Working and managing an offshore team is a challenging yet fulfilling endeavor. When companies adopt the offshoring approach, they get to collaborate with very talented individuals. At the same time, it can be a little daunting for those that are offshoring for the first time. Working with a team abroad has its challenges but there are solutions and approaches that can ease things a bit. It’s understandable to be a little excited at the possibilities offshoring brings to your business. But without properly managing your team and expectations, you may end up with a negative experience overall.
Here are some of the best practices you can follow when managing an offshore team of any size.
Find Your Team’s Proper Balance
As mentioned earlier, offshore teams often consist of multi-talented individuals. Especially since team members were specifically handpicked by clients for their skills. They believe that each of them brings something unique to the table for their business. When managing your offshore team, it’s good practice to consider each of their strengths and how you can best harness them. If given the opportunity, you may even encourage them to develop their skill sets further. With a proper workforce strategy in place, you’ll start to see how your team operates like a well-oiled machine.
At the same time, this also means acknowledging your team’s limitations. Remember that everything you accomplish is a “team effort” and everyone has a part to play. Avoid micromanaging your teams but also give honest, constructive feedback on how they can perform better. Overall, placing trust in your team goes a long way in managing them. It not only motivates them to continue doing better, but also lets them understand how they can surpass expectations.
Communication Builds Relationships
So how do you develop that trust? It all starts with communication. When managed effectively, companies can build different relationships within the team. Successful offshoring strategies happen when effective and clear communication is established. On the surface level, this means using the several tools at your disposal to stay connected with your team. Zoom and Skype for instance are common ways to do video conferencing with teams globally. Task managers such as Asana, Slack and Trello also help in the communication process. Offshoring is about regular engagement with teams as it helps build their rapport. Doing so also aligns everyone’s goals, expectations and efforts that keeps them on the same page.
On the flipside, a lack of communication often results in a lack of motivation from your offshore team. One of the hallmarks of an offshoring approach is how teams are perceived. Local teams should consider their offshoring counterparts as an extension of their operations. Make them feel like they are just as much a part of the company as any other in-house team. In effect, offshore teams should feel they are working with their local office rather than for them.
Define Your Metrics Of Success
Healthy communication between teams is not just about regular emails, voice and video calls. Sharing of goals, challenges, and expectations with your offshore team is highly encouraged. An offshore team should have a clear idea of what a company’s objectives are and how they can best achieve them. In a sense, what is communicated between teams is just as important.
To define these objectives, it ties back again to how important communication is. When teams agree upon the needed requirements and timelines to achieve their objectives, they can operate at their fullest. It is important both local and offshore teams understand what they need to be accomplish. Having a clear metric of success motivates everyone to do better. That’s why it helps to be very specific about what your company’s vision is and what role each team member has. By giving a sense of value to their objectives, companies are able to develop trust with their offshore team by being on the same page with everyone.
As shown this past year, companies are seeing the real value of working with a remote team. On a larger scale, they see how offshore teams are just the right fit for any industry. Offshoring is cost effective, efficient and competitive. In order to truly see how offshoring benefits them, companies must know first how to manage the talent they have. The offshoring experience is shaped by how teams respond to a company’s objectives. They play a big role in delivering the desired outcomes.
Managing an offshore team is not easy, but the advantages they bring are worth the challenges. It all depends on how much companies consider their offshore team to be a part of their journey. By developing trust, defining goals and with clear communication, they can easily become the most worthwhile investment in the long run.