HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY INTEGRATE ONSITE AND OFFSHORE TEAM

23 Sep 2020  |  1035
HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY INTEGRATE ONSITE AND OFFSHORE TEAM

Thousands of firms globally are now incorporating offshore teams in their practices. We’re fortunate to count over 500+ of those firms as our clients. And what all includes in this 4C’s need to be clearly understood to integrate our onsite team with offshore teams.

We did a small podcast in our series BKOT last week on “How to integrate an onshore team with an offshore team”. It’s available on our YouTube channel and you can watch it here.


Many a times we have seen number of firms start with offshore staffing, but later,

  1. Give up on offshore hiring or
  2. They lose a good onshore employee on their journey toward building an offshore team.

Though both situations are undesirable, but we come across them very often and largely because the onshore team feels insecure as soon as firms start hiring offshore staff. 

What we have concluded in this podcast is that we need to manage it keeping in mind 4 C’s that play a key role in having a successful onshore and offshore team working in unison and towards a common goal that is 'betterment of the firm'.

  1. Change
  2. Culture
  3. Collaboration
  4. Communication

And communication being the key holds the other 3 together.

Thousands of firms globally are now incorporating offshore teams in their practices. We’re fortunate to count over 500+ of those firms as our clients. And what all includes in this 4C’s need to be clearly understood to integrate our onsite team with offshore teams.

Change: 

There could be two reactions, either resist the change or to embrace it. What actually happens when you start expanding your offshore team is that it invites certain insecurities associated within the existing teams. That’s because when change comes, it comes with uncertainty. So this change management is very important to give clarity to existing team members, give them security and tell them why we are on-boarding offshore team. If that is rightly communicated and that change management is handled correctly in terms of how you communicate, how you collaborate, how you have been interacting with your clients, how you have been interacting internally. In fact, clarity is also required in the offshore team on what they are expected to do, look at their individual tasks and responsibilities and then work out what your expectation would be in terms of productivity for a given period of time.

Culture: 

‘Treat your onshore staff and offshore staff equally’, that's the culture that must be brought in, first adopted by the leaders and then also by the team members. 

We have a client in Orlando who are among the largest outsourced accounting firms, with probably 50 people team there and about 4 - 5 people team here at our office in India. On Thanksgiving day, they shipped goodies, that included t-shirts, coffee mugs, pens, etc. all the way from Orlando to India. We can clearly assume that the cost of shipping would be higher than the cost of the shipment itself, but for them it's not about the money, but the relationship and their sentiments associated with gift wraps. 

It's important you should treat culture at the same level as those whom you're working with. It brings the sense of belongingness that we are a part of the same team and we are working towards the common goal which is betterment of the business.

The most effective manner is to make your onshore team in person accountable for coaching and managing your offshore staff. This is often effective because your onshore team can become invested with ownership of the whole process and will very quickly understand the potential of the offshore team, therefore, realising however this is often reaching their life a lot easier.
 

Collaboration: 

You cannot be successful yourself, unless your onshore & offshore team integrate together and join hands for the common good of the firm. So it is very important that they collaborate - professionally and personally. Bringing them all in the same workflow management, keeping the teams in Skype groups, in email loops etc will help. Organizing training for both offshore & onshore team members, bridging the cultural gaps among team members, building trust with your offshore teams, hold effective conferences, and help maintaining the collaboration.

Communication: 

It holds all 3 together: Change, Culture & Communication. Without communication you will not know anything about their culture or would not be able to properly collaborate. Intertwining with communication helps in forming a relationship with the people you work with, they might be sitting thousands of miles away from your office in India. It will be an extension of your team, so you really have to get to know who you're working with because culturally and they might be in a different time zone, they might have different holidays. 

Integrating your teams is about getting to know the people you work with whether you sit down in the hall from them or across the world, so you know whether it's being on skype or zoom or different ways to get understand the people you work with and what works for them. This is about forming a relationship with the extension of your team and you have to get to know them and understand what they're all about and what drives them to be successful at work and you're here to help them and they're here to help your firm so that's what it's about communication getting to know your team and relationship.

Offshore staffing is a solution for a firm with the right mindset of the leadership, on how they communicate the plans, how well they understand the culture of the offshore staff and effectively integrate them into their firms. If you put the effort into it, you will see the results absolutely.



Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 500+ accountants, CPAs and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.

About The Author
Director, Client Relations

Christopher Rivera, Chris serves as a Director of Client Relations and Business Development at Entigrity. He is an expert at leading and managing teams actively from the front. His expertise in sales, training, coaching, mentoring and influencing combined with his competitive nature makes him a strong leader.  Chris has traveled through the length and width of the country and has spoken with more than five thousand CPAs, understanding their challenges and limitations. On the grounds of that, he can now easily provide opinions and solutions that can be immensely helpful to the professionals. He has also represented Entigrity at a number of major accounting conferences and networking events.

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