Implementing a Philippines-based outsourced team in your Real Estate, Mortgage Broking or other business is a big thing. You need to modify and adapt your systems and processes to properly integrate the new offshore element. This is normally pretty easy to do, the difficult part can sometimes be convincing your existing team that it is a good idea. You will no doubt get push back and your staff will have concerns about their future employment within your business. When managing this push back you need to remember that it: is not unique to your business, has existed since the beginning of time, and has been studied almost to exhaustion!
The field of Change Management is massive and has become more and more prominent as an academic discipline and important concern for all organisations; especially, given the speed at which technology and society is currently moving. A Change Management plan is a must have for all businesses looking to implement something new or different.
To our own detriment, we often overlook academia when searching for answers to business problems; and yet, academia has been studying business for centuries.
John Kotter is a Professor at The Harvard University Business School and is a world leader on Change Management. Not only has he studied it for decades but he has consulted to 100s of companies on how to lead change in organisations. Kotter is famous for his ‘8-Step Process for Leading Change’.
Here are 8 easy steps to successfully implement an outsourced team into your business.
- Create a Sense of Urgency
- Find a way of explaining the WIFM (What’s In It For Me) to employees within your office
- Explain the benefits to the business as well as the individual and customers
- Explain why it has to urgently happen e.g. the market is changing, new players are entering, automation is pushing out the little guys... You need to do this because people who are engaged in the change know why it has to happen and can prepare for it.
- Build a Guiding Coalition
- Identify those in the team that are onboard with your outsourcing project and are capable of influencing other team members
- The group needs to have diversity i.e. bring together people from different parts of the business to guide the others through the change
- Make sure your coalition has the technical knowledge to advise and implement the change. You need to identify who, in your business, are the early adopters and get their buy in! We know from Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations Theory that once you get the early adopters on board the rest will fall in time. Here is a 3-minute video on Diffusion of Innovations Theory to help you understand.
- Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives
Kotter says the Guiding Coalition you formed at step 2 needs to collectively form a strategic vision and related initiatives for the change. This is basically the start of your Project Implementation Plan. As a group, you need to work out what has to happen when to ensure the smooth implementation of your outsourced team.
Struggling for ideas? Check out my 5 part Education Series for more information. Doing this as a group ensures further buy in from the members of the Guiding Coalition as well as putting everyone on the same page.
- Enlist a Volunteer Army
By now, you have your Project Implementation Plan, now it is time for the guiding coalition to go out to the rest of your team and ask for volunteers to assist with different parts of the project. This will assist in further engaging your people in the importance of your outsourcing initiative.
- Enable Action by Removing Barriers
Break down the barriers to success - don’t let people say things like ‘it’s just not done that way’ or ‘it won’t work’. Understand why they are putting up these barriers and then overcome them. Have the cross-functional guiding coalition assist in this part. It sounds better coming from the ‘troops’.
Are you struggling to work out how to do this part? Watch my on-demand webinar, How to get buy in from your local Team, for some really effective ways to do this. It’s only 15 minutes.
- Generate Short Term Wins
Identify what the quick, short term wins are for your outsourcing project and get them happening straight away. Most importantly, make sure you celebrate success at every opportunity and report back to the whole team the overall impact of the change; each and every time you have success.
Don’t overlook the small things when it comes to implementing an outsourced team. As an example, organise a web conference between your outsourcing provider and your local team. Get them talking and expose your team to the skills and talent available. When you’ve done this, celebrate with a morning tea (or whatever works in your office) and debrief on the experience.
If you’re further progressed, then draw on help from my Complexity vs Frequency matrix, which you can read about in my eBook, The three steps to identify which business processes you need to offshore to maximise growth.
Use the Complexity vs Frequency matrix to identify where the quick wins lie, get them working straight away and then celebrate them. Measure your success and present that back to the whole team.
- Sustain Accelerations
Once you’ve got the short term wins working for you, accelerate your implementation quickly and efficiently. Don’t lose momentum; otherwise, you will lose buy in from your team, and barriers will start appearing again. Your good work up until this point will be for nothing.
- Institute Change
Don’t stop changing the way you do business. Do not discount the fact that your brilliant leadership throughout your outsourcing implementation will have changed your business culture for the better. So leverage that change and keep identifying and implementing new ways to make your business grow and scale.
I hope this article has given you some ideas on how you can quickly and effectively implement an outsourced team within your business. Do not forget the importance of a strong change management program AND do not forget that change is a culture and takes time to create in your business.
Are you after more information on how Beepo can help you in your outsourcing journey? Take a look at my 5 part Education Series on Outsourcing the right way, the first time.