There are many benefits that come with outsourcing some of your business’s non-core functions. This business strategy frees up in-house resources, allowing you to allocate them to functions that directly improve your products and core processes and widen your customer base. It also allows you to breathe a little easier without missing your deadlines or risking a drop in the quality of the work that your company does. Outsourcing also helps your company save money, as it usually costs much less than hiring another full-time employee.
However, outsourcing also presents a unique set of challenges, including finding the right provider and keeping constant and consistent communication with the people or companies you work with. If you’re working with a team of highly skilled employees from a different part of the world— like the Philippines, for example—then you need to keep the outsourced team just as motivated as your in-house staff is. This, in particular, can be a challenge since they operate in a different place and likely keep different hours from the rest of your employees.
There are plenty of ways to keep your outsourced workforce motivated. Here are just a few of them:
1. Let them know what the company’s goals are. Your outsourced employees probably spend most of their working hours in front of the computer, working on their particular tasks or updating you about their progress. They might be too focused on their day-to-day activities that they fail to see the bigger picture and how their work contributes to the progress and successes of your business. Take time to remind them of the company’s goals and the role they play in achieving these. Also, don’t forget to acknowledge them whenever they or the company reaches a milestone.
2. Implement bonus structures. Most companies prefer to outsource business functions to countries with low labor cost and low cost of living. This move allows them to save on overhead costs while offering decent, livable wage to their outsourced workforce. Use this advantage to motivate your outsourced employees and offer them bonuses whenever they meet or go beyond what is expected of them. In addition, you can also use the budget to offer extra shifts whenever the workload calls for it.
3. Keep open lines of communication. Even though most employees in BPO companies are fluent in English, cultural differences can still cause communication problems between the outsourced employees and the employer. As such, a lot of messages can get lost in translation. To avoid this and to encourage your employees to voice out their opinions, you need to establish a proper feedback structure. This ensures that your in-house team and outsourced employees are communicating regularly and consistently.
4. Get to know and respect their culture. Making an effort to get to know the culture and sensibilities of your outsourced team can go a long way in endearing yourself to them. Let them know that their colleagues and employers from the other side of the world are taking the effort to get to know their culture and practices by sending them greetings during their national holidays or other personal celebrations. Or if you have the time for it, pay them a visit to get to know the team better. This way, they’ll feel that they matter not only as workers but also as individuals.
Instead of berating a team or employee for falling behind, try to use positive reinforcement to encourage your outsourced team to improve their performance and processes. Going this route can help your outsourced workforce feel that they are an integral part of the company and prevent them from becoming discouraged and less productive.