company. Here are some tips to do this:
- Treat your onshore and offshore teams equally
- Recognise your offshore team’s accomplishment, and give them positive feedback
- Meet your offshore team at least once a year
- Invite members of your team to your local office (some members of the optiBPO team recently travelled to Sydney, Australia)
At optiBPO we always encourage our customers to engage with their BPO team. Last week, some members of our hub team visited Australia for training, client sessions and of course, a bit of fun. Many of our clients have got great value out of doing similar.#optiBPOTeaminSydney pic.twitter.com/DzHMhd0amb
— optiBPO (@optibpo) March 13, 2019
Learning how to effectively manage a dedicated offshore team can be challenging. However, if you follow some of the above points the output can be rewarding and incredibly beneficial to the success of your organisation.
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