Suring up your offshoring initiatives with Strategic HR Management

by Chris Winfield-Blum  - June 5, 2017

The underpinning of any organisational growth is often a viable and forward thinking human resources management strategy, and this is an often neglected aspect of offshoring initiatives.

Too often organisations take a view that offshoring is a short term solution to resource constraints or budget concerns, and these same organisations are failing to recognise the potential value that offshoring can add to your business. To be clear, this goes well beyond role identification, analysis and design, we’re talking about integrating your offshoring initiative with your organisational strategy for the next two, five or ten years++.

The below is a list of factors that should be considered and managed as part of your strategic human resource management planning and execution, with a specific focus on, as stated above, the integration of your offshoring initiatives;

Benefits of diversity

There are countless research papers and articles about the benefits of diversity, whether it be socioeconomic, geographic, academic/professional and of course racial and ethnic backgrounds. The findings and evidence indicate that these factors affect the way that people perceive and respond to organisational situations and that means new ideas and when encouraged and supported, creative and unique ways to solve problems. Simply put diversity can lead to different and hopefully better choices for resolving issues within your organisation.

Offshoring provides you access to a different group of resources and if you manage these new team members appropriately they can become invaluable to your plans for grows and the execution of your strategies.

Team building programs

“Out of sight, out of mind” management (or lack of) is an area of concern with offshoring. Ultimately, team building programs can build a sense of pride, respect and importantly, commitment to your organisation.

This is true regardless of where your team are located, however, with an offshored team you can not take advantage of day-to-day opportunities to build relationships. A concerted effort for team building, in office, and externally, can be an important part of developing a strong and effective team.

Cultural influences

Understanding cultural influences is important to recognise the best methods to engage and communicate with your offshored team. Culture, religion and family are all factors in the development of personal values. Further, they can have a huge impact on the personality traits that people develop throughout their lives.

For example, in cultures where “supporting the family” is more important, the resulting common personal values can be of great benefit to your organisation. If you can create an environment that feels like a family, you will have created a group of dedicated and committed team members.

Hierarchy of needs

There is a principle known as the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which suggests that people live within the scope of three “needs”; basic, psychological and self-fulfillment.

  • Physiological : the most basic of needs within the hierarchy and include food, water, warmth and rest
  • Safety : security and safety (self and loved ones)
  • Belongingness and love : intimate relationships and friends
  • Esteem : prestige and feeling of accomplishment
  • Self-Actualisation : achieving one’s full potential

Understanding these needs and where each of your offshored team currently sits within the scope of the hierarchy is important because the theory suggests that each level must be satisfied before a team member can move up the hierarchy.

Simply put, if a team member is worried about where the next meal is coming from, or the safety of their family, they are unlikely to fully engage with discussions about professional growth and development.

Offshore leadership

One aspect of offshoring that is often not recognised is the potential leadership qualities than can be found in an offshored team. If you subscribe to any of the points above it isn’t a stretch to suggest that team leadership or management is also any area that should form part of your HR strategy.

Nurturing or developing leadership in your offshore team members is an effective way to maintain your team effectively and to provide value to senior strategic discussions.


With any organisation, strategic human resources management is critical. Unfortunately, this is an area that is often neglected when considering offshored initiatives. I can work with your organisation to develop appropriate strategies to deliver further competitive advantage to your organisation.

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Chris Winfield-Blum

Software enthusiast, operations & project manager, MBA graduate, team builder, creator, developer, writer and father.

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