What qualities make up an excellent offshore employee? This question matters the most to a company that plans to hire offshore employees for the first time.
In your research on effective offshore team building, you will notice that arguments often fall into the “nature vs nurture” category. Do employees need to have some innate or ‘natural’ characteristics to be good at their job? Or do you have to nurture an employee?
If you have a rational mindset then you will agree that a good team needs both, good employees and a positive environment. Many offshore agencies in India understand this concept. That’s why so many companies hire offshore employees from India. This intrinsic understanding has made the country an outsourcing hub. Agencies in India expect certain qualities in their employees. They also nurture certain qualities in these employees.
You can build an effective offshore team by understanding both of these things.
The Qualities You Need in A Good Virtual Employee
- Interpersonal Skills
Communication is essential for building a team and you need employees who will take initiative to interact with each other and the team. Interpersonal skills go beyond just knowing a particular language. It can be simply defined as a willingness to cooperate and work in a team. It also means that your employee is innately respectful of those around them. This quality is important when you hire offshore employees because you are bringing people together from very different cultures. Cultural sensitivity becomes a must in the workplace.
You hire offshore employees so that you can focus on your core business objectives. This means you want to spend as little time managing your offshore team as possible. To achieve this outcome, you need your offshore employees to be self-motivated. In such collaborations, your employees may work alone in silos. They should be able to follow your guidelines and meet set deadlines without unnecessary supervision. Self-motivated employees are essential for you to get all the benefits of offshoring.
Work experience is given a lot of importance in virtual hiring processes. However, more weight is now given to the coach-ability of a person. Technologies are evolving very fast, and procedures are being constantly upgraded.
You need your employees who are open-minded and flexible so that they can easily learn new technologies. The most recent example is the introduction of AI technology. You need employees who can easily adopt this technology for your work purposes.
Hire only those virtual employees who take the initiative to learn new skills. Some outsourcing agencies are very proactive about learning and have in-house programs to support their employees.
Partner with firms that always inculcate this positive mindset.
It’s the most basic value you expect from your resources, including virtual employees Integrity matters even more in an offshore setup because your virtual workers will be handling your sensitive data.
In India, outsourcing agencies have hiring protocols in place that test for integrity. These agencies only hire employees based on their references. Reliving letters from former employers is compulsory. Employees who abscond from their duties are not hired. These small things show the level of integrity in an employee.
These are not just qualities but values that an efficient team requires. These are values that everyone holds in high regard. You, as an employer, should then create a work environment in which these values will thrive. Here are a few steps that you can take to do your part.
- Communicate Your Objectives
Communicating with your offshore team is very important. Your team should have clarity about what you expect from them. The objectives you express should be expressed along with your desired time frame. This way as soon as you hire a virtual employee, he will begin to work towards your business objectives. Clear communication is very important.
- Actively Seek Feedback
There is one thing true about employees across the world. They like to be heard. So, whether your virtual employee is from India or South America, they will appreciate this process.
These employees have particular expertise because of which you have hired them. They would love to give their perspective on problems. Actively listening to your employees also leads to better cultural integration and team building. It creates a sense of ownership toward your business in your offshore team.
- Communicate Via Visual Mediums
Visuals speak better than words. Even for ordinary communication, people prefer face-to-face interactions over simple audio calls. Our human affinity for visual languages goes beyond interactions. Visuals are a great way to present ideas and analysis to your team. Insisting on visual representations leads to a habit of visualization. This means your team will slowly start visualizing the result of the work they’re doing. It could help reduce iterations of work and streamline your processes.
- Create Self-Assessment Processes
Include self-assessment in your management systems to ensure your team stays self-motivated. A simple daily task sheet is enough to keep your team on track. You go through their updates on the task sheet and ensure that everything is going as per your plan.
Since you’re not that involved in managing your offshore team you can focus more on your core business goals.
- Keep Track of Data Being Shared
The best way to ensure data security and prevent theft is to keep track of the data you’re sharing with your team. You should also put strict protocols in place to ensure data integrity.
You have the right to be anxious about sharing your company’s data with a team halfway around the world. In this matter, you should adopt the philosophy popularized by President Reagan. Trust but verify. This means verifying the credentials of your outsourcing partner beforehand. Hand them data only after you have ensured they are capable of following your norms. Make sure that senior personnel amongst virtual employees you hire enforce your data security protocols.
A good employee working in an objective environment delivers the best results. Create a system that guides your offshore team toward the goals you’ve set. Hire offshore employees who work with minimal supervision.
Select virtual employees who will allow you to be free to pursue the core growth objectives of your business. Build a brand and a business all your teams will be proud of with the right recruits working in the right environment.