We have discussed the benefits of hiring international resources, but now that you’ve built and integrated your team, how do you ensure they stay? With companies globally competing for the best talent, you need to deploy effective strategies to keep your team engaged and avoid skill shortages.

Although competitive salaries and benefits go a long way to attracting talent, these alone are not enough to ensure staff retention in a competitive hiring market. In addition, the market has changed significantly in the past few years. Today, employees also value career development, mental health, learning, wellness and diversity.

Organisations must understand and meet their employees’ needs to ensure a satisfying employee experience. Below are six strategies we recommend to retain offshore talent:

Update your Work Models

The pandemic has changed the working model, and most employees do not wish to return to the old ways of working. In exit interviews we have conducted for clients, a lack of flexibility is often cited as the reason for leaving. Hybrid working, flexible schedules and remote working are all attractive options that the best employees expect.

  • Work with your team to define a work policy that explains arrangements for remote and hybrid work. Ensure you include guides on communication standards, communication KPIs, meeting attendance and schedule availability. We recommend including a communications window that allows for time zone differences. 
  • Ensure you communicate your new policies with onshore and offshore staff to familiarise everyone with communication, performance, and productivity expectations.
  • Schedule reviews of your work arrangements every six months to ensure that employee feedback is heard and worked into the model.

Set up clear feedback channels

Send out surveys to ascertain your employee’s needs and concerns. For example, many companies did weekly pulse checks during covid lockdowns. Still, we would recommend no more than two surveys per month. When feedback results in improvements, clearly communicate this to the entire team. The fastest way to kill employee feedback is to not act on it! We recommend:

  • Keep surveys frequent and fun. Utilise polls, open-ended questions and games to keep their interest and encourage engagement.
  • Keep surveys short. One massive survey a year will generate much less interaction than several shorter ones and ensures you don’t let issues fester.
  • Any improvements need to be measured to review the impacts on the business, productivity and employee morale.

Work/Life Balance

No one wants employees to burn out, so ensuring a balance and putting well-being initiatives in place is essential. You must demonstrate that you value employee well-being which necessitates giving your staff control over their work, schedules, and workloads. You also need to ensure support mechanisms such as EAPs exist for both onshore and offshore team members. We would advise you:

  • Share stress management strategies and provide opportunities to step away from work to stress and health problems.
  • Teach management how to recognise the signs of burnout and empower them to intervene.
  • Put mechanisms in place for staff to take time out for themselves, regardless of whether they are in the office.
  • Ensure you have an accessible Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for both onshore and offshore staff.

Empowerment and Trust

An attractive workplace is one built on a culture of trust. Micromanagement is terrible at the best of times, but it is toxic with remote or offshore workers. Your staff need the freedom to work in a fashion that suits them, and this freedom will make them feel more engaged and empowered. To do this effectively, we recommend:

  • Instead of micromanagement, schedule regular 1:1 catchups to review progress, discuss concerns and celebrate the wins. These regular discussions are critical in certain cultures where concern about the loss of face results in little feedback in group scenarios.
  • Give the team a set of tools that works either at home or in the office. Make sure to include learning and development options such as Udemy.

Foster inclusion

It is crucial to create an inclusive environment to get the most innovation and creativity out of your team members. Inclusion is vital when your team includes different races and cultures. To maximise inclusion, we recommend:

  • Take the time to understand the cultural differences of your team and ensure your communication strategies align.
  • Organise training programs to minimise discrimination and cultural biases. We recommend doing this for both onshore and offshore teams, so they work well together.
  • Define anti-discrimination policies and outline procedures to report any trouble or concerns.

Promote collaboration

Promoting communication and collaboration leads to a positive employee experience. With open communication, employers can build trust and engagement among teams. Collaboration is also key to a more transparent, productive, and happier workplace. To ensure real collaboration, we recommend:

  • Utilise collaboration tools such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. Make sure everyone in the organisation utilises the same toolsets. Ensure all staff receive training to use the features of the platform fully.
  • Welcome and encourage feedback and promote a safe environment for sharing ideas and concerns.
  • Create team-building initiatives that promote cross-departmental teamwork and communication.

Finding and hiring the right offshore talent can be complex; however, retainment is the more significant challenge. An RPO partner like Etica Digital can work with you throughout the employment process to ensure that great staff are retained and continue to deliver for your organisation. To find out more, speak to us today.