Hiring people offshore can be a nerve-wracking process. Often it feels like stepping into the unknown. Managing ‘foreign’ people from distant locations and alien cultures is scary!
Plus, outsourcing is plagued with too many stories of disappointment, failure, or worse.
No wonder people feel uneasy about the whole thing. No wonder many instead just stick to ‘standard employment.’
However, if you can master offshore staffing – the rewards are immense. It can transform your business. It’s worth enduring the learning curve.
To help you with the journey, I’ve listed 18 killer hacks for building the best offshore team – ever.
The killer offshoring hacks
- Source good people.
- Spend time to onboard and train properly.
- Don’t overpay, don’t underpay.
- Be clear on your needs for the business and needs for the role.
- Invest in your team.
- Make them feel psychologically safe to do their best work.
- Set clear expectations.
- Clear communication is vital.
- Ensure your operations, systems, tools, and communications are remote-compatible (ideally asynchronous-enabled).
- Use systems (SOPs, OKRs, KPIs, goals, and planning) to align your team. The best system is the system that works for your company.
- Set them up for success, provide the roadmap for them to achieve.
- Generalists are different to specialists – both have their pros and cons.
- Delegate, don’t abdicate.
- Building a strong team of multiple people will not happen overnight. Strong stable teams evolve over time.
- Lead by example, and practice servant leadership.
- Instill a strong culture and set clear ethical guidelines.
- Set clear goals for the goals, ensure that everyone is aligned.
- Ensure alignment and cohesion between different people and teams within your company (especially when some are offshore).
Bonus: Understand that people and cultures are different. Accept that people are diverse in nature, communication, personality, and capabilities.
You might notice that none of these tips are original. In fact, they’re all standard management fundamentals – for traditional employment.
That’s precisely the point!
I wrote the authoritative book on outsourcing – Inside Outsourcing (don’t worry, this isn’t a pug) – and I, too, noticed the similarities. Part 3 of the book deep dives into offshore management techniques. As I wrote this section, I realized that much of the advice is identical to running any business, any team, and working with any employee.
Realization: Running a successful offshore team comes down to fundamental (aka standard) management practices!
The one curve ball: Culture
The culture is different, though – and it can take considerable time to learn and master the nuances of managing people from a different culture.
I go deep into this in my book, but for now, suffice to say, the details matter. Understanding that different people work and communicate differently is critical. Subtle nuances reign supreme. And it can take considerable time to master the new paradigm.
However, as the world generally pushes toward workplace diversity, this principle applies across all workplaces anyway.
Offshore staffing may not be as different as we think.
The question for your business
Is the fear of the unknown holding you back from taking the plunge?