Managing overseas employees creates challenges for experienced and novice managers similarly. While some management rules still apply to local and global management, monitoring the performance of your international team hosts a unique set of challenges.
Applying the essential managerial skills are still necessary, but you need to perform better if you want to grow and manage your overseas employees successfully. Although there are many ways to achieve this goal, below are some of the most useful techniques we apply to all our accounts.
Project management is a powerful business tool that can provide many advantages to businesses of all sizes. It gives you repeatable processes, techniques, and guidelines to help you manage the people and the tasks involved in your projects. It can boost your chances of success and help you deliver projects effectively, efficiently, on time, and on budget.
The essential benefit of project management is its ability to assist project managers to delegate tasks effectively, allowing project managers to resolve problems more quickly. Its essential elements are communication, task management, and time tracking.
Communication is the foundation on which your management relies. You need to convey clear ideas for them to fulfill their assigned tasks without your immediate supervision. It can be challenging if you and your overseas employees don’t have the same native language. Strong communication skills are necessary for managing offshore employees. Communicating with your overseas employees requires you to write clear and efficient tasks. Managers should ensure that their employees understand the tasks on a consistent basis, communicate their expectations clearly and ensure that their assigned tasks are necessary. Short and regular meetings keep everyone updated, instead of long and infrequent ones. In doing this, you will be able to spot any problems emerging more quickly.
Communication is more important when your team is in different time zones, and you only have a small chance of working at your desks simultaneously. An example is sending urgent tasks before the end of the day but not getting a response until you report next day. Thus, you need to make sure that your tasks are highly effective with clear assignments and objectives.
Project managers know how to supervise a team effectively. They are responsible for assigning a project, providing direction, and letting the team go to work. Managers should check in periodically, get daily progress reports, and trust that team members will do their jobs.
Defining the tasks. No matter what type of task you are delegating, make sure to take the time to clarify all the objectives. Doing so can control the possibility of miscommunication or a failed execution of the task.
Manage the time difference. The time difference is an essential factor in managing offshore employees. If it is an advantage or disadvantage? It depends on the proper management. It is necessary that a “common” time zone is mutually agreed on by you and your offshore employee. This time should be used for communication and resolving out issues faced by the team.
Managing Issues or Problems. These issues include language, political and cultural differences can be effectively managed by the program management office that provides oversight and management of all elements of the outsourcing initiative.
Project managers need the help of project management tools that are beneficial to the flow of a project. However, the driving force for a successful project will always be a good project and human resource management skills. One of the main tasks of a project manager is to make sure that the team is working well together and that they are on the right track and sticking to the schedule.
There are project management tools which can help you track the progress your team is making such as Basecamp, Wrike, Asana, and Teamwork. These tools have their own internal messaging, email, and calendars. They provide support to project managers and teams manage change, communicate, collaborate, and save time while being efficient. Task management tool can be used to enhance communication among your team as it allows all team members to see the tasks before, during, and after it appears in a workflow.
There are a lot of task management tools available but Teamwork has a guidance program that delivers step-by-step information to guide employees through workflow tasks. It ensures that your entire team is using internal software programs correctly and consistently. Collaboration among team members is easier due to a centralized communication. Teamwork projects can now also be integrated, and it works best with Zoho. Both tools create visual reports and dashboards that let you instantly review project data and carefully learn what’s happening with your tasks.
Regular communication is essential for your offshore team. Encourage employees to communicate with each other through the following communication tools like Skype, WebEx, Slack, and Trello.
Slack has an advanced search filter which is very useful in finding something specific like a file. However, it is not well organized and has a maximum amount of history after which they become archived and accessible only upon the purchase of the Pro Plan. The constant notifications and incoming messages can also be very distracting. Another software tool for communication is the WebEx which has a simple interface that makes for easy call setup. But this one is a more expensive solution than other competitive products. You can also consider Trello as this software too makes it very easy to stay organized across multiple teams. While its simplicity is an advantage, it can also be a challenge when used by large teams because it has features that are limited such as card sub-tasks, epic, and boards.
For sharing content and collaborating around that content in our team, we recommend Skype as it provides an opportunity to save on mobile expenses without sacrificing the quality of communication. Frequent calls during collaborative projects can reach a high amount of charges, especially that you have an offshore team. In Skype, you can plan everything from voice and video calls to group conference calls. You can also send instant messages and share screens or files.
Skype is a well-known brand because it is not just used for business but also for ordinary individuals. Not only does it work on Windows and Mac computers but there are also a variety of iOS, Windows Phone and Android apps available for phones, tablets, and other portable devices. Skype can be switched to multiple forms of office communication wherever they may be.
By tracking each task, it helps you to stay organized with your everyday activity at work because you won’t even think about delaying your task. However, many companies still have hesitations in implementing a time tracking tool for fear of employee’s dissatisfaction. It is certain that they will feel dissatisfied knowing that a tracking software will monitor their computer activities. Although in most cases, project managers are implementing time tracking tool not to catch employees slacking off, and especially not of distrust.
In every business, you need to have a Time Tracking Software that is intended for your company size, type of customers and staff and the particular industry in which you do business.
We find Time Doctor as the best tool in the market for it allows you to track time spent working and time spent on breaks accurately. Your team members can get a lot more done each day, boosting their productivity and reducing wasted time. It has detailed insights on how you would spend your time in learning your weaknesses so you can improve them. Time doctor uses world-class encryption methods to ensure that your information is safe and secure when sent to the Time Doctor servers.
In conclusion, Outsourcing is a difficult thing to do. It tends to provoke strong reactions. We have all heard stories of businesspersons who have lost a minor fortune trying to outsource. From wasted time to inconsistency, not having a process to manage your projects can result in lost time, wasted money and poor performance. It takes time and money to handle a team, but with the best tools, proper implementation and following good practices can help you.
Projects often don’t work because managers fail to clearly express the vision and the project’s measure of success. Managers have their certain expectations of how things will work according to plan, and this must be communicated successfully to each team member. However, it usually doesn’t work out as smoothly in practice. Having outsourced employees will help your company improve a function, but this doesn’t always happen immediately. Both parties need time to adjust to each other and identify the best ways to work together as a team.
Another barrier to effective outsourcing is their language, cultural and educational disparities and the countries where outsourcing tasks are usually assigned. These differences have a considerable effect on the capability of offshore teams to fully understand the extent of a task and to effectively execute it.
It can also be a challenge as to whom the authority and decision rights are assigned. Internal employees sometimes assume they have all the authority to decide when, usually, some are handed over to the outsourcing company as part of the agreement. To fix the issue, both need to come up with a clear understanding of who has the authority and the power to decide for the specific business function.
Our goal here at Duext is to provide you with an outstanding remote staff that will be with you for years to come and will continuously exceed your expectations. Our team consists of professionals who are from nations where both wages and attrition are lower than in the United States. Nevertheless, regardless of the lower cost, we guarantee you that the quality of their work is exceptional. Your dedicated team will report to you daily, and we set them to work your morning hours so they can communicate at any time.
Successful outsourcing is not just about a great staff, which is why our dedicated professionals will work closely with you from start to finish so that we can understand what you want and carry on your business culture and process to our offshore team successfully. Trust us on this one as we are here in this business for so many years now. We don’t merely do our job just because we know how to do it, but instead, it is already our expertise.
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