Outsource HQ

How to Onboard Your Future Outsourced Partner

Episode Summary

In this episode of Outsource HQ, we emphasize the significance of onboarding your future outsourced partner effectively. We highlight the importance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as a guide for clear communication and standardized processes. Additionally, we stress the value of introducing partners to company values, culture, and goals to foster alignment and a sense of belonging. By striking the right balance between adherence to established processes and flexibility for innovation, we can build a successful partnership. Join us for the next episode as we delve into customer service in the digital age. Stay tuned and continue your outsourcing learning journey with us at Outsourced HQ.

Episode Transcription

Hey there! It’s Adam from Outsource HQ. Our episode today is about onboarding your future outsourced partner.

But before we dive into the topic, let’s first explore the word “onboard” quickly. Onboarding is a welcoming process. It can be illustrated as if you are welcoming someone on board a ship or a plane. It’s the same when you welcome people aboard your company. 

Onboarding should communicate your expectations, processes, and culture with your new hire. 

You’ve finally found a partner that you think will be a great fit for the current needs of your organization. It can be a solo freelancer or an entire team from an outsourcing partner. You can’t wait to get started working with them. But the payoff is big when you don’t skip onboarding. 

From our experience internally and with our clients, the best and fastest method is having an SOP. Create one as a Google Doc, a video, or a presentation and every new hire can review it as part of their onboarding. 

With SOPs about the company’s values and specific tasks, people learn your processes. And because it’s standardized, there are no gaps in communication, like instances when someone is not aware of something you thought wasn’t important to his role, but actually comes up in certain situations. 

SOPs are great at explaining the WHYs and HOWs in your organization.

Your SOP should be systematic in explaining the reasons behind the processes, as much as the processes themselves. This also contributes to giving your new hires a sense of belonging. They’re being told about the company's rationales and methods. 

Which brings us to the next step. Orient the partner to the company values, culture, and goals. Think of the first step as introducing the partner to what they’ll do, and the second step is to introduce to the partner what you stand for. 

Introduce the essence of the company: When did the company start? What does it stand for? What are your foundational values behind every task, for every client, and among employees? 

Opening up the inner workings of your company gives precious insight to the partner and also gives them a more welcoming feeling.

Now, after introducing the partner to the SOPs and the company values,, encourage them to stick to the established rules and standards you’ve just informed them about. They’re not there as decoration. While you don’t have to be regimental about it and SOPs are meant to be fluid and flexible, it’s always a steadier work environment when everyone follows the SOPs on equal terms. 

Especially with remote work, SOPs can be your company’s guard against chaos. 

Outsourced partners usually learn fast and have a bunch of experience. They can do workarounds that make their tasks easier or faster. So tell them also that the processes are open for suggestions and new ideas, but make sure they understand what’s non-negotiable, like deadlines, work times, and communication. 

The main purpose of onboarding is to ensure that you and your partner both face the same direction to achieve the same goal.

Think of a wheel on a vehicle. If it’s misaligned, it will introduce friction which makes the ride uncomfortable and the worst, unsafe. So it’s very important very early on to keep your alignment and do the onboarding process diligently.

So a quick recap: First introduce the SOPs to the partner to let them know what they will do. Then, introduce the company values, culture, and goals, to let them know about you. Next is to encourage them to follow the SOPS, while letting them shine in their own abilities. 

Before we go, our scenario is about finding an outsourced partner and onboarding them. Well, did you know that one of the most common outsourced departments is customer service? 

That will be our next topic: Customer Service in the Digital Age. 

So stay tuned for our next episode. 

Continue your learning journey here at Outsourced HQ - the fun and quick way to learn about outsourcing.

Until next time!