Four simple ways to better integrate your offshore team

Building a connection with team members on the other side of the world can be a real challenge. The physical distance is one factor but add in some cultural differences and you have some genuine barriers to creating a strong and productive dynamic with your offshore team.  

But in our 10 years of doing this with hundreds of businesses, we’ve learnt a few strategies for better integrating offshore teammates into life in your business, removing the ‘us and them’ mentality and creating better collaborative relationships across your business’s borders.  Here are four key practices that can help make your Filipino team members feel more valued in your business, and your offshore working relationships easier and more rewarding.

  1. Don’t skip over the small talk

Pleasantries and ‘small talk’ are highly valued in the Philippines. When a Filipino teammate asks how you are, they actually mean it and likewise if you don’t add pleasantries into the start of your meetings and email communication, it can come across as cold and abrupt. These little things aren’t so little in the Philippines, so don’t forget to build them into your team communications.

  1. Learn about their families

Family is central to Filipino culture, so showing genuine interest in your team member’s family, knowing their children’s names, and remembering significant dates like birthdays will foster a deeper personal connection. Empathy during their tough times, like family losses, also goes a long way.

  1. Feature them on your website

This one is very simple and so effective! Placing your teams’ faces and names on the ‘meet the team’ page of your website is a powerful gesture of inclusion and respect. It not only highlights their role and contribution but also instills a sense of pride and belonging to your team.

  1. Include them in your regular meetings

Involving your remote team members in regular company updates, workflow meetings and anywhere else where you’re bringing your team together shows them respect, helps them ‘learn through osmosis’ and provides your offshore team with more information and context. It’s also a great way to build their confidence through more frequent communication, opening yourself up for their feedback and input as well. 

Key Takeaway 

Don’t underestimate the power of these seemingly small strategies. 

Each one has created a powerful impact for our clients… often to their surprise! 

The real moral of this story though is that it is possible to integrate an offshore team and when you get this right, it’s a true win-win. Your teammate feels more valued and is happier and more effective at work each day, and your business benefits from having higher performing friends offshore. 

 So… what’s the next step you can take in breaking the ‘us and them’ culture with your offshore team and helping them feel like a true part of your business? 

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