Managing a Global Workforce
In today’s global market, many industries have expanded their workforces to other parts of the world, animation and entertainment industries included. The demand for the production of high-quality animated titles continues to increase with the release of newer consoles, but so does the desire to keep production costs low. Cost is one of the main factors that have industry leaders looking outside the U.S. for production help, as it is a much more viable and cost effective support option. When I began Animation Vertigo in 2004, the idea of outsourcing was a pretty unpopular topic for discussion. Today, people have begun to embrace outsourcing to grow businesses and avoid falling behind in the industry.
Animation Vertigo provides motion capture animation tracking and animation solutions for leaders in film, television and video games by utilizing the talent of more than 50 Filipino artists located in Manila. The gaming industry, a global market behemoth, is clearly comfortable knowing that its intellectual property is protected and work is financially sustainable when outsourced.
As founder and CEO of Animation Vertigo, I am very familiar with the stresses and benefits that come with managing a workforce an ocean away. If you’re thinking about moving part of your company or even certain projects outside of the country and you’re unsure how to manage that team moving forward – below are a few tips to help you get started:
- Find a trustworthy and dependable manager who shares your same work ethic and company vision. This will be the person managing the team while you’re away and the person you’ll be trusting to direct the company. Sharing in the vision and work ethic helps minimize potential conflict on a very basic level.
- Allow the manager(s) to handle the day-to-day. If you are like me, letting go of certain aspects of management is a difficult task. However, this is essential to allow you to do what you are good at; it helps to make life simpler, so define those roles and let go.
- Ensure open and regular communication between you and the appointed manager. It is the only way to truly guarantee that you both are on the same page. The last thing you want to happen is to not recognize a company you started.
- Have a presence. It’s important for your team to know that you’re aware of the positives and negatives going on in the office especially when there’s great distance between you and your team. Regular visits helps build relationships and keeps everyone motivated and connected.
- Stay on top of the newest software or tools that help keep team members organized and close, even when physically far apart. That’s a major benefit of being in a global workforce today. There is such a vast array of technology available to manage from afar.
- Remember to keep things in perspective, knowing that any workforce is a task to manage whether across an ocean or across the street. It is still very similar to managing a local team at the end of the day. There are a few necessary tweaks to ensure proper communication is maintained and to make sure that goals are heading in the same direction but the bottom line is, you are one team.
By Marla Rausch, CEO and founder of Irvine-based Animation Vertigo, a motion capture animation company.