HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SATELLITE OFFICE: TOP 6 BEST PRACTICES
If you are reading this blog about managing your satellite office, it only means good news: your business and team are growing and expanding your office and looking for new options to fulfill clients' demands is now necessary.
Expansion usually comes with enormous advantages for companies, but it also brings challenges that you must address adequately to succeed. This article will focus on providing you with a set of best practices to help you correctly manage your satellite team.
WHAT IS A SATELLITE OFFICE?
A satellite office is a branch or subsidiary office of a company that is located away from the central office. The biggest difference between a satellite office and a branch office is that satellite offices are typically established to extend the reach of the business's organization, serve specific geographical areas, or cater to a particular market. They are connected to the main office through communication and networking technologies, allowing for coordination and collaboration between different locations. Satellite offices can help tap into new markets, reduce commuting time for employees, or take advantage of specialized skills in different regions, ultimately contributing to the business's success and employee satisfaction.
MANAGING YOUR SATELLITE OFFICE
1. Create and maintain clear KPIs, goals, and expectations
One of the most common mistakes companies make is getting lost in objectives and measures during the growth path. Establishing well-defined KPI metrics allows you to gauge and track individual and team performance coherently, always considering your company's vision and growth expectations.
Some of the most effective ways to do so are:
- Provide clarity on what a KPI or performance measure is.
- Evaluate your current KPIs and iterate if some of them look more like a burden to your team than a helpful tool.
- Make sure your goals can be reasonably measurable before asking peers to try to achieve them.
- Invest in technology and tools that help you make more accurate decisions.
With well-settled KPIs, goals, and expectations, you will be ready to start recognizing top and bottom performers within your operation and empowering teams while doing so.
- For top performers: Create internal career growth plans, bonuses, and incentives.
- For bottom performers: Implement improvement plans, shadowing sessions, and training to help increase productivity and catch weak spots. Also, listen, listen, listen! Hear what your team says and what they need to do better.
2. Create effective, horizontal, and empathic channels of communication
When your team works thousands of miles from your headquarters, you must focus on making them feel included and letting them know that they are a vital part of the whole organization and essential to overall operations. You must use the appropriate channels to maintain straightforward communication across all departments to ensure this is possible.
Some tips to enhance your communications are:
- Promote unity: Introduce your satellite teams to your U.S. Operations.
- Include your satellite office workers in all company-wide communications, announcements, recognitions, and milestones.
- Schedule regular feedback and continuous improvement sessions (weekly meetings).
- Become acquainted with your account managers (Team Leads/ AMs).
- Establish periodic one-on-one meetings with direct managers and headquarters leaders.
- Be clear about career path options and let workers know with whom they can talk in case of personal or professional concerns.
3. Ensure your infrastructure is in optimal conditions (offices, computers, phones, internet)
You don't want your collaborators to feel they are being neglected just because they are located in a different city, state, or country. Assigning a group to check installations periodically is paramount to get the same standardized quality of services throughout all your offices. One of the easiest and safest ways to do that is to mimic or replicate your headquarters' operations and facilities.
Pro tip: A productive, comfortable workstation should have at least one desktop, two monitors, a headset, an ergonomic chair, and fast-speed internet.
4. Keep employee benefits constant across all offices and departments
According to a recent AFLACs survey, “49% of employees will look for a new job in the next 12 months due to confusion or dissatisfaction with benefits.” So, yes! The key to alleviating those discomforts around benefit packages is recognizing all workers as equally deserving.
Here are some ideas to extend your benefit plans across all offices and departments:
- Individual cash bonuses based on KPI metrics.
- Team bonuses based on KPI metrics or team-specific goals.
- Team lunch/dinner, happy hour outing, bowling, paintball, escape room, or other social activities.
- Monthly team competitions (attendance, team recognition, standouts, etc.)
- Providing team swag (shirt, polo shirt, hat, etc.)
- Gym/SPA membership reimbursement (promotes a healthy lifestyle)
- Travel reimbursement: Provide access to private transportation channels to limit commute times and improve employee work/life balance.
- Encourage staff to take all PTO.
5. Regularly visit your satellite office
Sometimes work can get overwhelming and finding room in the calendar to visit your satellite team is not always accessible. However, blocking your agenda for a visit to your satellite office within the first three months of onboarding is essential. Your presence will make staffers feel they are part of the company, strengthening the organizational culture. It will also allow you to adjust, catch improvement opportunities, and check by yourself if everything is running smoothly. After that, you may keep visiting your office 1 or 2 times a year.
6. Enhance culture and camaraderie
As important as it is to have common quality standards, infrastructure, and benefits across offices, it is also essential to understand and engage with each country's culture. Encourage workers to learn from each other and get the most out of their context and stories. Implement an organizational culture based on diversity, respect, and accepting differences.
Based on a study by Boston Consulting Group, companies that reported above-average diversity on their management teams also showed 19% higher innovation revenue.
When partnering with LSG Colombian staff, you will be sure to get:
- Communicative employees who enjoy having regular respectful conversations with their team members and managers.
- Fast learners who are eager to grow professionally. They will proactively build close relationships, so everyone feels comfortable at the office.
How Can Lean Solutions Group Help You Along the Path of establishing and Managing a Satellite Office?
We know that making decisions to keep growing your company while trying to open new offices, get qualified and trained teams, and comply with regulations and contracts, can be a hassle for your operations, especially in times of shortages, economic volatility, and pandemic. As a result, Lean Solution Group has been providing solutions for years to help businesses focus on what's more important: growing revenues and improving operations.
By partnering with LSG to open and manage your Satellite Offices, you gain access to a highly qualified bilingual staff, the right culture with a nearshore office, and the right price, 40 to 50% in direct labor savings, no long-term contracts, and scalability.
Visit our website to learn more about how our back-office solutions can help you settle your newly acquired satellite office and teams.
María José Peláez is a journalist and writer with a Master's in Literary Studies. For years, she has worked with storytelling and marketing tools to enhance the communications of international organizations and NGOs. Her mission as a Creative Content Writer is to come up with original formats, understand customers' needs, and discover those stories that make a company unique.