Improve Communication with Your Offshore Team

Angela McDonald • 05/01/2017

Poor communication in the workplace can lead to confused and unproductive staff. Regular contact, meetings and effective communication builds trust, grows morale and creates a better working environment. Time invested in building relationships does not need to be constrained by distance. Communication plays a significant role when managing your offshore team. If you want the most out of your remote staff, they must be fully versed in your expectations, and personal and business goals. Here are a few tips to improve the communication with your offshore staff:

Initial Communication

Building a trusting relationship from the start is crucial. As you would with a new domestic team member, invest time to explain the business, role expectations and how you will communicate. Consider cultural differences; reassure your staff that they can contact you should they need further information. Insufficient knowledge exchange will lead to unsatisfactory work and will be time consuming long term. Keep your domestic staff well informed of your new staff members and the hurdles that you may face. Clarity is key.

Daily Communication

Choose one primary method of daily communication where your staff member will know to check for any meeting notes or updates. Use messenger apps for less formal communication between staff members for team bonding. Regular contact is important however an overload of information will leave staff feeling confused.

Personal Communication

As with most cultures, the more personally valued a Filipino worker feels, the more engaged they will be, resulting in a more positive and productive work environment. Set up a thirty minute catch up each month without a specific agenda to allow them to reflect on how things are going and what you can do to improve communication. At first, they may seem reluctant as they will see this as questioning your management style which is disrespectful in Filipino culture.

Clarity

Offshore workers need clarity and focus. They must rely on virtual means for information and updates so the more informed they are on their goals, the more productive they will be in achieving them. Consider cultural differences and vernacular in emails. The language of electronic communication may not be received and understood consistently across different countries and cultures. Do not forward or CC your remote staff in every reciprocated email as they may not understand or follow the content. Instead, bullet point the main issues and how any changes may affect them.

Face to face

Virtual face to face meetings reduce any lost communication you have through written email and allows you to personally connect with your workers. Arrange a time once a week for a Skype call to discuss their progress and relay any information you have discussed in your domestic meetings.

Meeting your Manilla team in person is invaluable. Take the opportunity to spend quality time with your team in their office space. It will allow you to have a better understanding of their working day, facilities, culture and any problems they may face. Deployed has witnessed the positive benefits that sending a domestic worker to the Philippines can have. It will provide insightful education and training for both staff divisions that can only be achieved by personal sessions.

A remote team is an extension of your office. Our workers have the skills and eagerness for your business but you must invest the time in clearly outlaying your goals and expectations. It will be unconditionally beneficial to your business and the relationship of other staff.