The global outsourcing market has declined lately, after peaking during the Great Recession. It had a total value of $88.9 billion in 2015, which was hardly any higher than the $87.5 billion recorded in 2008. Despite this, there are some markets where outsourcing continues to thrive, such as software development. If you look at nations such as India, China, Argentina, Romania, Ukraine, Bangladesh, there is a wealth of skilled and knowledgeable developers, who can offer cost-effective services without forcing you to compromise on the standard of work.
While having access to this talent pool is one thing, it is quite another to collaborate with offshore developers and outsource work directly. This can create numerous challenges within your business, while introducing the type of internal conflict and confusion that impedes growth.
What are the Challenges Associated with Direct Outsourcing?
So what are the main challenges associated with outsourcing your work directly overseas? Here are some of the best examples: –
The Cultural Barriers to Direct Outsourcing
One of the main barriers to direct outsourcing revolves around culture, and the way this impacts on communication between employer and the employee. This is particularly true in technologically advanced but developing nations such as India, Polland, Ukraine, Philippine ,where vast cultural differences with the western world remain.
You may find communication hampered by a lack of dialogue, for example, as your remote employee may consider it disrespectful to question their employer or raise issues. While the notion of respectfully challenging our superiors and asking questions is well-known in the western world, it may be frowned upon in countries where less progressive employee rights exist. This makes some remote employees unaware that they need to communicate with you, regardless of any issues that they face in terms of the nature of their work or its timely delivery.
The Issues of Language, from Programming to Interaction
There are also barriers concerning language, and not just the text used to develop software programs. Each nation has its own language and unique dialects, of course, each of which is influenced by slang terms, accents and inconsistently delivery. So although the quality of English spoken in India is particularly high, regional dialects and subtle variations in tone make it hard to converse over the phone or by email.
When our communication is hampered by these small details, relationships can become plagued by misunderstandings. Your employee may not clearly understand the deadline you have set for a project, for example, while their cultural inhibitions prevent them from seeking clarity. Some terms may even cause offense or have an alternate meaning in different regions, and this can cause a working relationship to breakdown or demotivate your remote workforce.
We Think we have the Solution
At SJ Innovation, we have encountered these issues in the process of direct outsourcing, but feel that we may have found the ideal solution and a model that works. Instead of outsourcing work directly to remote workers, we employ US-based project managers to manage all communication, breaking down the cultural and language barriers that exist within businesses.
So not only does each one of our outsources work alongside a dedicated team and representative, but there is also a mandate for them to regularly communicate with their colleagues through email and Skype. This helps to build relationships between your employees, making communication easier and building familiarity. To cement these relationships, we also fly our employees to America to meet us in person, while also training them in our working methods and culture.
We believe this is a method that works and one that you can adopt in your business too!