Tips in Managing Offshore Staff

One of the most common setbacks in offshoring is having to manage a virtual staff in another region or continent. This in turn, leads to other communication issues. Here are tips that businesses can use to overcome cultural differences, varying time zones, and lack of face time.

Seek for alignment 

To avoid cultural barriers, SMEs should offshore or outsource to destinations that are aligned with their time zone and culture. Australian businesses can outsource to the Philippines. The time difference is manageable. The Filipino workforce is fluent in English and has a strong affinity with western culture.

If you are already have a virtual team with multiple time zones, start by holding a regional meeting. Have your members create a profile. Apart from basic information, it includes hobbies, interests and other expertise that is outside the job description.

Seek value based services

Clients should not just focus on cost savings and seek high level talent. There are cases when certain instructions are left out in the spec sheet and employees have to decide on their own. Hiring an experienced specialist not only means they know what they are doing. They also practice sound decision making in critical moments.

A highly skilled offshore staff can also help generate innovative ideas. Businesses should take the time to brainstorm and collaborate with the team. They can also bring the team together onshore, so that they know how their job fits into the business.  

Assign a local team lead

The local team lead will be in charge of the offshore staff – manage deliverables, relay important updates, and resolve issues. Clients should invite local team leads to spend time in the headquarters or onshore office. This way they will have a better understanding of the offshore staff's role in the business.

Communicate clearly 

Businesses should communicate regularly. Apart from chatting or talking through Skype, they should look into other methods. Web meetings, video and teleconferencing are other ways to interact with offshore staff.

Provide clear instructions

Executives have to provide organised and clear instructions. They can present information in different ways such as diagrams, visual aids, and bulleted lists. More importantly, they should not take a simple “yes” as an answer. Team leads should make sure that their staff understands the project's objectives and goals.

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