Blended Teams (the New Norm)
This week, oDesk released its "Online Work Survey" for Fall 2012. As you might imagine,…
Liaison is a funny word. In my mind, it conjures up images of some secretive character from a James Bond flick. But for many businesses, there’s nothing funny or secretive about a virtual liaison’s role. As more companies rely on blended teams, a virtual liaison can be crucial to the success or failure of your outsourcing program.
Before I answer this question, allow me to tell you a story. Early on in my virtual career, I had a client who wanted to formalize his company’s HR policies and procedures. He informed me that he hired an offshore company (we’ll call them HR Widget, Inc.) to work on the project. A few weeks went by with no updates. The client began to get worried about the project and decided to take a look at HR Widget, Inc.’s oDesk screenshots. To the client’s surprise, HR Widget, Inc. was in the process of developing a 100-page Word document that provided very little value. The bad news was that HR Widget, Inc. had already billed my client countless (non-refundable) hours. What a waste!
What can we learn from the previous example? In short, projects can quickly get out of control without the proper oversight. A virtual liaison is typically a member of your in-house staff whose job is to ensure oversight, quality, and accountability from your outsourced workers.
A virtual liaison can help ensure oversight, quality, and accountability from your outsourced workers.
So…you’re ready to hire a virtual liaison who can bridge the divide between your in-house and outsourced staffs. Now what? Let’s start by defining this person’s role and necessary skill sets. Below are a few good ones to consider:
Think of it this way…why do you leverage the power of the online workforce for your business? You do so to find efficiencies, reduce overhead, and tap into a talented pool of workers. By investing in a virtual liaison, you can give your blended team the resources it needs to be successful.
Executive in Sweatpants is the book (published November 2012) from marketer and author Matt Keener. The book is a how-to guide for launching and growing a successful work-from-home consulting business. Sign up to receive future blog postings and news sent directly to your email inbox. Learn more about buying the book.