Culture: The Most Important Thing to Understand about Your Offshore Provider

Clare Anderson
08th June 2020

The most crucial aspect to consider when offshoring is culture. The culture of the offshored team itself and your own business culture. Why? The right culture assures adaptability - a strong foundation for ensuring that you not only survive through the toughest times but flourish and grow. Now more than ever, where it’s no longer business as usual, high adaptability will lead to business success.


So how do you ensure that you build an offshore culture that has adaptability as one of its cornerstones? By recruiting staff who are able to demonstrate this value from the get-go. And how do you find this adaptable talent? By taking on team members in a hub in a developing country where the day to day living environment and challenges of all kinds are often par for the course. Where systems and procedures that aren’t thought about in developed countries are not taken for granted. This leads to a more motivated and proactive mindset. It leads to problem-solving and thinking out of the box for customers. It creates value and gives a competitive edge - particularly important in uncertain times. It’s crucial to understand a potential offshore partner’s culture and ensure it is aligned with your own. Make sure your offshore provider’s culture is built around growing team members’ confidence. Do they have dedicated, experienced and professional People Managers who regularly coach staff in confidence-building? Do they recruit and build highly motivated, proactive, adaptable and value-adding staff?


What about your own onshore culture though? You can have all the building blocks of your strategy right but if culture is not amongst these you won’t have the adaptability and proactiveness that is so crucial to success. If you’re looking for super-smart people, you can be pretty certain that a culture that motivates and grows their skills will be important to them. 

Providing meaningful work is a big part of how motivated people are - and if you are motivated, you adapt more easily - really important in the COVID era. Make sure everyone has the space to play and be free to experiment, the opportunity to witness the impact of their work and the potential to learn and grow. All are key performance-enhancing motivators to why people work.


Ultimately, having the right performance-enhancing culture in place with both your onshore and offshore sites leads to high retention of both valuable team members and customers. The right culture will encourage growth and skills development - a win-win outcome for both team members and your business. Make sure that the most important question you ask a potential offshore partner is around the nature of their culture, what drives it and how important it is to them. Is the answer giving a formula around building something real? Does it involve providing meaningful and challenging work and progressing people’s careers? Does it add value to and help your business grow?  Or is it simply about beers on a Friday? 


For detailed questions around your offshore provider’s culture and other areas to consider, click here to download the 'The 30 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Offshore’' resource. It will ensure you're informed and have the right questions to ask when considering the next step. 

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