We’ve talked in detail about what nearshoring is, the process of outsourcing work to reduce costs while maintaining the benefits of working with a team in the same time zone, and with fewer cultural and language barriers. For example, companies in the United States will find that a country like Argentina will save them a lot of money over time due to a lower hourly rate for IT services compared to the U.S. If you’ve chosen the route of developing a nearshoring team, congratulations! Now it’s time to talk about managing that team in the most effective way. Let’s take a look at the top 10 tips for managing a nearshoring team.
1. Measure success by outcomes rather than activity.
When you’re working with a nearshore team or any remote team for that matter, it is the outcomes that are important, not the activity. No one likes to be micro-managed, even in the office. Instead, offer clear guidelines and expectations and then measure the time’s success by their deliverables and outcomes within the parameters of the project. When a team is given space to create within a project container, they can be more productive and innovative.
2. Take advantage of technology.
It’s the only way. Nearshoring, at its core, is incredibly reliant on technology. People all across the globe have adjusted on some level to working remotely. Taking advantage of technology means utilizing the many tools available to you. Finding an effective way to communicate with your team through different programs like Slack or Monday will help keep everyone on the same page and connected. A significant benefit of nearshoring is the ability to also connect over the phone and during “office hours” because everyone is in the same time zone.
3. Communication is key.
A major component of a happy and successful life is communicating needs, wants, boundaries, and expectations clearly. The same holds true when working remotely, especially across continents. Make sure you have clear guidelines about how communication is handled and what kind of expectations there are about daily and weekly connections. Is there a morning check-in every day? Should a specific task be handled by phone, email, or another platform? Communication will be critical to a thriving work culture and a nearshoring experience.
4. Expect the best intentions from all involved.
When you’re working remotely and with a remote team, some of the physical, verbal cues and body language are missing, potentially leaving a message lost in translation. Right from the start, it’s essential to set this precedence to expect the best intentions from everyone involved, and for them to expect the best intentions from you as well. Suppose something doesn’t go according to plan, check-in first before jumping to conclusions. And if you receive a message that feels harsh, assume the best from the person communicating with you and ask for clarification if needed.
5. Use video communication whenever it’s possible.
As you might be gathering, communication is the necessary ingredient for managing a nearshoring team. This is a very nuanced topic that has many facets to consider. To ease some of the potential miscommunications that might occur due to long conversations happening on Slack or through email, hop on a video call whenever possible. The good news about synced up time zones is that this is entirely possible. It also puts a face to a name and builds a rapport that might not be possible without video. Video also provides the opportunity to read body language, which is a significant component of communication.
6. Include your nearshoring team in brainstorming sessions.
Even though you’re outsourcing business in a beneficial way, it’s important to include your nearshoring team in your process. Yes, you can just assign a task and set them loose, but you can still build a solid work culture by including outsourcing teams. Including the team in brainstorming sessions is also beneficial because it gives them a bigger picture of the end goals and the possible processes to help achieve those goals.
7. Hold team health meetings virtually.
When there are deadlines to be met and work piling up, it’s easy to forget that real human beings are on the other side of the screen. Empathy, open communication, and a designated, regularly occurring time to check-in are essential. Connecting with your nearshoring team in this way, whether as a group, but ideally one-on-one builds rapport, and “clearing the air” allows everyone the opportunity to feel heard, make changes as needed, and continue to thrive.
8. Find the right team for the job.
Hiring the right people for the job is critical for all of these tips to work. Outsourcing for development and IT services requires a team with a particular skill set, attitude, and mindset to get the job done well. Finding a team that aligns with your time zone will make this onboarding process much smoother because you’ll use a variety of communication methods. When looking for the right team, there are thriving tech hubs in countries like Argentina who are knowledgeable, capable, and more affordable than team members inside the United States.
9. Offer positive feedback whenever possible.
You’re dealing with a team that is entirely remote in relation to your business. They don’t get the pleasure of interacting with you in person and feeling that connection with collaborative feedback and brainstorming. When managing a nearshoring team, it’s important to make it a priority to keep your team engaged and feeling confident that they are doing their jobs well because the only thing they’ll have to go on is your communication. When offering positive feedback, get specific when possible.
10. Trust your team.
If you’ve created the dream-team, communicated clearly about your goals, needs, values, and company, and have welcomed your nearshoring team into the fold of your company culture, it’s time to trust their skills and let them run with the work they’ve been provided. Trust is important. Positive communication is beneficial. Building a team that you can lean on is what it’s all about.
Managing a nearshoring team might feel daunting. With some effort to create a solid hiring and onboarding process, you will be well on your way to finding success with this powerful outsourcing method.