6 Ways to Motivate and Engage Your Outsourced Team
When companies consider hiring nearshore or outsourced teammates, the number one concern they have is often “how will it affect company culture?” And this is an important question. If the majority of your team is remote, but in the same country, or if the majority of your team works within the same in-office environment, bringing in outsourced or nearshore developers can shift the way people interact, work together, get things done, and feel like they are “part of the team.”
Luckily, with technology like Slack and Trello, Zoom and Calendly, working together -- and building a motivational and engaged team culture with outsourced, nearshore, or offshore developers -- is almost as easy as doing so with a 100% “in house” team. At Jobsity, we’ve been doing so for nearly a decade, and we’d like to think that our constant growth and happy customers mean we’ve been doing a pretty good job of it!
But let’s be honest: it’s not something that happens overnight, and it’s not something that’ll necessarily happen on its own. Motivated and engaged teams aren’t born, they’re built -- and motivated and engaged outsourced teams are built differently, and purposefully.
To help you jumpstart such a process if you’ve just hired your first batch of outsourced developers, or to give you guidance on what else you can be doing to build a more powerful hybrid culture than the one you currently have, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten tips for motivating and engaging your outsourced team. Check them out below -- and if you have others that are working well for you, feel free to add them in the comments!
1. Have Fun On Slack.
Slack is, essentially, a workflow and communications tool. You can use it to share Google docs, keep tabs on your teams’ progress, and to send shorter, more direct messages than email allows. But that doesn’t mean it has to be all business and no fun.
At Jobsity, we create and run fun, hobby-based Slack channels so that our outsourced teammates have ways to build culture and maintain motivation alongside the work they do every day. We think they’re great! Love horror movies? 80s TV? Cooking? Start a channel and put the time in to make it active. We promise it’ll pay off.
2. Set Goals and Help Each Other Reach Them
One way to ensure your outsourced team stays focused, motivated, engaged, and productive, is to set goals with them and help them follow those goals to completion.
Yes, some of those goals can be OKRs, and can relate to their projects. But if you want your team to be truly motivated, take time to help them make and complete goals that are outside the normal run of workplace objectives; help them set professional and personal goals as well.
Someone wants to save money to take a vacation? Support them. Make a tracker! Another wants to experiment working with HR? Help them join an interview committee, or do an informational chat with a recruiter. Whatever it is, your outsourced team will feel more like an in-house team if you show you care about their growth and development in concrete and accountable ways.
3. Get to Know the Real Person
Being able to feel like yourself at work is a top-line indicator for employees who enjoy what they do, and stick around at their companies.
With outsourced and nearshore teammates -- who are physically far away -- this can feel especially difficult to do. Which is why getting to know your teammates as real people, and not just in their professional forms is so powerful. Luckily, this can be done a lot of ways; any way can be great, as long as you remember this one rule: whatever you, it has to be done authentically. Have an impromptu phone call, ask about their kids, choose a nickname, share recipes. We’re all people first and professionals second -- remember that and lean in!
4. Share GIFs!
You’ve seen them on memes, you’ve seen them on Twitter. Have you sent them to your teammates or asked your outsourced team to share? Try it out!
GIFs are a near-universal language these days, and the exchange -- while goofy and low-impact -- can also be a fun way to blow off steam, talk about yourself, and share different cultures in an easy-to-access and engaging way. It could lead to shared laughs, or a deeper way of learning to share a sense of humor. Are they serious? No! And that’s the point.
5. Share Photos
Have you seen my puppy, Gerard? Do you want to? Of course you do! And if you don’t, I definitely want you to. That’s because sharing photos is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get to know an outsourced developer who is on your team, or to help build community and belonging with teammates who are living far and wide.
It doesn’t have to be all the time, and it doesn’t have to be overly personal, but having a #puppershare Slack channel, or using personal photos to introduce yourself on Zoom calls can help an outsourced team feel more like an outsourced family -- and that leads to more motivated and engaged workers!
6. Exchange Home Tours
One of the greatest and most beautiful aspects of working in a remote capacity is that you can work with and get to know people all over the world, with their own rich cultural traditions and diverse practices. But you won’t get to do that if you keep everything within the four sides of Zoom.
One way we love to get to know our people better is to set up special coffee chats and ‘happy hours’ to share bits of our lives -- like a home tour! Invite your outsourced developers to make short videos of their workspaces, their favorite neighborhoods, or the sights they see every day, and then set up time to view them. It’s like traveling to visit them, without having to leave home, and increases the personal connections that make employees feel engaged and motivated.
Ready to Motivate?
A motivated and engaged team -- outsourced, nearshore, or in-office -- can make the difference between a struggling workforce and a thriving one. But don’t fret! Creating an engaged and motivated outsourced workforce is easy today, with the right tools, focus, and effort.
Remember, today’s Slack group is tomorrow’s top-shelf workforce! Just ask Jobsity’s HR team: this is one of the main reasons our employees are so happy and so loyal to our company! We hire for culture fit and we spend ample time building that culture and helping our people thrive. It makes the difference between a good team, and a great family.
Interested in trying it out? Or seeing how well Jobsity’s outsourced developers can integrate into the culture at your company? Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re standing by and always eager to talk about how we hire, develop, and delegate to the top 3% of tech talent in Latin America.
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