These companies are maybe too narrow-minded in their approach to offshoring. A study conducted by the Wall Street Journal on 130 offshore companies in India states that it is not the ease with which data and instructions are sent and communicated that determines the success of the project, but it is teamwork and managing onshore and offshore workers to work together towards a common goal or objective that makes the project tick.
So how can you benefit more from offshoring? Instead of trying to regulate your workers and control them, give them freedom and try to work on coordination and team work. Help them work with each other, foster relationships, and reward them appropriately.
Collaboration is the key to this equation. Workers are separated by ethnicity and geography. This makes it difficult to manage and coordinate them, but if you are able to achieve this then results would improve by about 400 percent.
A lot of companies are struggling when it comes to filling the talent gaps, and they are unable to see the resource pool that Asian countries like India and China have to offer.
Here are a few strategies on how to manage coordination between onshore and offshore teams:
Do not allow unnecessary interactions between onshore and offshore teams. If there is no need, then stop communication between them. Stop employees from different geographies from interacting with each other on adhoc basis. This phenomenon is also called as “black boxing”. Remember that you are supposed to use this technique very carefully and don’t end up blocking communication channels where they are required. Think carefully before acting. You need to define your policies very clearly.
Make it easy and simple for your workers to communicate with each other through various appropriate channels like email and phone calls. You can also allow them to connect using Skype or Slack. Communication becomes difficult when teams are working in different time zones. Patience is the key here.
It is important that your team members meet each other from time to time. Set up a travel budget for your company and choose a fun destination for the meet up between offshore and onshore teams. If this is not feasible you can always set up video conference parties or get togethers. You can also have Skype video conferencing fun meeting times where each side asks the other side about unique aspects about their culture, for example.
Develop a knowledgebase so that there is clarity between teams working in different time zones. A “shared knowledge” environment will help offshore teams to anticipate decisions and work in advance and help them prepare for it. This will reduce the time devoted to lengthy discussions that are otherwise required to get the message across. This will also reduce miscommunication and ease up the tension.
You can also allow offshore and onshore teams to work on the same project in a collaborated environment in real time scenarios. This way both teams are able to see what is happening and what needs to be done. There are a lot of software programs that allow teams to work on files that are stored in the cloud, for instance.