Some outsourced teams are hired on an as-and-when basis according to the company’s needs but it is also the case that a company can get a much better outcome by developing a long-term relationship and establishing more of a partnership with their outsourcing provider. Instead of just paying them to do the job, the outsourced team become more invested in the project.

Here are some tips to help you move from a casual to a more long-term relationship with your outsourcing provider:

1.Draw up a long-term contact

If you currently hire a team for multiple small projects, it might be worth looking into a longer term contract. These long-term arrangements cut out many of the issues experienced on short-term work including communication problems, deadline issues, collaboration and building up trust between the outside and in-house teams. If you find these things a challenge, then considering a longer term arrangement and increasing contact between the provider and your in-house team is a good way forward. If you can also agree on values, goals and a working culture that would also lead to much greater alignment between the two entities.

2.Work on establishing good communication

Keeping in touch for long periods of time means a greater alignment and understanding of goals and priorities. Even if you don’t want to set up a formal contract, good communication means that teams can stay in touch even during times they are not working together on a project. Appointing a project manager from each organization who meet regularly to update each other can make all the difference. Global outsourcing is common but tools like Zoom and Slack, among others, can make staying in touch across national borders easy.

3.Develop mutual trust

If you start to treat your outsourcing provider more like a business partner you will find that there is a greater level of mutual respect and commitment to the project. Your provider has a skill set that makes them a valuable asset to your company on certain tasks but their experience and capabilities can go far beyond this. Establish trust by asking their opinion on other types of business decisions (if appropriate) and make sure they are not excessively supervised by your in-house team by giving them space to work. A provider may not employ the same problem-solving techniques as you do but they may also bring a fresh perspective to the table. Developing trust means that there is more collaborative working rather than a strict client/employer relationship.

Partnership building is constantly evolving and progressing and needs a proactive commitment to building good communication channels. Allocating some time to updating your outsourcing partner on your own progress makes them feel more involved in future development, and the more invested they are, the more they will be motivated to work with you and deliver their best work.

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