Is your small business expanding to the point that it’s time to hire more staff? Many entrepreneurs have discovered the benefits of outsourcing, which include lower labor costs and access to skills. Bringing outsourced staff into your team allows you to focus on core business activities. But before you can do that, you need to ensure that your new team member has everything they need to be efficient and productive. Here are tips for onboarding your outsourced employees:
1. Document your processes
Beyond showing your outsourced employee their tasks via video conference, a call, and screen sharing, it helps your new team member to have your processes in a document that they can refer to anytime they need to. If possible, document your processes through a video with voice narration.
Creating these training materials will benefit you in the future; you will have them ready if you need to hire more staff. And you can also revisit them when you recognize there may be gaps in your processes.
2. Establish a communication method
Often, business owners hire outsourced staff from different countries. And different time zones can make it challenging for your new team member to join you during your regular office hours. If you don’t require the new staff to commit to the same working hours as yours and practice time flexibility, establish a communication method so that you are within reach. You may even decide on a time window during which you are both online. Decide if your primary communication method will be through chat messaging on a specific platform or email. You may even consider establishing scheduled check-ins and sending calendar invites to ensure attendance. Deciding on a specific communication method based on urgency will also help, such as phone calls for emergencies and emails for less time-critical messages.
3. Give them the tools for success
Many people who provide outsourced services already have the hardware necessary to perform their tasks, such as a laptop, desktop, headset, and so on. But if your processes require specific programs, you should provide them with any relevant software and tools. This may involve giving them access to shared tools, drives, and platforms.
4. Partner them with an existing team member
Partnering your outsourced employee with a member of your existing staff can help build relationships, making the new employee feel like a part of the team even if they’re only interacting with you remotely. An existing team member will also be able to share their best practices, helping the outsourced staff not only learn about your processes better but also increase their productivity.
If you don’t have any existing team members, it may be necessary for you to take the time to shadow your new employee until you feel confident they can work on their own.
5. Be available for questions
No matter how skilled and experienced your new team member is, they will likely have questions about their tasks because of the unique nature of your company. You may have different processes and preferences. Be available for their questions in the beginning to help speed up their learning. In the first week or two, ask them each day if they have any questions. A time will come when they have completely integrated into your team, allowing you to step back and focus on high-value leadership tasks.
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