3 Things You Should Know About Managing an Offshore Team
So you have found an outsourcing partner and have built an offshore team. Now what?
As marketer and success analyst Richard St. John has put it, “Success is a continuous journey.” So before you rest on your laurels, you should know that aside from having credible outsourcing partners, your company also needs a competitive management structure to oversee them. For example, here at The Outsourced Accountant, we have what we call “Australian Champions” who are responsible for the offshore team’s training and management. The effective collaboration of your Australian Champions and your offshore team is the key to the ultimate success of your business.
Now here are three things your company’s Australian Champions should know about managing an offshore team:
Ensure Clear Communication
For Filipinos, the language barrier is not an issue; in fact, their proficiency in the English Language is exceptional, having a strong affinity to the Western Culture. However, misunderstandings may arise because of their indirectness sometimes. For example, “yes” doesn’t always mean they understand; it can mean “yes but…” or “maybe.”
In order to ensure that you are both on the same page, have them explain the task back to you. This way, you will not leave a room for miscommunication. Having a clear communication also ensures that responsibilities are understood and that everyone knows what is expected from the beginning.
Also, use idioms, proverbs, and euphemisms sparingly. Unless you have already taught them some, be easy not to throw them off with unfamiliar slang terms.
Hold Regular Meetings
Make sure that your Australian Champion holds regular meetings with your offshore team to train them and review their work. This helps your offshore team become more familiarise with their work and, at the same time, build rapport with your Australian team.
One way to increase team productivity is having micro meetings or daily huddles to check-in of each team member’s project status. Rob Nixon of Proactive Accountants Network said his Australian team does daily huddles and also holds Skype meeting with their Philippine team every day. Huddles keep everyone in sync and focused on a common goal. But remember, no problem-solving here; information sharing.
Also, don’t scrimp on recognitions. Let your team know that you appreciate their efforts and encourage them to do more of the same.
Treat Them Equally
One of our clients here at TOA shares his unique approach to becoming successful in outsourcing – treating his in-house team and their offshore team as one, as oppose to two separate teams from two different countries.
Domenic Suleman of Business Concepts Group (BCG) believes that having a positive relationship with his team results to making a positive relationship with his clients. “Obviously we come up quite regularly to spend time with the team here, do the training and all that. It’s just like one big happy family. As a result of that, I just think because we’re all working together, we enjoy working with each other, and therefore what we do at the end of the day, I guess it’s all about making a positive difference to our clients. And I think that’s what the team here has done,” he shared.
The Outsourced Accountant supports Australian and New Zealand accounting firms by helping them understand and implement outsourcing solutions to help them become more proactive and truly add value to their clients. If you want to know more about outsourcing, call us at 1300 896 522 / 0800 452 853, and download our e-book.