How to avoid cultural pitfalls in outsourcing?
When you outsource some of your business activities to a company in a different geographical location, it is essential to ensure that you prove to be a supportive and encouraging business enterprise. Often for outsourcing companies, it becomes necessary to avoid cultural pitfalls and nurture an atmosphere conducive to growth and development. For example, if you are located in a country that is not aware of the country's cultural intricacies in which the firm that you have outsourced the work is located, you might be faced with complex problems. One of the most common issues that managers of outsourcing companies often face is that the two firms' holidays often do not match, which leads to problems regarding completing the work on schedule. However, you can easily overcome the problem by getting to know beforehand the company's calendar that you have outsourced your business activities. After that, all you need to do is schedule the tasks you want to outsource according to the outsourced company's calendar. This way, you will ensure that the work gets completed on time and the company's team members outsource the work to do not face any problem with completing the job on schedule. It will also show that you are concerned about the cultural intricacies of the employees working in the company, you have outsourced your work to. Some of the other methods that you can follow to avoid cultural pitfalls while outsourcing are as follows:
1. Maintaining professional etiquette
Although you are outsourcing work to a company, and essentially, the company is entitled to give you regular updates, it is necessary to maintain professional etiquette while sending requests to the company. It would be best if you also respected the behavioral patterns of the people you have outsourced your work to. For example, it has been observed that people of specific ethnic backgrounds find it easier to communicate in groups and emails. They find it is discomforting if they have to deal on a one-on-one basis with the company's business managers that have outsourced the work. The primary reason for this is that there might be an issue with the accent, which might hinder verbal communication. But with written communication, you can avoid this problem.
Similarly, you can avoid any such issue if you try communicating with the entire team. This, too, falls under professional etiquette. In this way, the whole team will be updated regarding the project's progress. Similarly, any issue or bottleneck that might arise in the future due to lack of communication can be addressed beforehand. Thus, maintaining professional etiquette is essential when dealing with teams that outsource your company's work to other geographical locations.
2. Discuss the goals and guidelines with the teams
When you outsource a project to another team, you must discuss the team's goals and guidelines. This is essential to make the team feel included in the project. You must develop the goals and guidelines considering the requirements of the outsourced team. As mentioned earlier, the calendar followed by the team that you have outsourced the work to might be different from your calendar. Hence, it is necessary to make certain adjustments to the goals, ensure that the work does not get affected, and the team members' sentiments are also upheld.
Additionally, when you consider the outsourced team members' requirements while developing the goals and guidelines of the project, you are allowing the team to grow. This is important to show that you are interested in the outsourced team's growth and development. When you show interest in the growth and development of the outsourced team you can help improve the efficiency and performance of the team. This also important to curb any form of dissatisfaction, which is important to improve productivity of the team. If the team you have outsourced your work to perform at par, it will help you in the long run. You will create a dependable relationship that can only grow with time. Hence, it would be best if you also showed interest in helping the team outsource your work to grow and develop.
3. Help with constructive suggestions
In most cases, business managers associated with companies outsourcing work to companies located in Asia mention that the best way to avoid any issue with teams working is to provide constructive suggestions. Reactive suggestions are often not accepted comfortably by groups that you have outsourced your work. Instead, it would be best if you tried providing proactive and constructive suggestions. It is crucial to keep in mind that they are not directly your employees and do not associate with you daily. Hence, the teams working at a different geographical location and on a project that has been outsourced to them do not have much knowledge about your specific requirements. Therefore, they will have to innovate and often be intuitive, which might not produce the desired results. However, as a business manager, you must help the team with constructive suggestions and provide all the help and support required to complete the project on time at such junctures. If you are reactive, it might prove counterproductive, and you will not get the desired results. Hence, while outsourcing work to teams in different geographical locations, you must be careful when you provide any form of criticism.
Outsourcing work to teams located in other geographical locations is often necessary to ensure that the work is completed on time and expertly. To do so, you must prove to be helpful and supportive to these teams. Business managers often mention that they face issues while evaluating the cultural requirements of these teams. However, this is not difficult and can be managed easily only if you try and understand these teams' backgrounds. It would be best if you also kept in mind that since these teams do not interact with you and do not know you as an individual, you must be careful while interacting with them. You should maintain professional etiquette while interacting with the team, ensuring that you avoid any cultural issues.