The decision to commit to partnering with an outsource or contract firm is a big decision. It is a decision that requires investigation, time, and money. Communication is the root of starting, maintaining, and growing a profitable and positive relationship with your firm and the outsourcing firm.
Therefore, this post provides you with an insight of 5 tips for effective communication with outsourcing or contract firms.
1. Be clear. Clarity and confirmation are paramount. If you’re not sure how to communicate what you need, there will be
issues. The ability to establish trust in communication helps to ensure clarity. If you’re fearful or unsure on how to communicate something you need – for whatever reason, it is encouraged to start practicing on building that confidence to be clear. Without clear and precise communication there will be preventable bumps in the road, setbacks, rework, and delays. If you’re unsure of how to communicate more clearly, ask. Ask the contracting firm, what he or she should recommend clients provide regarding depth, detail, examples, and expectations.
2. Confirm. The excitement of partnering with a contract firm can blur expectations of established roles and responsibilities of each party. Be sure to determine the roles and responsibilities of your company and the contracting firm. Set the specifics in regards to actions, time, feedback, compensation, and payment terms. Confirm the details from the start. There may be at times more informal approaches to doing business, which can be successful. However, when there is room for interpretation or guessing, there is also room for confusion and frustration. Identify and confirm the necessities.
3. Preferred Method. Identification of preferred communication method(s) is paramount. One preferred method may work for your firm, but may not for the other. There are many factors that come into mind, such as time zones, schedules, and scope of communication needs. Some pay prefers talking over the phone, email, virtual meeting rooms, or face to face. Identifying the preferred method, and confirming that method works for all parties is essential.
4. Frequency. Identification of frequency of communication is helpful. As identified in Tip 1: Clarify. Determining the frequency is a standard talking point of communication. Determining the right level of communication from the start helps to build trust and rapport between firms. The frequency of communication varies per client or project, but it is key that each party knows the expectation of communication and commits to that frequency. It helps to ensure a cohesiveness of relevant communications throughout projects.
5. Tone. Depending on the methods of communication, it is imperative to be conscious of tone. The tone is something that can easily be misinterpreted. Recognizing changes in tone via methods of communication can help to minimize misunderstandings. Tone can be “heard” in nonverbal methods of communications. Taking the time understand tone, especially, in instances of possible disagreement can help to diffuse conflict or prevent further conflict. Tone goes beyond the scope of exhibiting emotions, and can factor in professionalism as well. Be cautious of shorthand abbreviations and assumptions association that tone interpretation is consistent between parties. This doesn’t mean to second guess communications or interactions, but simply to be cognizant of the message could be received.
In conclusion, communication plays a huge role in our day to day lives, including communications with outsourcing and contractors. There is no one right way of communication. Even with best practices, communication goes wrong, however, with an understanding of such practices conflict in communication is minimized. Therefore, the 5 Tips for Effective Communication with Outsourcing or Contract Firms helps to reduce possible conflict and reinforce positive communication with simple steps to increase clarity, confirmation, method(s) of communication, frequency, and tone.
by Christine Kelly
CEO and Queen Bee | Viral Solutions LLC
Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC