When we think of what defines strong collaborative culture, the approach of companies Google and Pixar spring to mind. This level of collaboration is more than just letting people bring pets to the office or practicing Casual Friday. Sometimes, it can be as simple as aligning everyone’s goals, setting expectations and creating open conversation among employees.
It’s important to keep this in mind when developing a good a relationship with your offshore team. They may not be around your local offices, but they are still an integral part of your business. They provide invaluable work – especially for labour intensive tasks – and making them feel like they are part of something special is important.
Building trust through alignment
Aligning an entire team with the right goals sounds like an obvious approach when you say it out loud. In order to make the most out of the work week, everyone needs to be on the same page working towards the same goal.
However, aligning yourself is more than just about reaching what you have set yourself out for. By keeping everyone in the loop with daily ongoings, trust is built among team members. Often times, offshore teams feel like they are just outside looking in. They are not considered part of the organization and can be pigeonholed as that team working for us, not with us.
We know now this is not the approach companies should have with offshore teams. Retaining this mindset will create a lack of trust that can lead to diminished success. Connecting at a collaborative level builds trust between offshore teams and your company. This can also lead to confidence in the team’s work.
The importance of values
Defining your company’s core values to an offshore team should also be a priority. By letting your team get a clear picture of your company – like who you are, how you conduct business – they understand particular approaches and methods that you may use. To that end, it is important to also be aware of the cultural values your offshore team possesses.
Filipino culture is a particularly nuanced one, despite its heavy western influence. Though they share many similarities, it’s their differences that need be both considered and celebrated. Filipinos put premiums on saving face, their families and cultivating a highly collaborative work environment.
It was discussed earlier that trust is a big part of building alignment and collaborative culture. By being aware of both workplace and cultural values, you can begin to develop a closer working relationship with your offshore team.
The effects of collaborative culture
Building strong collaborative culture will help you develop an offshore team that is dependable, productive and trustworthy. Despite working in a different country, your offshore team can help offer solutions to current issues through the rapport you have built with them. With the right objectives in place, you give your team motivation for their work and showing them the real value they bring to a company.
More than that however, by providing your team with a platform to collaborate on new features and suggestions, your business can experience more growth, which in turn leads to more success. Your offshore team is more than just a group of people hired at a lowered cost. They provide an invaluable service that you can leverage fully through consistent and quality collaboration.