With the New Year approaching, it’s time to re-evaluate how you work with your outsourced team. Increasing motivation levels is the key to higher productivity.
You’ll often hear people talk about the importance of motivation in a business context. But you may not realise just how drastic an effect motivation levels can have on your business.
Back in 2013, a Gallup study discovered that 70% of American workers weren’t hitting their full potential. They put this down to low motivation levels caused by disengagement with their work.
They also looked into the monetary costs of these low levels of engagement.
Gallup estimated what unmotivated employees cost American businesses. They placed the damage somewhere between $450 billion and $550 billion per year.
That alone highlights the costs of a lack of motivation.
And there are plenty more stats that show why it’s important. For example, the Hay Group ran its own study. It discovered that offices with engaged employees are 43% more productive.
Now, you may think that money is the issue here. If you just offer people more of it, you’ll motivate them to work harder.
However, that’s not the case. Only 12% of people who leave a company earn more at their new job. This suggests that money isn’t the primary motivating force in their life.
Perhaps you’re wondering why all of this is relevant to you if you’re considering hiring an outsourced team for an engineering or construction project.
Why do you need to know about the importance of motivation?
The simple answer is that your outsourced team has to confront the same motivational issues as your onshore team. That means you need to focus on keeping your outsourced team engaged.
Working with the right partner to build a team is only part of the equation. You also need to work with this partner to keep your outsourced team motivated. Here are six techniques to keep your team engaged and productive:
Technique #1– Provide Training
You may feel hesitant to provide training to your outsourced team. After all, one of your reasons for creating that team was likely to reduce costs. Providing training requires both time and monetary investment. This seems to eliminate the point of creating the outsourced team in the first place.
However, you need to think about this from a long-term perspective. You’re going to work with this team on several projects, likely over the course of a number of years. You need them to reach the appropriate standards to ensure quality work.
On the motivational level, providing training shows that you care about the people in your team. You’re providing the members with an opportunity to enhance their professional skills. This could lead to them taking on more responsibilities and going deeper into your culture.
In other words, training drives engagement within your outsourced team. The members will feel like they’re actually part of your company. This feeling of belonging improves motivation levels, which results in greater productivity.
Technique #2 – Match Tasks to Skills
When somebody feels lost at work, their motivation levels dwindle. Your team members are at their best when you match their tasks to their skills.
That was the conclusion of a 2014 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology. When employees understand their roles and work to their strengths, a more harmonious work environment is created. There are fewer conflicts because your team doesn’t make as many errors.
In addition, each member feels like they’re actively contributing based on the unique skills they bring to the table.
It’s likely that you’ll need an evaluation period to make sure you can assign tasks effectively. The good news is that your outsourcing partner should be able to show you what skills each team member has. Then it’s time to figure out how those skills align with each of the tasks the team must complete.
Technique #3 – Offer Incentives for Meeting or Exceeding Targets
It’s likely that you’ll use a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track employee performance. For example, a sales team may have metrics related to the number of calls made, number of sales, and so on.
Your task is to ensure your outsourced team does everything they can to reach the targets you set. That’s where an incentive scheme can come in handy. With an incentive scheme, you offer your team members a direct reward for meeting or exceeding a target.
On the most basic level, you can use money as a reward. For example, you may offer a cash bonus based on how far a team member exceeds a target.
However, as established earlier, money is not the main motivator for many of your team members. That means you should consider other potential rewards for good performance.
For example, if somebody meets all of their targets for the month, you could grant them an extra day off. This rewards productivity with more time to focus on things that matter personally to that individual.
Other rewards include experiences, such as cinema or comedy night tickets. You could even offer subscriptions to premium streaming services, such as Netflix and Spotify.
The key is to think beyond the monetary and offer rewards that have a tangible benefit. These rewards act as recognition for your team’s hard work. Plus, these types of rewards show that you care about your staff beyond who they are in the office.
Technique #4 – Invest in Team Swag
Building on the previous idea, we have the concept of team swag. This encompasses almost anything your team members receive as a perk of working with your company. That means it covers everything from branded pens and mugs, through to things like phone cases and other useful items.
The key to motivating employees with team swag is to make sure that you choose items people actually need. Think beyond the office and consider what somebody could also use in their personal lives.
For example, you could offer water bottles, towels, and gym memberships as part of a company health initiative. This shows your team that you care about their wellbeing. Plus, you benefit from having a happier and healthier team.
That’s just one of many examples of how you can use swag to your advantage. If the items you give your people have a direct benefit for them, you’re going to see higher motivation levels.
Technique #5 – Set Defined Goals for Your Team
A lack of focus is a huge issue when it comes to motivation. When your outsourced team doesn’t know what it needs to do, productivity levels will dip. Your people will become frustrated because they’re not seeing themselves make progress. And that issue becomes compounded if they discover they’re working hard on things you don’t need them to do.
That’s why it’s so important to have clear and defined goals for your outsourced team.
Start with the main outcome of a project and work backwards. For example, an engineering firm’s main project outcome may be a complete set of design documentation. Within that main outcome lies a set of smaller goals. These may include the creation of concept designs, compliance research, and other tasks.
Create milestones around these smaller tasks and highlight how completing each brings your team closer to the main goal. Then, assign the relevant person or team to each task.
Now, the team has focus and can see how everything it does creates progress. That means they’re motivated to keep pushing to see the project through to completion.
And Finally… Find the Right Outsourcing Partner
It’s crucial to understand the role your outsourcing partner plays in keeping your team motivated.
Your partner almost acts as a middleman between you and your team. They’re as involved with the team as you are. And in many cases, the messages you communicate to your partner lead to changes within the team.
However, it’s in the formation of the team in the first place that your outsourcing partner’s skills come to the fore.
A great partner will aim to learn everything they can about your business and its culture. They’ll also help you determine which tasks you need to outsource and what skills your new team must possess.
This is all essential to building a cohesive team that’s capable of working together productively. Your partner will also use their understanding of your culture to ensure the people it hires align with your vision.
An outsourcing partner is more than just an organisation that finds cost-effective labour. Your partner takes an active role in helping you create an extension of your existing team.
That’s what Cybalink specialises in. We provide outsourcing solutions to companies in the engineering and construction industries. And we’ll work with you to ensure you get the most out of the teams that we help you to build.
Would you like to find out more? Get in touch with us today to discover how we can help you.
So you have your outsourced team. Now you need to make them as productive as possible. Put these tips into action...