Outsourcing is a major economic force in the world. Business process outsourcing is expected to generate $113 billion in income in 2021, which is similar to Bill Gates’ net worth.
Outsourcing helps 59 percent of organizations of all sizes and sectors streamline organizational operations.
According to Deloitte’s 2020 Global Outsourcing Survey, outsourcing has become a cost-cutting and organizational flexibility tool for over 70% of the organizations evaluated in the middle of the epidemic. At the same time, every second firm interacting with contractors lists “quality of service” as their top roadblock to effective outsourcing, turning what might have been a good experience into a frantic pursuit of desired outcomes.
What can company leaders do to guarantee that their outsourcing experience is positive and safe? Here are four easy techniques to increase the quality of service on outsourced projects, reduce fraud, and improve privacy in your firm, based on my experience.
1. Establish guidelines and expectations
An outsourcing provider does not have the same set of values as workers of a corporation. Regular workers, even those who work from home, might be driven by a mix of professional, financial, and social incentives; outsourced providers, on the other hand, are self-regulated “lone wolves” with varying ethical standards and working hours.
Contractors also operate with a wide range of clients and have little to no involvement in each one’s corporate culture.
The greatest answer, in my opinion, is to align working standards and expectations from the outset, including crisis management. Entrepreneurs should choose contractors that are really compatible with their company’s work requirements.
Businesses in areas such as technology and IT, as well as any others that deal with unexpected scenarios (related to their industry, clientele, or company operations), should prioritize outsourcing providers that can swiftly adjust to their degree of volatility.
“How do you adjust to changes you have no control over?” “What is your working process like?”
“Tell me about working for a client with a similar business environment.” We define standards and expectations in our company from day one by probing outsourcing candidates on the following points: “How do you adjust to changes you have no control over?”
“What is your working process like?” “Tell me about working for a client with a similar business environment.”
This allows us to estimate how effectively the contractor will meet our specified working requirements and to choose the best candidate right away.
2. Assess emotional intelligence at its heart
The usual “green flags” of an emotionally intelligent outsourcing provider are positive communication, motivation, and self-management. However, a precious and underappreciated characteristic lurks in their spotlight: self-awareness.
Self-awareness is a powerful emotional intelligence (EQ) indication that can be assessed even by a solopreneur. It’s a lot tougher to falsify.
We regularly play out the following scenario at work: “Let’s pretend you’ve taken on a project from us that you’ve undervalued in terms of time. The deadline is tomorrow, but you realize you’ll need a little more time.
“How do you deal with the situation?” Consider the test failed if you notice someone beating about the bush regarding their accountability while their responses are based on denial and a reluctance to model the situation.
You’re hoping for a “show, don’t tell” mentality as a response. A reliable outsourcing candidate would state they’d never encountered such a difficulty (or, alternatively, describe a comparable instance and solution), but would then model the “emergency” circumstance intelligently.
What critical soft skills does this conduct indicate, and why is it important? It predicts a person’s capacity to recognize and manage emotions in difficult circumstances, deal with criticism, and offer a positive perspective on difficult subjects.
Emotionally mature, responsible contractors are known for their self-awareness talents. Instead of a passive-aggressive, unpredictable attitude, you can depend on them to sort out any concerns in a collaborative, open manner.
3. Have faith, but be cautious
The majority of organizations that outsource work on hybrid outsourcing initiatives. Tasks are split between your in-house team (including remote employees) and the freelancer/contractor/outsourcing company on these projects.
With such projects, a single project manager is frequently hired to oversee both the in-house team and the outsourced. This is a common blunder that frequently ends in undesirable outcomes.
What our team decided was that an “outsourcing curator” — a phrase I developed to describe a specialized middleman between the in-house team and outsourcing – should be assigned. An outsourcing curator works for our organization and is responsible for providing relevant information to the outsourcing team or contractor, enforcing privacy, managing and mediating communication, and resolving conflicts between the two groups.
Outsourcing curators, unlike project managers, aren’t fully immersed in project responsibilities. Their goal is to make the hybrid working process as simple as possible while also minimizing outsourcing risks via constant management.
When things go out of hand, this means that the whole outsourcing process is softly but confidently steered rather than tyrannically controlled.
4. Create a privacy plan
A privacy plan should be in place for every organization contemplating outsourcing. While most entrepreneurs use a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and a Non-Compete Agreement (NCA) to safeguard their work, particularly when it comes to Intellectual Property, I always remember that an NDA isn’t adequate to secure a company’s privacy.
Only when used as part of a multi-level privacy approach is it most effective.
Access to corporate resources, for example, should always be proportionate to the work at hand, regardless of your sector or project. While working with outsourcing in phases may seem to be more time-consuming and need more communication, it protects a firm from privacy breaches and works hand-in-hand with milestone payments to protect you from untrustworthy contractors.
Another privacy agreement that helps safeguard against fraud is the Scope of Work. I recommend that you make this paper as comprehensive as possible.
Because an outsourcing provider has no understanding of your organization or its underlying operations, you may need to explain and even document things that are self-evident to your employees.
Last but not least, when working with offshore contractors, outsourcing firms, or freelancers, have all documents, particularly those involving intellectual property (e.g. NDAs), written or reviewed by an international business lawyer to ensure that they comply with the laws of the country where the outsourcing is based.
A successful outsourcing experience is the result of a mix of smart recruiting, clear expectations between the two parties, and maintaining control of the situation via judicious advice and privacy policies. Since a result, even a small business may gain from outsourcing to a great extent, as risks are reduced and efficiency is increased.