Here at GoWP, we’re all about outsourcing. It’s what we do best! Outsourcing allows you to scale your business growth, diversify your team’s talent, and find time for yourself.
But if you’re reading this, we’re going to assume you’re already on the same page as us.
(If for some reason you’re not, and you need a little bit more convincing, check out this amazing blog post by our own Morayo Orija).
You’ve optimized your agency by using outsourced hires. Now it’s time to optimize how you and your outsourced team work together for optimal results and relationships.
Three things to remember when working and communicating with your outsourced employees
Outsourced team members function a little differently than a permanent hire, of course, but given their integral nature to your project’s success, they should be treated with the same deference and respect as your permanent staff.
Outsourced team members are human
More often than not, outsourced team members are remote. This is awesome in that you both can work from your ideal locations, and, in the case of a difference in time zones, you’re able to work quickly and efficiently.
Empathy and other aspects of relationships come more naturally when you’re in the same physical location as your colleague or hire. Remember, though, that your outsourced employees are more than simply an icon on your Slack list, or some sort of magic fairy fixing problems while you sleep.
- They have days where they’re less productive.
- They/their children get sick.
- They have an insurmountable to-do list.
Outsourced team members are sometimes from different backgrounds
Depending on the outsourcing agency you’ve used, you might find that your outsourced employees are from different cultures, backgrounds, or countries than you.
This is no indication whatsoever of their ability to perform the work that needs to be done, and even they can even outperform your expectations.
Their background and location simply mean that your workers bring different mindsets and experiences to the table, and they may have different norms in terms of work culture.
Outsourced team members are part of your success
You’ve outsourced some of your work, and you have a better work/life balance. Everything’s looking up. You’re seeing an increase in output, customer satisfaction, and clients going through your pipeline.
Your outsourced employees, for the time that they’re with you, contribute to what you’re building. Don’t make them your unsung heroes.
Important questions for amazing outsourcing
Outsourcing is easy, convenient, and productive.
Now let’s make it amazing.
Here are five of the most important questions you should ask, in no particular order, to establish an optimal relationship with your outsourced team members.
What do you consider a reasonable turnaround time? Can we compromise on that?
Remember that your outsourced team is eager to please you and complete projects on time, but nobody benefits from major burnout. At the same time, you have goals and expectations of deadlines that might be out of their normal working practices.
This particularly applies to outsourced employees contracted by time slots versus full-day schedules. They will do the best that they can, of course, but you cannot expect an outsourced employee to work outside of the period for which they have been contracted—there’s even a chance that it could generate problems with the agency that outsourced them to you.
Take into account the time they have allotted per day. After they begin working with you, try to establish a timeline appropriate for different types of assignments as soon as possible. Remember, though, that they’re not robots—outsourced employees can’t complete a full-time employee’s work in half the hours.
Based on their responses, try to create a map of projects and to-do lists. Set timelines that allow the outsourced team member to work enthusiastically, not at a death march. They’ll reward you with work that’s produced excellently at a steady rate.
What should I know about you? What makes you the writer/programmer/etc. that you are? What special touch do you add to your projects?
Taking a vested interest in the person who is working for you, whether permanently or temporarily, can make all the difference in their dedication to your project.
Give your outsourced employee the opportunity to shine and show off a little, and see how they surprise you! They might possess a skill or specialty that you might not have known, but could benefit you greatly in terms of your agency’s development.
Are there any days where you live that would be meaningful to you to take off?
This is a hugely important question to help you understand your outsourced employee and optimize your relationship. As previously mentioned, if your outsourced hire is from another country or cultural background, acknowledging the importance of their special days could mean the world to them.
Plan ahead – ask for this information in your initial meeting, which gives both you and them ample preparation time. See how you can compromise on your deadlines and productivity surrounding this time so that everyone wins.
An outsourced employee might not always work for you, but they will never forget the person who cared enough to ask about those details.
What ideas do you have or issues do you see with what we’re doing now?
One of the enormous benefits of using an outsourced employee is having a fresh take from someone with experienced eyes. When you outsource, you not only reap the benefits of their skills, but you enjoy what is essentially a third-party project consultant. They can spot any errors you might have missed, suggest optimizations, and more.
It is essential to hear your outsourced hire’s ideas and, whether you choose to use their ideas or not, make them feel valued for being proactive.
What are the best days to have regular meetings and check-ins?
Routine is a key ingredient to success, both on the personal and agency level. Emergencies arise, obviously, but check-ins at regular intervals can clear up doubts and keep projects on track while honoring both your routine and your outsourced hire’s responsibilities.
Try to schedule a time and frequency that works for both of you – your outsourced team member will appreciate your direction and communication. They’ll also be able to provide a steady output based on your specifications, with no major overhauls required.
Onwards and Upwards with Outsourcing
When you’re completely in sync with both your permanent and outsourced teams, your business has nowhere to go but up. Many of these concepts discussed apply to both your permanent and temporary employees, so apply them liberally to be the best agency owner (and human) you can be.
Happy employees, happy agency. Everybody wins.
Now that you have a good idea of how to perfect your outsourcing game, go out and conquer the world with the help of your outsourced employees!
After all, connecting the world and bringing brilliant sites to your clients is your job.
And we’re here to help.
For more suggestions and discussions regarding outsourced hire relationships, head on over to our Digital Agency Owners Facebook page, where you can share your experiences and learn from others about this topic and so much more.
If you want to learn more about our own outsourcing services, schedule a call with us today.