Working with offshore teams can be challenging. Here’s how to set the stage for a successful working relationship.
- Building a solid partnership with offshore teams helps your company succeed.
- In-house and offshore teams can work together and communicate clearly and effectively.
- Discuss a project’s goals and long-term objectives to increase the offshore team’s chances of success.
- Establish solid communication channels.
- Understanding cultural differences can lead to a smoother working relationship.
- Treat offshore employees as equal members of the team.
- You can avoid common pitfalls with a little extra planning.
Working with offshore teams is a common practice for many businesses. Companies choose to offshore because they’re unable to find the talent they need through local channels – as is the case with many software and web/mobile development projects – or they need to decrease expenses and raise their bottom lines. Whatever the motivating factor is, a successful offshoring venture can help organizations grow and stay competitive within their market.
One of the most common challenges with any offshoring project is ensuring a smooth collaboration. Both the in-house and offshore teams must be able to work together and communicate effectively to meet expectations.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to build a framework for a smooth professional relationship. We outline how to create a successful collaboration between in-house and offshore employees below.
Offshore teams: How to build a successful working relationship
When you work with an offshore team, it can be difficult to strike the right balance between autonomy and oversight. You want your international employees to feel valued and trusted but you also have to implement standards and procedures and share the company’s vision on big-picture objectives. Good communication between in-house and offshore employees is essential for a successful project or ongoing working relationship. Follow these guidelines to build an efficient partnership between offshore and in-house employees.
1. Discuss project goals and overall vision
If you’re working with an offshore team on a particular project, it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the vision. If you’re developing a product (like software) you want to outline its primary goals and communicate the necessary parameters. If an offshore team understands the overall vision of your project, product, or service, they’ll be able to meet your company’s needs much better.
2. Communicate frequently
Consistent and thorough communication is key for any successful partnership, including offshore teams. Make use of the myriad communication tools available to stay in contact with international employees. It may be necessary to communicate more frequently with offshore teams than with in-house ones.
Schedule regular touch-base meetings and use tools like Slack and Jira for intra-company communication and project management. You might also consider video conferencing over text-based tools. Sometimes it’s better to communicate “face-to-face” as opposed to just sending written instructions.
3. Understand cultural differences
Managing cultural gaps can go a long way in ensuring a smooth working relationship with offshore employees. You might conduct research ahead of time on a foreign employee’s culture or learn from the employee themselves. In addition to understanding a country’s customs, it can be particularly helpful to understand offshore employees’ work culture. Learning about their work culture can give you valuable insight into how they might manage your project as well as how best to communicate with them. It can also be useful to provide offshore employees with resources on your own company’s culture.
4. Make offshore employees feel like part of the team
Treat your offshore team as part of your team. Acknowledge their hard work and reward their accomplishments as you would with in-house employees. Be sure to include offshore teams in company-wide communications and meetings to foster a sense of inclusivity. Everyone should feel like they are part of the team and working towards the same collective goals.
Avoid common pitfalls
Integrating offshore teams can be tricky at first but with a little extra planning, you can avoid some of the more common pitfalls.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is underestimating the transition to offshoring. Expanding your team with offshore employees can reap huge benefits for your business but the transition should be well-planned and executed with attention to detail. It’s important to allow enough planning time and allocate other resources accordingly.
Another common error is not having a solid communication plan in place. It’s important to give careful thought to the timing and breadth of your communications with both in-house and offshore employees. You’ll also want to establish a chain of command and decide who reports to whom.
Build an offshore team with DOXA
If you’re looking for an offshore partner for your next business venture, Doxa7 can deliver vetted global talent. We give local businesses access to skilled workers and deliver tailored solutions to meet your company’s unique needs. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you in building your offshore team.