Offshoring is all about teamwork! Sometimes managing an offshore team can be an overwhelming task.
Imagine working with groups of people you haven’t met face to face. Worse still, is the fact that you have to work with people across different time zones, language backgrounds and cultures.
For that reason, creating a team that can perform to your satisfaction requires combined efforts of an onsite and offshore team. With all eyes on a common goal, you can take care of all issues and emerge successful.
Remember, you need a solid foundation. Having in mind you are dealing with people practicing different business cultures? The big question is; how do you unite a group that can work towards a common goal?
6 Ways to Run a Connected Offshore and Onshore Crew
Find below 6 useful tips a project manager needs to create a connected offshore and onshore team.
Give more and more information
Well, it goes without mentioning that knowledge is power. Nothing inspires a team than having in mind a common goal to work towards.
Always provide your team with adequate information about the nature of the business, the client you are working for. Let the offshore team know the stakeholders and what their expectations are. You will also need to explain the project’s benefits to the team and the client.
Both your offshore and onsite team needs to know their contribution to the business. Are they making any difference to your business? Well, tell them about it, it will surely boost their morale. Basically, the more information, the more successful the project will be.
Ensure the onshore crew and offshore team work as one delivery team
In offshoring, you, as the project manager, act as the link between the two delivery teams; offshore and onsite. Therefore, making sure the two teams are working together is your responsibility.
The perception that the two groups are a single team makes the individuals work as one despite the different time zones. An example of teamwork is when your offshore team provides useful consumer feedback to the onsite team.
Both teams need each other, making them feel like one is healthy for your business. Even when addressing the teams, refer to them as “we.”
Your remote customer support team must communicate with other in-house teams to offer the best service.
Know your team
You need to know who you are working with and their role in your business—whether marketing or customer support. Always ensure you keep in touch with most team members.
In the case of a largely offshore team, ensure you have each team member’s complete details. Sometimes the team might be too large; you may not be able to interact with everybody regularly.
One way to keep in touch with your team is by narrowing down to individuals. Send them occasional emails asking relevant questions concerning the business. In this way, the vision is kept clear.
Celebrate your achievements and compliment your team
Enjoy the fruits of your labor! The whole team should know if the business performs to the set expectations. Let everyone take credit for the job well done.
Rewarding the team strengthens the business relationship. Come up with a way to reward both the onsite crew and offshore team. In fact, you should make it your responsibility to forward congratulatory emails to the team members. Talk to the teams about every accomplishment, which will boost their confidence.
While complimenting in public, you can use this opportunity to point out any mistakes in private.
Do not hesitate to point out mistakes when needed. However, this should be done privately using a polite tone to maintain a good working relationship.
Be conversant with the offshore processes
You ought to conduct a follow-up! Be up-to-date with the day-to-day procedures followed offshore. Don’t be a black box.
Being conversant with the offshore processes puts you in a position to show sympathy to the problems faced by the team. Always be there and show how sympathetic you are even if you cannot solve the problem.
In addition, always work with the offshore leadership to develop ideas on the best practices required for the project’s success.
Don’t make any assumptions.
Ask questions, and don’t make assumptions. Remember that the offshore team will not always be loud in expressing their concerns. At times, they choose not to bring up critical issues until it’s too late.
Therefore, you should create an active platform for addressing any concerns affecting the business at personal levels. In this way, you get to handle vital matters as soon as possible. Making assumptions means you are putting the whole project at risk.
Which is the best BPO Model for Your Business?
Looking for ideas on how to better your small business? Well, the trend today is to outsource processes. In fact, it is the perfect way to cut down on operational expenses for your business.
This means you can now contract third-party professionals and save more; imagine, you no longer need to maintain an in-house team, no more paying off a list of workers at the end of every month.
Outsourcing comes in handy, particularly if your business is in need of temporary services for a short period – for example, you may outsource when developing databases and websites.
Moreover, outsourcing will allow you to focus more on developing your company’s major goals; would you like to improve on manufacturing? Or do you have a new product you want to market?
If you choose to walk this path, there are different ways you can contract out operations to a BPO company. Get familiar with the BPO models below and choose the perfect fit for your business.
Offshoring takes your business functions far away from home. It could be overseas, meaning you can no longer supervise the operations in person. As a result, your third-party service provider of choice partially takes over. You no longer need an in–house team.
Countries overseas offer cheaper wages; you can save more cash than operating an in-house team. You will no longer need internal customer care or a human resource management team.
Merits of offshoring
Is your customer service slowing down due to the increasing number of clients? More customers is good progress; however, you need to improve on customer service. One way to relieve your business of this burden is to outsource your business functions to BPOs abroad.
Offshoring gives you access to a range of experiences from all over the globe. Working with people from different countries, your business has the potential to expand its network. In addition, you gain access to cheap labor.
With this BPO model, you may incur extra costs, including training and translation fees for language barrier cases. If you fall, victim, it is advisable to negotiate and be clear on who pays for what.
Secondly, the difference in culture and language causes a barrier in communication, compromising on clarity of instructions. If this happens, the remedy is to have your business send representatives to train the outsourced agents at the start of the operation.
With domestic-based outsourcing, you can contract out your business operations to third-party service providers within the same country. The third-party could either be an individual or other businesses; the question is, can they provide the services you need for your firm.
The advantage of domestic-based outsourcing is that it eliminates the aspect of cultural differences and language barriers. This means you can communicate effectively with the outsourced team. You speak the same language, which makes giving instructions much easier.
If the BPO agents you hire can understand you, definitely your customers can much easily communicate their concerns or inquiries to your company.
One major disadvantage of domestic-based outsourcing is the high cost of labor. The high fee is contributed to by the huge taxation and high living standards.
If you seek to outsource to a BPO within the US, you will have to pay off these fees as local state laws require. This means if your budget doesn’t allow it, you should consider other options.
Are you scared to offshore your company functions to a BPO far away from home? Well, it’s true the further from home the operations are, the limited your contribution is in terms of supervision.
Thanks to this model, you don’t have to move far away from your country. Instead, you outsource processes to a neighboring country. Search for countries from within your continent to note down places where fees are affordable.
With this model, compared to offshoring, you suffer less difference in cultural backgrounds and time zone. As an added advantage, the costs of traveling are cheaper. Nearshoring operations to a zone of low costs will allow you ample time to plan on how to pay for traveling and training activities.
With nearshoring, you will still face relatively higher costs compared to offshoring. While the rates may look more cost-effective, the difference can only be minimal. Therefore, you should be careful when considering costs if you depend on a low budget.