Outsourcing ensures that business owners hire excellent talents and people who are not familiar with their culture or way of life. That's great because it helps businesses become diverse and well-rounded.
Outsourcing benefits both business owners and employees. Like anything great, outsourcing comes with lots of challenges, and one of them is cultural differences. A recent study from the Economist Intelligence Unit stated that cultural differences and intercultural communication are challenges most companies face when they are outsourcing work.
They are difficulties associated with cross-border collaborations. Since we are in the era of globalization and outsourcing is something new, culture is something that has existed for a very long time.
Culture is profound, and one will need to adjust to the culture professional. But this is easier said than done. The change won't change the fact that culture may interfere with business goals.
Culture creates misunderstanding, misinterpretations, conflicts in beliefs, norms, and behaviors. That explains why before you outsource anything, you have to ensure cultural compatibility and chemistry between you and the team.
Outsourcing will work better for you if you and your team choose which national cultures you will adhere to.
When you choose an outsourcing partner from a state which has a lot of similarities in culture with yours, it will have lots of benefits.
Language is a critical pillar in ensuring a smooth working relationship. If you work in a country where the outsourced employees are fluent in your national language, that will decrease the misunderstanding and misinformation.
But that's not all. It will also enhance the exchange of ideas when outsourced employees share vital ideas with you. That's a great thing. Another great example is, your client's brief will take less than a minute because everyone will get what you are saying.
That way, fewer mistakes will occur, and you will have fruitful brainstorming sessions. Besides that, it is evident that excellent communication also needs to have great thoughts to express.
That is another advantage of cultural compatibility. If you work with outsourced employees who lack a deep understanding of your countries' industry trends and news, this could be another challenge.
Let us explain
If you run a digital marketing agency in the tourism space, it will be wonderful to know that your virtual assistant knows how the restaurants and hotel industry work. One can indeed learn anything they choose, but expert knowledge on the subject is essential.
Cultures that look alike make people have lots of compassion and relatability towards each other. This contributes to the psychological well being of people who work for you. But guess what will happen next?
Your employees and the outsourced team will have less stress and negative emotions. This will further boost their morale and productivity when the team is handling their work.
Closer Look at India and Philippine Culture
Outsourcing to the Philippines and India is excellent for a few reasons. It is a way of maximizing cultural compatibility because these two countries are immersed in Western culture. You will see this from politics, entertainment, business, and technology.
Second, most of them were colonized by western cultures. That places these two countries in a strategic position when it comes to understanding of the cultures of other nations. If you look at these two countries, you will notice that English is among their national languages, and it is taught in school.
If you are in the USA, Australia, Britain, or any other part of the world and you are looking for great tech guys, you can go to India. When it comes to customer support and virtual assistants, Philippine will top the list.
Closer Look At Mexico
When you are outsourcing your work to a country like Mexico, you will need to understand their culture before you outsource any manufacturing work. That's because cultural differences can break or make your business.
With Mexicans, it can be a challenge to separate work from personal relationships while it is so easy to do that when you are in the US. In Mexico, the family is everything. If a person is not productive at work, you may have to dig in to find what is happening.
In the US, people love to be direct and frank in communication. Mexican hate confrontation but like diplomatic approaches in solving issues. What that means is, you have to be polite and courteous. Most importantly, you may also have to understand non-verbal clues. The main important thing is, it pays to understand the cultures of the country you are outsourcing.
How to Manage Cultural Differences
If outsourcing is something that you are going to do for future expansion of your workplace, you will need to learn how to manage cultural differences.
One way to do that is by visiting the country where you are outsourcing most of your work. Chances are, you will receive a warm welcome from your friendly team. You will be so amazed at how good they are.
To experience the best outcome, you may need to work from their office for a week or a month. Do that at least once a year while you build secure connections with the team. That way, you will solve a lot of cultural problems that come with running a business offshore.
While you are there, don't make it all work. You can share a meal with them. You can also organize a get-together party on the weekend or buy lunch for all the team members. Our main point here is, you need to bond with the team.
Chances are if you are lucky, one of the team members can invite you to their place so that you can also experience a traditional home-cooked meal. After you have visited, you will always feel different when you are talking to them because you have created a spark of personal connection.
Once you have an excellent offshore team, it is excellent to check with them regularly for the first six months. That way, they will know that they are valuable members of your business. Once your offshore team grows and learns more about your business, you can reduce the number of visits you make in that country. Even if you stop, you should never stop checking on your team.
Cultural difference is a challenge that can be overcome if you do things well. Well, that starts when you treat your offshore team well, check on them, and visit them often. Before you know it, you'll be having a growing offshore team.