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As your organization grows, you’ll have to make decisions about building different types of teams around the world. You might consider options like opening new offices, hiring remote teams or bringing on agencies.
Given the current economic climate, outsourcing teams might seem like the most appealing option. Many people think it saves money and time and allows managers to offload the hiring, onboarding and managing processes to a third party. This strategy has a range of benefits, especially for customer success, which can require around-the-clock availability.
However, it actually takes a surprising amount of effort and investment to make this strategic decision pay off in the long run. Plus, outsourced teams are not as different from your in-house team as you might think. Here are a few tips on how to successfully manage outsourced teams in a way that truly pays off in the long run:
Related: What Not to Do When Outsourcing
1. Keep them engaged
Just because your outsourced teams are out of sight doesn’t mean that they can be out of mind. Similar to your in-house team, disengaged employees will have a higher turnover rate, which will require you to spend even more time and effort on hiring and building strong teams.
For this reason, the in-house manager still needs to oversee the hiring, onboarding and management process to make sure the outsourced teams share similar culture and values. Here are a few ways to keep your outsourced teams engaged:
Hiring: It might be tempting to fully pass off hiring responsibilities since you won’t have to do the heavy lifting. But it’s important to stay involved by onboarding the people responsible for hiring so they fully understand your company culture and expectations.
Setting structures: Put the right structures into place that will support training and engagement. This means implementing training and knowledge programs that mirror your in-house programs and could even include sending over your in-house educator to implement their high-quality, engaging learning plan.
Planning events: Run employee engagement activities similar to the ones you run for your in-house teams. Deck the events out in the company branding to make the outsourced teams feel like an equal part of the company.
Creating a flight plan: Create a flight plan to strengthen relationships and create a unified team. Send your in-house teams and outsourced teams to visit one another’s offices.
Survey: Distribute surveys about employee satisfaction so you can continually improve the ways you engage with the outsourced teams and make them feel valued.
2. Help them grow
Again, similar to your in-house team, without room for growth, your outsourced teams will lose motivation quickly, which will create high turnover and low retention. To attract and retain the best talent, you need to treat them as such.
Consider creating a growth path in which exceptional work results in opportunities for upward mobility, expanding skill sets or deepening industry knowledge. While it might seem more costly up front, it will be more cost-effective to retain your talent than constantly hiring and training new talent.
Offer a high level of visibility into your organization’s work, progress and plans. This will help them understand their contribution to short- and long-term goals. Compounding on that, celebrate milestones and achievements for the teams and the organization on-site. Then elevate these successes in larger forums so everyone gets the recognition they deserve, despite the distance.
3. Set high standards
The final piece of the puzzle is setting the right KPIs for your outsourced teams. Unfortunately, outsourced teams are sometimes thought of as a trade-off: a cheaper solution with mediocre results, but this should not be the case.
Your outsourced teams should have similar KPIs to your in-house teams. Lowering your KPIs for outsourced teams means you’re inherently sacrificing quality for cost, which lowers your organization’s overall efficiency. Outsourced teams are equally as professional and talented as your in-house teams — they’re simply located in another region.
There’s no doubt that outsourcing has plenty of benefits and can seem like a simple and attractive solution for scaling. But don’t lose sight of your goal: building a team that will produce high-quality work to better the organization. Invest time and resources to support every team member, and the value will be undeniable for everyone.