10 Feb Will Outsourced Employees Feel Part of the Team?
Outsourcing can be an incredible asset for any business, saving you time, money and resources. However the absolute success of an outsourcing solution can often depend on the integration and synergy between your local employees and your outsourced ones. Ensuring all employees feel connected, accessible and part of a single team is crucial in establishing a mentality of togetherness – just as a team together in an office would. Strong corporate culture is key to business success, that’s certainly no secret, and so while having outsourced overseas staff on hand may seem and feel a little different – the golden rule still applies.
To ensure you’re integrating both teams in the most effective and efficient way, here are some tips:
Implement a Concrete Training Plan
Preparing a concrete training plan for your outsourced employee from day one is a great way to set the tone for everyone involved. The training plan should outline exactly how the virtual employee will be trained to do the tasks involved in their role, who will be training them, the time the training will be conducted and links to any necessary training materials. Establishing what is expected of them, and what you expect from your existing employees from day one is crucial to establishing healthy dialogue and mutual respect amongst colleagues – essential qualities in a successful business.
A common concern business owners have when training virtual employees is whether or not the training will be effective because they are not physically with them. This is where tools such as Zoom or Skype can be incredibly effective (didn’t we learn that in 2020…), and as an added bonus it means the employee can record the sessions and revisit them if they want additional clarification on anything.
Enforce Key Results Areas (KRA’s)
KRAs are the measurable results of the tasks, responsibilities and duties of each role that are found in the job description. Implementing KRA’s will ensure everyone is clear about what is expected of them, and also allows you to monitor performance and provide feedback or tweaks where necessary.
To identify what the KRAs are for each of your outsourced team members, look at their individual tasks and responsibilities and then work out what your expectation would be in terms of productivity for a given period of time. This can be a collaborative process with other team members, to get a more balanced, well-rounded view of what can reasonably be expected of the new employee.
Integrate Your Local & Outsourced Team Through Technology
Creating easy, open and frequent dialogue is so important in establishing a strong team dynamic amongst your local and virtual employees. The last thing you want is to entrench existing silos or cliques amongst your employees, as this can have an adverse effect on your business.
An effective way to do this is by setting up a large TV in your office space connected to your virtual employees via video calling software like Zoom or Skype. Whenever a team meeting needs to be called, simply connect everyone at a touch of a button. This ensures you can gather your whole organisation together as simply and easily as if you were all in the office together, manifesting a sense of community and teamwork.
It also creates an active portal between both locations, encouraging both teams to talk to each other, discuss ideas and actively solve problems together. Ultimately the aim is to somewhat ‘fool’ people into thinking they are all in the same physical workspace together, even when they actually aren’t.
Alternatively, you can set up an internal phone system in your business to allow for ease of communication with allocated number ranges and corresponding extension numbers.
This brings both offices closer together, as your onshore staff can then speak to your offshore staff via their IP phone simply by calling the appropriate local extension with no call cost associated with it. Furthermore, if your offshore team members are required to make outbound calls to customers, suppliers, prospects etc, they can achieve this through your own domestic phone system.
While having outsourced staff members as part of your organisational team may look and feel slightly different to what you are used to, it’s vital that the same corporate practices are applied to them. Teamwork, communication and synergy are linchpins of successful businesses, and maintaining these things with both your outsourced and local staff will go a long way to achieving this success.
Book your free consultation and talk to us about how outsourcing can truly benefit your business.