Staff augmentation is a process where companies hire workers from a third-party agency to supplement their staff. This has become a popular way to increase efficiency and productivity in the workplace. There are many benefits to using an augmented team, but there are also some challenges that need to be overcome. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why companies choose staff augmentation and some of the challenges of managing an augmented team.
What is staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation allows businesses to hire staff from a third-party agency to extend their internal team and fill skill gaps. In this way, organizations can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and quickly address any issues or changes in the workplace. By augmenting staff, organizations can also benefit from specialized skill sets that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain.
Main benefits of staff augmentation
- Faster recruitment process: Staff augmentation helps organizations to quickly fill any gaps in staff. Providers like DEVTALENTS guarantee a recruitment process that takes between 24 hours and a couple of weeks.
- On-demand access to specialized skill sets: By hiring staff from an agency, companies can gain access to specific skills and expertise they may not otherwise have. Staff augmentation providers tend to maintain large talent pools and use specialized hiring and vetting processes to always be able to meet clients' needs.
- Cost reduction: Hiring staff through staff augmentation can be cost-effective as it allows businesses to skip all the costs of a traditional recruitment process, limit administrative costs, and reduce risk by providing replacements as needed.
Challenges of managing an augmented team
One of the main challenges of staff augmentation is managing a dispersed team, as staff members are located in different regions and time zones. This can make communication and coordination difficult if a clear understanding of processes or goals is not established.
Additionally, it can be hard to ensure staff members' skills are properly utilized and that they do not become overloaded or idle. This is not due to any bad will, but may happen because of lower visibility of each team member's everyday work.
Another challenge is ensuring staff members have the same level of knowledge, resources, and access to information as their in-house peers. Without proper onboarding and training, staff members may not be able to perform optimally or meet expectations.
Finally, there might be difficulties in building a cohesive company culture if too many staff members come and go on short notice.
Overcoming the challenges of managing dispersed teams
The key to overcoming these challenges is developing a clear set of processes and procedures to ensure staff members are properly onboarded and trained. Having clear communication channels and a unified approach to tasks can help staff stay on the same page. Additionally, staff augmentation staff members should be given the same resources and access to information as in-house staff.
Managing a dispersed team
Handling a team that is scattered across various locations requires the ability to monitor staff performance and results. Regular check-ins with staff members, providing feedback, and taking corrective measures when needed can help ensure staff members are working effectively and meeting goals.
Tracking progress and workload
It is important to ensure staff members do not become overwhelmed or idle. Setting up project tracking systems, such as Gantt charts, can help team leads keep an eye on staff performance without having to be physically present.
Keeping everyone on the same page
Having staff members located in different regions can make it difficult to keep a cohesive team. To address this challenge, staff augmentation providers often provide training and onboarding resources, as well as support staff such as project managers or team leads that ensure staff members have all the necessary information and are aware of their responsibilities.
Building company culture
Staff augmentation should be treated as part of your team from day one. Providing staff members with company swag or invitations to office events can go a long way towards making extended staff members feel like they are part of the team.
Additionally, staff should be given opportunities to give feedback and suggest ways to improve processes or performance. By actively engaging staff in your company culture, you can build trust and foster better working relationships.
Finally, extended staff should be included in team-building activities and staff gatherings to ensure they feel part of the team. This can help staff members build relationships with their colleagues, create a sense of belonging, and increase motivation.
Additional tips augmented team management
- A smooth beginning of cooperation: Make sure all team members are properly onboarded and have the necessary resources to do their job. This may require access to an internal knowledge base, appropriately set-up hardware, a primer on the company's values, and many other important elements of understanding the task ahead.
- Communication: Set up channels for communication between all team members, such as instant messaging or video conferencing, so staff members can stay in touch even when they are located in different regions.
- Flexibility: Be open to adjust team members’ roles and tasks if needed. Often, experts added to the team offer insights that can change old processes or rearrange priorities.
- Feedback: Encourage internal staff to give constructive feedback so that external staff can become better integrated into your team.
- Relationships: Give staff members the opportunity to build relationships with their colleagues, participate in team-building activities, and attend staff meetings.
- Clearly defined tasks and goals: Make sure staff members are aware of their tasks, goals, and expectations to ensure extended staff are productive.
- A balance between flexibility and control: Staff augmentation staff should have some flexibility in their role, but staff leads should also maintain a degree of control over staff performance and results - without killing team members' engagement and proactivity. It is a difficult balance to maintain, and requires trust from both sides.
Ensure business success with team extension today
By effectively managing extended staff, companies can increase efficiency and productivity, resulting in cost savings. Furthermore, staff augmentation provides organizations with specialized skill sets that can drive innovation and add value to the company.
Overall, staff augmentation is a great way for organizations to quickly increase staff capacity and supplement their in-house staff with specialized resources. With proper management and clear communication channels, external staff members can be just as productive, innovative, and invested in the organization’s success as their in-house peers.