To explore greater opportunities, scale up and stay competitive in the market, business owners need a core workforce comprising skilled, collaborative employees. To build and retain that pool of talent requires making staff feel valued and recognizing their contributions and achievements. This is where workplace culture, loosely defined as the sum of its values, attitude, behaviors and beliefs, comes into play. As a driving force behind employees’ levels of engagement, satisfaction and performance, work culture has a direct impact on your company’s reputation.
If you are considering outsourcing some of your workload, as an increasing number of businesses are doing, it is essential to hire firms or freelancers whose values align with those of your organization’s culture. Once restricted to peripheral functions, outsourcing has come to be regarded today as a strategic business model. Outsourcing business tasks—for example, HR management, payroll, taxes and accounting—to a team of trained professionals provides businesses with a larger talent pool and is cost-effective. But it does require that the outsourcing partner fits into existing workplace culture, as they by proxy become an extension of your organization.
But how can businesses maintain their culture while outsourcing? Success largely depends on maintaining open communication and remaining committed to your workplace values. Read on for the three top tips from outsourcing experts on how to continue supporting your work culture.
Use these 3 strategies to preserve work culture when outsourcing:
1. Communicate. Employees often feel insecure when their company considers outsourcing tasks. They may feel demoralized and disengaged, which in turn impacts productivity. To avoid such a situation, prioritize proactive communication immediately. You want to give your employees the opportunity state their opinions, which shows they are valued and establishes a sense of belonging to the company. These are the factors that underpin healthy workplace culture.
Explain to employees:
- How outsourcing could be beneficial, such as reducing workload, streamlining processes.
- Challenges they may face.
- Your open-door policy for employee feedback before deciding to outsource.
- Updates about new developments.
- Organizational information with the perspective that they are stakeholders.
- Your appreciation for their contributions to the company’s growth and success.
2. Maintain consistency. The decision to work with a new firm can impact logistics and disrupt your company’s workflow and processes. Employees may be concerned that the firm will use its own processes or that it is located in a different time zone. This can dampen morale and leave staff frustrated. This calls for you to act.
Keep business processes consistent by:
- Leveraging online communication platforms such as Zoom, Trello and Basecamp.
- Creating a dedicated schedule and process for using such tools.
- Giving employees a place to share expected challenges of working with an outsourced team.
- Developing team communication policies.
- Ensuring proper onboarding that establishes commons workflows and goals.
3. Refine the selection process. Define your company values and hire a firm that shares them. Choosing an outsourcing provider whose practices aligns with your business’ values will demonstrate your commitment to workplace culture.
Fine-tune your outsourcing selection by:
- Vetting your contractor’s values and cultural fit. If the firm’s values do not reflect your workplace culture, employees will have a hard time accomplishing their jobs.
- Entering such a partnership with a holistic approach.
- Viewing the decision as an investment in a long-term relationship. This help avoid disruption, such as employees needing to readjust their workflow due to short-term outsourcing contracts.
Maintaining a healthy workplace culture is not only in the best interest of employees, but also that of the overall business. A positive one drives employee satisfaction, recruiting and talent retention. Companies can build resilience and maintain their culture while outsourcing through open communication, ensuring consistent work practices and upholding their core values.