Six Tips for Managing Offshore Employees |
Because of the business market today, many companies have stretched their departments to other states or even countries. It has become normal to have several business partners or employees that make up a remote team, thousands of miles away from corporate headquarters. The ability to work effectively with and manage offshore employees has become increasingly important.
When it comes right down to it, in many ways employees working offshore are very similar to their U.S. counterparts. A positive managerial relationship is founded on trust and confidence in every employee. Creating a positive work environment for team members increases productivity while also helping keep retention rates high.
With employees located in different countries, a shared understanding of project goals and expectations should be established very early in a project. This agreement should include basic standards like hours, methods of communicating and ways to transmit information. It should also include goals and expectations for the individual and from the company. Everyone needs to be on the same page in order to perform to the best of his or her ability.
If you are new to overseas outsourcing and are interested in learning more about managing offshore employees, here are 6 important tips:
- Schedule regular team meetings with all team members. Meetings between remote and local members are a great way to increase communication, create dependability and help people work most effectively together.
- Emphasize the fact that there is no “i” in team. It is important to remember that the success of successful product development is dependent on an entire team. Everyone has the same ultimate goals – the only difference is that people are located in different areas. Establishing clear and common team goals is very important to help everyone stay focused on the big picture.
- Find ways for visual and auditory contact. While texting and email communication is convenient, visual and auditory contact is a much more powerful way to strengthen communications among team members situated in different locations.
- Write down and share objectives and goals. Written confirmation of objectives and goals is very helpful when discussing projects with onshore and offshore team members.
- Create picture and video examples of project work when appropriate. Picture and video examples are highly encouraged when working together in different locations. Visual aids may help convey more meaning than words alone.
- Make sure all team members feel comfortable and needed. Every employee in the business should feel comfortable and needed, even if they are far from the corporate office. This mutual dependency helps create a team quality despite being miles apart. This connection and allegiance allows more creativity and commitment from offshore employees.
Through ongoing communication, it is the manager’s job to make sure messages are understood and offer help when things becomes muddled. This may involve closer work or even direct interaction with each offshore employee.
Open communication and trust are essential when working with offshore employees. Establishing high standards, a strong work ethic and rewards will increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Working with offshore team members located in different countries may create certain challenges, yet the benefits of offshore expansion can be the key to success for a growing company.
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