Derek Gallimore is a contributor to Entrepreneur.com and a member of the Entrepreneur Leadership Network. This article was first published on Entrepreneur.
Outsourcing can be a double-edged sword for companies, especially when it comes to managing in-house employees.
Even today, the industry brings a stigma that outsourcing takes jobs away from a company’s home country. This mindset, in return, could make teams lose their motivation and interest in working with a company.
However, this is a natural scenario when you decide to outsource your service: Your employees continuously wonder whether they will lose their work, when in fact, it could do otherwise.
It’s no question you need your in-house team’s cooperation to make your outsourcing efforts a success. Here are some of the ways to prepare them for it.
“Wait, is my job getting outsourced?”
Having their jobs outsourced is one of the major fears of local employees. Even white-collar employees have dreaded getting fired from their jobs as they’re delegated to countries with lower costs, such as the Philippines.
Despite former President Trump’s vow to end offshoring jobs pre-pandemic, offshoring functions continue to expand, allegedly displacing around 37,000 workers in the country.
Like their companies, employees usually hear outsourcing nightmare stories from friends and other workers, but in a different manner.
Others tell stories of training their offshore counterparts in a similar position, only to have them laid off the following weeks. On the other hand, some companies have closed shop in the local countries to “restructure” and delegate them offshore instead, displacing hundreds of employees.
How outsourcing can affect an employee’s motivation
Outsourcing a function won’t affect much of a local employee’s core duties and responsibilities. However, outsourcing without their knowledge can erode their loyalty to a business.
Given the mentioned outsourcing nightmare above, employees in both rank-and-file and managerial positions could fear for their work in the future, especially during the time of crises such as the ongoing pandemic.
This can have a domino effect on their productivity and motivation, making them look for another work in a competitor or a different industry.
How you can prepare your in-house employees for outsourced employees
Your in-house team should not end up rebelling or losing their job just because the company decided to outsource. Getting them on board is crucial to the success of your department.
It’s simple to gather your employees around and talk to them about outsourcing certain functions from the team or another department.
Aside from this, here are some of the ways you can get your in-house employees comfortable with outsourcing.
Outline the benefits for them
Give them an insight into how it can help them in their daily workload. Basically, in-house employees benefit from outsourcing certain functions through:
- Reducing their workload
- Having better work distribution
- Decreasing work stress, and
- Providing them better work-life balance
Introduce your in-house team to their outsourced counterparts
Once you’ve started outsourcing, set a certain schedule where your onshore and outsourced teams can get to know each other.
A physical meeting is possible with either local or nearshore teams. For offshore employees, you can hold a hybrid Zoom meeting with both onshore and offshore teams in a single room.
Get them to collaborate in a project
Warm their collaboration up by giving them a project both teams can work on. This also gives you practice on proper work distribution instead of simply relying on your outsourced team to do everything on their own.
Encourage team-building efforts
At the same time, increase team-building efforts to help your teams get comfortable and encourage stronger connections. Allocate a certain day in the week to organize a virtual happy hour activity.
Treat your outsourced employees as a part of your company
Lastly, do not alienate your outsourced team from your company. Rather, treat them as an extension of your business and give them the treatment they deserve as your employees.
This treatment could extend to your onshore employees, encouraging them to consider their outsourced counterparts as their coworkers.
Outsourcing should be a win-win for you and your employees
In the end, outsourcing should benefit the company in its entirety, including its in-house employees.
Communicating with your employees is the best way to make this operation work. After all, you would want them to contribute to the organization better by saving their time and effort on more valuable tasks.
Don’t be afraid to talk to them about your company’s outsourcing plans. Most importantly, avoid practicing “fearful communication” with both your onshore and outsourced teams, making them lose their trust and loyalty to the company.
Rather, ask for their feedback and insights on how to improve their services better. Who knows what better ideas could come out with the move.