5 Ways to Get a Good Mix Happening Between Your Onshore and Offshore Teams
Different ≠ Wrong
As soon as you step out of your home country you quickly realise things are done differently. Whether it’s tipping, customer service or attention-to-detail – no two countries are the same – and these things filter down to the way business is done and the people of any place. Context matters: things change. Remember what you are used to is not necessarily the right way.
You can require that things are done a certain way according to what you’re accustomed to, but deeming one way right and another wrong is a sure-fire way of limiting your company’s growth and rejecting the various perspectives that could indeed provide you with another angle or approach to doing business. Acknowledging differences = empathy; empathy = teamwork; teamwork = better work!
Systems, communication and protocols. Make sure everything is shared online and everyone has access to documents. Nothing more inconvenient than someone not having the necessary information to complete a task when it’s their workday and 4am your time. Some workflow software options include YouTrack, Workflowy and Asana. Whatever you choose, be it Google Docs, make sure the status of any task/project is obvious to all. Have people initial, handover, handback, check-off, complete – however you do it, make it obvious.
Partner-up Onshore & Offshore Workers
Have a buddy system between the two offices – hopefully, there’s a least a half-day time-zone overlap between the two places. This should be done as ONE offshorer to ONE onshorer. This is a great system to build confidence, collaboration and communication. Also, having a go-to person for the offshore worker to ask if they need anything is vital – don’t let questions go unanswered in the email void. It also increases the accountability and responsibility of your offshore team if they have an onshore buddy who knows what they’re up to.
Like we said…avoid The Email Void!! Don’t rely on just email as your means of contact with your offshorers. Setup a Skype group chat, WhatsApp group message or whatever it may be. However, be respectful of respective time zones – just because you’ve go their phone number or you can see your message has been ‘read’, don’t expect a response outside of reasonable work hours on their end.
It’s not like a regular office where you can quickly get a feel for how you’re going with the work/what the expectations are. Regular meetings ensure everyone is up-to-speed and help manage expectations on both ends. Also, this is where brainstorming and ideas are nurtured. Your offshore team may have some great ideas, but if not given the appropriate platform nor a full understanding of what’s happening in your business, these ideas will remain dormant and your business unchanged. Create an open and honest dialogue between your two offices.
If you’re new to the idea of offshoring, read 10 Things to Know before Hiring your Offshore Team for tips to keep in mind and help you get started.
Hunt & Hawk are the experts when it comes to blending your offshore and onshore offices to create one, fabulous and highly-functioning workplace. Get in touch to find out about going offshore or better integrating the offshore team you already have.