By | Kate Russell
The global outsourcing market equaled $85.6 billion in 2018.
While a reduction in market size from 2016, which amounted to $104.6 according to Statista, outsourcing business processes persists as a dominant trend in hiring practices.
The voluminous global outsourced services market not only represents the business processes of corporations, but also those of small businesses.
Currently, 37% of small businesses outsource a business process. More than half of small business plan to outsource in 2019.
Before outsourcing, businesses should consider the following strategies to support outsourced employees’ integration into their company’s existing culture:
- Train outsourced employees the same as in-house teams
- Communicate effectively
- Engage technology
As the outsourced services market continues to grow, small businesses can adapt more quickly to the shifting nature of the workforce.
Train Outsourced Employees the Same as In-House Employees
By training outsourced employees as in-house employees, businesses ensure every employee begins with the same foundation. This helps outsourced employees feel more integrated into company culture.
An outsourced team can offer many benefits including expertise, increased flexibility, and improved efficiency.
It’s imperative for managers to build an integrated team to realize these benefits. This requires outsourced employees to have the same knowledge of company policies, structure, and brand identities as in-house teammates.
By providing the same training to all employees, managers align outsourced employees with organizational values. Outsourced employees should not only understand their purpose within the company, but also be recognized for their contribution to achieving a business’ mission.
Unfortunately, only 23% of employees understand how to integrate company values into their work.
Outsourced employees will inevitably miss in-house activities for value reinforcement. The onus is on managers to strengthen remote teams’ recognition of the business’ purpose as well as their connection to it.
In-house and outsourced staff should be recognized for their contributions equally. When employees recognize their contribution to a company’s success and culture, it generates a sense of safety that spurs innovation.
Businesses should provide formal training to outsourced employees as it demonstrates their value to the company, which supports productivity.
Develop an Onboarding Program to Encourage Buy-in to Company Culture
According to Clutch’s survey, businesses outsource for two primary reasons:
- Increase efficiency
- Collaborate with an expert
To access these benefits, companies should provide outsourced teams with a robust onboarding process.
Effective onboarding involves more than providing employees with the organizational knowledge. The process should position employees for long-term success.
A successful onboarding process offers results to not only the employee, but also the organization.
To generate this commitment, businesses should ensure their onboarding process includes building channels for employees to build connections.
Open Lines of Communication to Avoid Conflict
Outsourced employees do not reap the benefits of proximity.
This has a few different effects:
- Remote employees are more likely to feel mistreated by colleagues than in-house staff.
- Outsourced teammates are less likely to resolve conflicts quickly, according to a Harvard Business Review study.
To mitigate these problems, managers should establish channels for communication from day one. Ensure outsourced employees are able to access primary channels of communication.
Beyond tools, managers should create opportunities for connection.
To help break the ice, send an introductory email or message to the company. Ask specific questions and encourage the new remote teammate to share personal details, which creates opportunities for out of house and in-house teammates to forge deep connections.
Lines of communication should remain open. While it is important to check-in throughout the first day to resolve issues, frequent communication should extend past the first days or weeks. This allows potential challenges to be solved before they come into fruition.
Leverage Technologies to Stay Connected With Outsourced Employees
Business should integrate new technologies into their tool kits to strengthen outsourced employees’ connections with company culture.
Advances in technology make outsourced employees’ assimilation easier.
Instant messaging platforms such as Slack support frequent communication.
Through Slack, in-house and outsourced employees can exchange information quickly. The platform enables teammates to engage in group and direct conversations, providing multiple avenues for outsourced employees to make connections.
While there is no substitute for in-person engagements, they may not be a possibility for some outsourced employees. Video software helps in-house and remote teams meet face-to-face.
A significant portion of communication is non-verbal. With video software such as Zoom, remote employees are able to participate in all forms of communication among teams.
Zoom enables users to engage in video conferencing, webinars, and virtual conference rooms.
Video tools support honest communication as teammates are able to see each other, helping them to get to know one another. The technology fosters trust between outsourced employees and their in-house counterparts as they can assess how a colleagues’ words align with their non-verbal cues.
A weekly virtual meeting supports a friendly and honest environment in which outsourced employees can participate.
Businesses should leverage video technology to enable outsourced employees to feel more involved in the business processes and teams.
Build Lasting Connections with Outsourced Workers
An outsourced team can be a valuable asset to small businesses.
To ensure their success, outsourced employees need to feel like they are a part of the team.
Businesses should provide the same training to every employee. This guarantees every teammate has the same foundation.
A strong onboarding process emphasizes communication, which should extend beyond an outsourced employee’s first day. With frequent communication, outsourced employees can remain productive members of the team.
By using chat and video communication tools, businesses can build an integrated environment with in-house and outsourced teammates. Employees will not only feel more connected to one another, but also business processes.
When outsourced employees feel that they are a part of the team, businesses will reap the benefits.
Kate Russell is a Content and Editorial Associate for Clutch, the leading research, ratings, and reviews platform for B2B services. She conducts quality assurance and creates content that helps business buyers find, compare, and determine the best fit for their service needs.