7 Cardinal Rules of Managing Outsourced Teams

managing outsourced teams, 7 Cardinal Rules of Managing Outsourced Teams

Previously, we talked about how to choose the ideal virtual assistant. If this helped you, congratulations! Choosing is half the battle won, managing your outsourced teams is the other half. This applies to virtual assistants and other outsourced members. These seven cardinal rules a manager should live by to bring out the best in their outsourced teams. 

7 Rules in Managing Outsourced Teams

1.      Clearly define roles and responsibilities

A well-oiled team is one where each member understands individual roles and responsibilities and how they complement each other to achieve a common goal. Lack of clarity in the roles, responsibilities, and expectations leads to duplication of efforts, energy leaks, resentment, and ultimately, failure. Clear-cut roles reduce arguments and fuel creativity and productivity. 

The designation of tasks is ideally founded on the strengths and long-term goals of each member. We use “ideally” here because understandably, not all tasks will align with their preferences. As much as possible, frame these in a way that aligns with long-term goals. 

managing outsourced teams, 7 Cardinal Rules of Managing Outsourced Teams

Roles and responsibilities should be established at the start and re-evaluated periodically. 

2.      Set clear KPIs

The health of your business depends on the performance of your employees. Outsourced teams can reach their full potential if they know what they are going after. The key performance indicators (KPI) shouldn’t just measure their performance, but should also align with the strategic priorities of your business. 

Aside from the link to the bigger picture, other general rules that would make setting KPIs easier is to have a balance of quantifiable and qualitative measures. Keep it between 2-5 KPIs as well. Use these KPIs to set the stage for performance evaluations and to keep your outsourced team running even when you’re not around. 

3.      Establish clear communication lines

The Workplace Accountability Study by Partners in Leadership found that 8 out of 10 have “limited to no” ability to hold others accountable in their work successfully. 

A simple way to hold all members of the team accountable is to institutionalize communication lines. This pertains to the mode of communication, levels of clearance, and scenario building. Who approves what? How should your team escalate a crisis and to whom? This should be established at the start of the engagement. 

4.      Allow a learning curve

Even if you get an expert and seasoned outsourced team, it is still essential to give them time to acquaint themselves with your organization’s product/service and to adopt your organizational culture. Organizations have their own culture even if they belong to the same industry. This will motivate them to improve their performance instead of running away from mistakes. 

5.      Provide regular feedback

This is a bit of overused but underrated advice. Communication gets sloppy when everyone is tired and juggling activities. Feedback isn’t a snarky remark on a mistake. It has to be actionable by the recipient, and not an attack on the character. 

Feedback also goes both ways. This should be the chance for your team to tell you what they need from you to succeed.  

It’s also tempting to forego regular feedback meetings when there is nothing urgent on your plate. But your team and your business will suffer if you only talk when there is a crisis. Consider scaling back on meetings instead of cutting them out altogether if nothing is urgent. A simple catch-up prevents a crisis from happening in the first place. 

6.      Create a friendly but professional relationship

Boundaries keep professional relationships healthy but it doesn’t hurt to check on your outsourced team on matters not strictly related to their tasks. Talk about current events or general industry updates that you think are relevant to their career progression. You can show that you genuinely care for each other’s welfare without divulging personal or sensitive details. 

7.      Managing outsourced teams starts with hiring the right one

How can you succeed if you’re already doomed from the start? Selecting the best outsourced team for your business will make tips 1 to 6 easier to implement. It will increase your business productivity and help you achieve the results that you want. Outsourcing companies in the Philippines like American-owned BPO company, MCVO Talent Outsourcing Services, can help you put together a dream outsourced team. Book a call with us now to see how. 

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