Three Ways To Build Culture With Your Offshore Software Outsourcing Team
When outsourcing your software development team to an offshore development center in, let’s say, Vietnam, you might wonder how you can build a healthy working culture with your engineers since they are so far away.
As a top Vietnam software development company that have years of experience in working with international clients, here are your three tips to build a healthy workplace culture where all employees are motivated and at the end of the road, you can reap tons of benefits
Why workplace culture is important?
Workplace culture is as vital as business strategies. If the business strategy’s main purpose is to grow revenue and build a community around your business, working culture is all about your employees. It's what makes you, you. The workplace culture can be the values, traditions, beliefs, employee interactions, behaviors, etc.
By building a positive corporate culture, you will attract talents, increase employee satisfaction which ultimately will impact their work productivity and general performance.
So what makes up your workplace culture? The answer lies in multiple factors, including leadership, management, policies, the people who hire, workplace practices and working environment, the mission, vision, and value, as well as the communication within your company.
How can I develop a healthy workplace culture for my remote team?
As a top Vietnam software outsourcing company, with experience working with clients from many countries around the world, in our opinion, managing a distributed software development team can incentivize healthy and strong culture creation, even more than when managing a face-to-face team.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but since the stakes are higher for remote teams, this motivates the remote software development executives to be more attentive in building a culture that ultimately creates a stronger team.
Understanding the culture
There are many ways to understand what “culture” means. But according to empirical research conducted by Edgar Schein, professor emeritus at MIT, culture is a pattern of fundamental assumptions and values that are discovered and developed by a group, proven to lead to success.
According to Schein, culture is a three-tiered pyramid. The top includes artifacts and practices, these are tangible behaviors that you can observe in a group of people, for example, jokes, stories, and how they interact. We can also understand these artifacts and practices are what come into mind when we think of one corporate culture.
These elements originate from the middle and bottom tiers of the pyramid, which are the values and underlying assumptions. All three elements are what forming a workplace culture.
Remote working assumptions and values
By understanding Schein’s model, it is quite obvious that a healthy remote working culture creation starts with “underlying assumptions” and “values” way before the team is established. The remote software outsourcing team needs to be created with thought and a purpose.
When office working environment, suit and heels dress code can be the symbol of professionalism. Likewise, other assumptions about the remote working teams should be communicated clearly at the beginning.
These assumptions can be the answers to different questions like why this remote working team exists, how we do things, what our purpose is. In our case, we often think of ourselves as a strategic business partner, a part of our client’s team instead of just “mercenaries". By understanding that we are a part of our client’s organization, our team strives to achieve the best results as it’s ours.
The values of the remote working team may include simple ideas such as quality or integrity, but they may also be as specific as high quality of communication. Remember, as a software engineering manager, you should include your software development team’s purpose and mission in this tier of your cultural pyramid. There is no exact list of values for all remote working teams. Find one that suits best for you.
With the right assumptions and values, you can start hiring and focusing on candidates that share the same cultural framework. Although discussing the importance of culture during the recruitment process is vitally important, don’t stress over it. Always make sure that the potential employees are clear about your corporate culture so that we don’t waste anybody’s time here. Communicating with them what you expect from them right in the beginning since they won’t be in a direct environment where they can experience and absorb the corporate culture from other team members.
One of the most accountable traits that you can look for in a remote software development team is self-motivated, proactive, and problem-solving. Since each team member will spend more time figuring out the problem alone, you want to hire someone who can motivate themself, be proactive in all situations, and is a problem solver. With these characteristics and the right training, they can be a key team member who contributes massively in your success.
Since most of us are working from home now, in the future, it is predicted that WFH will remain the major trend. Most companies understand the importance of having an orientation session with new members. However, since you have to work with a remote software outsourcing team now, traditional training new employees session is a luxury.
Luckily, face-to-face is not the only way to integrate new employees into your culture. Your responsibility is to make sure all new members understand the assumptions and values that form your company’s artifacts and practices.
Once you have established the values and made sure that all members understand them and start working on artifacts and practices of your team. As software development remote teams need consistent interaction and collaboration, communication is critical.