So you’ve been working remotely with your offshore team for some time now. How are you and your team extension getting along and working towards your goals? Improve productivity and KPI achievements with four simple but crucial tips.
You’ve already made the decision to outsource some key engineering or construction tasks to an external team. They’re performing pretty. You can see the time and cost savings reflected in the team’s output. Plus, your onshore team has renewed its focuses on the services you provide and the clients that you work with.
But you feel like the offshore team could do better.
Now that you have these people in place, your task is to motivate them so that they meet, and perhaps even exceed, the high standards you set for your business.
The key thing to note here is that an outsourced team is not some random third party. It’s as much a part of your team as the guys that you have onshore. That means that they need to operate with the same understanding of your company’s mission and values.
And just like your onshore team, your outsourced team needs motivating.
After all, a motivated team is a productive team. When your people enjoy working for your company, they’ll become highly productive. The team works better, faster, and harder, which means they meet deadlines and achieve your KPIs.
In other words, they become a vital part of your company. And of course, that means more time and money saved for you.
#1 – Be Clear on Your Business, and Their Role in It
First, build a solid foundation for your working environment. That means clarity about your business and their role in it.
You want to take advantage of all that outsourcing has to offer. But to do that, you need to clarify your own objectives.
For example, if you may choose to outsource some of the administrative work behind an engineering project. That means you need to ask some important questions, such as:
- How will you divide tasks between the members of your outsourced team?
- Is your outsourced team working with in-house employees?
- Do you intend on the team taking over some tasks completely?
Figure out your aims and how outsourcing can meet those goals. Once you understand your goals, you can structure and manage the project. And you can outline tasks for your outsourced team.
A quality outsourcing agency will take you through the steps they follow to understand exactly what you need. This will help them to figure out what solution you require to meet those needs.
It’s also important for your outsourced team to feel that they have a place in your organisation. You don’t want them to feel like they’re on the outside. That’s detrimental to motivation.
Instead, outline their special place in the office. And be sure to communicate often.
Hiring a new team is the easy part. When you choose to outsource construction planners, for example, it’s a simple process to screen specialists.
However, you also need to go out of your way to integrate them into the office.
#2 – Respect That They’re Specialists
If you’re planning on outsourcing in the construction industry or another highly technical field, you’ll need specialists. It’s important that you understand and respect that your new team are specialists.
You can delegate a whole range of tasks nowadays, even if you’re in a highly technical industry like construction and engineering. Outsourcing gives you plenty of options. But you also need to respect your specialists’ place in the industry.
You may need to apply a more personalised touch to your team. For example, getting to know each member as an individual could help you to learn more about their education and skills.
It could also reveal what matters most to them both work and professional contexts.
You can also encourage team members to make recommendations. Put their expertise to work. Their recommendations may increase your business’ productivity and performance.
Communication often is also a sign of respect. Keep them in the loop.
If you outsource construction planners for your project, alert them of any changes right away. Have confidence that they’ll incorporate the updates the way they need to. Trusting your team members’ judgement empowers them.
And compliment them when they do something exceptional. If you do need to criticise their performance, buffer it with positive points.
In addition, understand that they are specialists in the field. So, you do need to pay them accordingly. It’s one of the easiest ways to show respect and appreciation for their work.
Also, you can find out what drives and motivates your team members. Each person has different motivations. So, this takes some exploratory conversations.
Assigning more challenging tasks can motivate members who want more responsibility. Or if you have ambitious specialists, you can help them develop more skills.
#3 – Rewards, Recognition, and Training
How much do outsourcers make? Are you paying your team competitive wages?
Studies show that outsourcing is a great cost-cutting measure for companies. But oftentimes, it’s the outsourced workers who bear the brunt of the savings.
In one case, in particular, low skilled workers lost as much as 40% of their take-home pay when they chose an outsourced position.
This is important to understand in a construction or engineering context. The people on your outsourced team have acquired some degree of specialisation to work in these fields. This means they offer you something that the average outsourced team member doesn’t.
The pay that you offer should reflect this fact.
Bargain prices sometimes mean bargain work. So, pay your team the equivalent of the value you expect in return.
In addition, everyone loves rewards and recognition for a job well done. Not only does it motivate your team. But it also gives them a sense of inclusivity with the rest of the team.
Also, remember to pay them for any overtime work. They go above and beyond for you. Paying them overtime wages is a great way of paying them back.
Additional training may seem like a strange idea for a reward at first. However, your outsourced team contains people who want to get ahead in their careers. They’re ambitious enough to want to move up and earn more.
And training you provide helps them to achieve their ambitions.
Offer extra training in areas they’re interested in. Give them the opportunity to move into better-paying positions within the team.
You’ll boost their earning power. And you get specialists with more skills to utilise.
#4 – Show Respect and Build a Relationship
One of the best ways to motivate your outsource team is to treat them like your in-house team. That means that they’re merely an extension. Even if they’re thousands of miles away.
Start by building a relationship with them. Little touches go a long way. Show respect for their time and need for flexibility.
Add them to company-wide emails and keep them updated to your long-term strategy.
The more you put into working with your offshore team, the more value you get back. Build a solid rapport with them and be receptive to their input.
For example, let’s assume that your outsourced team is fairly local to your main offices. In this case, you may be able to invite them to company events. This gives both of your teams the chance to meet, share stories, and create bonds. You also show your outsourced team that you consider them part of your work family.
Also, common courtesies are also a must. Say “please” and “thank you” whenever you interact with your team. And try to respect their culture and geographical differences.
Often, your outsourced team comes from a culture that’s different from your own. Rather than using it as a barrier, find common ground with it.
The general rule of thumb regarding conduct: Don’t be the person you’d hate to work for. Show consideration and respect. It is the first step towards building a long-term relationship with your team.
Things You Should NEVER Do with Any Employee
There are also certain things you should never do, regardless of whether it’s an outsourced team member or not.
Different strategies motivate team members in different ways. But there are also things that are certain to demotivate your employees – immediately.
Firstly, be wary about how you word your requirements. There’s potential for miscommunication, especially if there’s a language barrier to overcome. Failing to consider this could lead to your requirements coming off more like demands.
Also, be aware of how you criticise your team.
It’s okay if you’re disappointed in the results. But you shouldn’t tell them that they need to work better.
Instead, try showing appreciation for their efforts. You can ask them to put in a little more effort. But you also need to be a little more specific with your instructions.
Nothing alienates a team faster than telling them that it’s “not your problem.” You want to cultivate an attitude of shared responsibilities. Their problems are yours.
So, work together to find a solution.
Treat Your Outsourced Team like an Extension
When you choose an outside team, you are getting more than outsourcing efficiency gains. You’re also gaining an extension to your team.
That means you have to focus on keeping that team motivated. After all, a motivated team will produce better results, which benefits both your business and your clients.
One of the ways to keep your team motivated is to treat them well. Build a relationship and show respect for them. Also, show your appreciation for their hard work with recognition and rewards.
Nurture an environment of inclusivity and a sense of belonging. Ultimately, treating your offshore team as an extension will inspire quality work. And it inspires loyalty to your business.
Are you ready to explore your outsourcing options?
Contact us at Cybalink for a consultation. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and provide personalised solutions to meet your needs.
So you have your outsourced team. Now you need to make them as productive as possible. Put these tips into action...