How to integrate your offshore and onshore teams

Integrating your offshore team into your onshore team is possibly one of the most important elements of outsourcing. Failing to integrate the two teams can result in an unsuccessful outsourcing journey.

How to integrate your offshore and onshore teams

To ensure you’re integrating both teams efficiently and effectively, follow these three key steps.

1. Have a training plan in place

Ensure you have a training plan ready to go from day one outlining exactly how your offshore team member will be trained to do the tasks that are involved in their role. This will leave a good first impression that your business is committed and organized, as well as setting the tone for what’s expected within the role.

Some of the things your training plan may include:

  • The training topic
  • The date and time as to when the training will be conducted
  • A link or description as to what training material is required
  • How the training will be delivered and by who (if relevant).
Remote training vs. onsite training

A common concern we have with clients is ‘how will we train our offshore team if we can’t see them?’ While there are many benefits to visiting your offshore team in person, and something we recommend doing, it’s not necessary for training.

Thanks to the advancement of technology, you can train your offshore team exactly how you would your onshore team with online communication tools such as Zoom or Skype. As an added bonus, your offshore team member can record the training session and use it to create process documentation or training notes.

2. Put key results areas in place (KRAs)

KRAs are the quantitative or qualitative results of the tasks and responsibilities of each role that are found in a job description. Implementing KRAs will ensure everyone is aware of what is expected of them and allows you to monitor performance and provide feedback where necessary.

To identify what the KRAs are for each of your offshore team members, look at their individual tasks and responsibilities and then work out what your expectation would be in terms of productivity for a given period of time.

3. Bring your offshore team into your office with technology

By introducing the two teams, you are creating pathways for communication and familiarity. Having the two teams meet on their own accord can cause a separation between the two teams - which is not the goal at all.

Set up a large LED TV with Skype or Zoom (or any other video/web conferencing platform you prefer). Whenever you need to conduct a team meeting the connection is there ready to go at a click of a button. This will ensure you can gather everyone together as easy as it would be if you were all in the office together.

Doing this also creates an active portal at all times between both locations and will encourage both teams to talk to each other, discuss issues and help each other out.

At the end of the day you’re trying to create the sense that everyone is in the same physical space.

Alternatively, you can set up a IP phone system in your organization to allow for ease of communication with allocated number ranges and corresponding extension numbers.

This brings both offices closer together, as your onshore staff can then speak to your offshore staff via their IP phone simply by calling the appropriate local extension with no call cost associated with it. Furthermore, if your offshore team members are required to make outbound calls to customers, suppliers, prospects, and so on, they can also do this through your own domestic phone system.

The importance of culture

Another important step is ‘injecting your organization’s culture into your offshore team’. Businesses often overlook this step thinking it doesn’t hold much importance - it’s a common mistake that leads to many negative outsourcing experiences. To find out how culture affects outsourcing success, read this blog.