How to communicate and meet with your offshore team
- Connecting with your offshore team is worth the effort.
- Choose your team carefully to ensure they can meet your organizational needs.
- Commit to being accessible.
- Let your offshore team know how to reach you.
- Set up synchronous and asynchronous communication channels.
- Schedule real-time meetings that work with the offshore team’s time zones.
- Use video to get a sense of workers’ body language.
- Get to know your team through small talk.
- Use performance assessments to check on employees’ progress and encourage your team.
- Work with a BPO firm to streamline your recruitment, hiring, and communication processes.
When you work with an offshore team, you’re not in the same building or even the same country at the same time, but you can still meet with your team whenever you want. A Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm can handle meetings with your offshore team, but of course, you can meet with them as well, and should when you can.
Regular online meetings ensure you’re on the same page, and they allow you to avoid unnecessary travel. How can you meet with your offshore team? More importantly, how can you foster a connection with employees in another country? Let these eight simple tips and ideas guide you in the right direction.
1. Set up your team carefully
Quality communication starts with the right team. Think about the long-term organizational goals of your company before you start the selection process, and look for the right fits. You need team members with the right experience that mesh with your company.
To facilitate this process, you may want to work with a BPO firm. They can help you find the best candidates and handle all aspects of the hiring process.
2. Commit to accessibility
Whether they’re offshore or down the hall, your employees need to be able to ask you questions or update you on their progress regularly. When you’re working in the same building, accessibility can be as easy as opening your office door, but when you’re in different countries, you need to be more proactive about staying in touch.
Let offshore employees know how and when they can contact you. Ideally, you should be having real-time conversations, but if the time zones don’t connect, you can easily schedule time for asynchronous communication.
3. Utilize video
Instant messaging, email, and phone calls allow you to communicate with offshore team members. The downfall of these mediums is that they lack visuals. Body language and eye contact can be critical when you’re trying to get to know your offshore team. These social cues can help you lead your team more effectively.
Fortunately, you can easily utilize visual types of communication with your offshore team. Make video calls or conferences part of the mix. For example, you may want to rely on emails when you are out of the office, instant messaging during office hours, and video conferences with tools such as Skype or Microsoft Teams once a week, monthly, or as needed.
4. Set up meetings between offshore and on-site employees
Your on-site and offshore employees may need to collaborate on projects. In addition to communicating personally with your offshore team, make sure that they can communicate with your employees.
Turn to apps that facilitate collaboration between teams in different locations. Also, consider using social communication apps, like Slack, that can help to create a virtual water cooler where all your employees can get together regardless of their location.
5. Consider a personal connection
Your relationship with your offshore team doesn’t have to be strictly business. You may also want to get to know your employees personally. Take an interest in their lives and inquire about how they are when meeting online.
If appropriate for your industry, you may also want to friend your offshore team on social media and show an interest in them by liking or sharing their posts. Or, foster a connection through birthday greetings, cards for important life events, and similar types of outreaches.
6. Show employees that you value them
There will be cultural and language differences between you and your offshore team. However, like any other employee, these employees want to feel appreciated. They tend to work harder for employers who value them and their efforts.
A few simple attempts can show your offshore team that you appreciate them. For example, work on pronouncing their names correctly, learn how to greet them and say “thank you” in their language, and recognize the holidays that are important in their country.
7. Make small talk
When you connect with your offshore employees, don’t just jump right into work. Instead, make some small talk. When communicating, treat these employees with the same level of kindness and interest you’d give to on-site employees in the hallway of your office.
Ask them about their day and how they’re feeling. If they’ve recently returned from vacation, ask how their time away was. Simple questions like these build rapport and make your employees feel valued. They also encourage workers to respect you.
8. Assess their performance
Set aside specific times to assess the performance of offshore employees. Give them feedback about their work. Identify areas where they excel and help them see where they can improve. This type of targeted communication is essential if you want to have a strong team.
Then, consider flipping the conversation around. Ask team members how they feel about the company. See if they have any feedback or areas where you can support them more effectively.
Building a relationship with your offshore team takes a bit of extra effort. It’s worth the time, though. Engagement can turn good employees into great employees and it boosts retention by fostering loyalty. Regardless of whether your employees are onshore or offshore, they enjoy feeling valued and treated like human beings. Even a small bit of outreach can make a significant difference.
Contact Doxa7 to learn more about managing offshore teams
If you’re ready to grow your business or need help with tasks at a fair price with business-friendly terms, you may find the support you need with an offshore team. At Doxa7, we help our clients manage all aspects of offshore teams, including the hiring and recruitment process and facilitation of meetings. To learn more about our modern process and to see how an offshore team can help your organization, contact us for a free consultation today.