How to build a culturally aligned team when going offshore

Emilien Coquard
3 min readSep 14, 2022

Finding highly talented engineers with the right skills to complete large development projects is difficult. Most organisations waste a lot of time hiring and training locally. In IT, offshoring is becoming increasingly common as a solution to the talent shortage in places like Western Europe and North America.

An offshore team is often more effective than building one locally because organisations can leverage an overseas talent pool of well-educated and often better-skilled workers. Technology expertise and willingness to complete a project aren’t always sufficient when building a team overseas. Creating a culturally aligned team compatible with your business is much more vital. In this article, we will look at how to build an aligned team and will examine its benefits.

What offshoring means

It is crucial to first understand what we mean by offshoring. Although outsourcing and offshore were initially regarded as interchangeable, the two concepts have different connotations and effects. While outsourcing assigns specific company tasks to a third party, offshoring transfers internal tasks to an offshore team while maintaining complete control over their business operation. Offshore teams are treated no differently than onshore teams when you have a culturally aligned team. The staff are fully integrated into your existing setup.

The importance of cultural fit

Ensuring your team at home in HQ and your team offshore are aligned is so important. Put simply, offshoring isn’t done correctly if it doesn’t involve organisational and cultural alignment. In outsourcing, your developers are allocated and aren’t a proper part of your business.

This means that they’re often seen as an external pair of hired hands rather than genuine colleagues. In offshoring, when done with an expert team building partner, they’re full-time employees. As a result, they’re aligned with your vision and mission and care about the products they work on.

Create team spirit within your group

As offshoring becomes more popular, team spirit becomes even more critical in creating an aligned team — keeping your local and offshore teams on the same page. In order for teams to succeed, they need to have a sense of camaraderie.

Building long-term offshore ventures require this sense of togetherness. Partnering with someone you enjoy working with that challenges your thinking and, most importantly, knowing whether they can rely on you is essential. Sharing knowledge and experiences is only possible by building an open communication culture. It is a great way to integrate the entire team.

The best offshoring companies will often assign a Chief Happiness Officer in order to keep your offshore employees engaged and invested in their work, and the wider business at large.

Create a sense of responsibility and integrity

Creating a well-formed offshore team will experience your fair share of success. However, with success comes mistakes. But even if errors are made, you want to be sure that your team shares the same sense of honesty and follows the same ethical guidelines and codes of conduct. So, when forming an aligned team, remember to emphasise responsibility.

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