How Important it is to Engage Your Global Workforce

The physical boundaries of the office are shifting and so is the global workforce. We found in our recently released CFO Survey that our customers are hiring tech talent primarily from India, Canada, Brazil and the United Kingdom. In addition, growing popularity and accessibility to remote work models are enticing many people to move to different areas of the world while maintaining their same job and employer.

This is fantastic news in terms of employee satisfaction – considering people report being happier since working remotely – and it’s a great step toward achieving greater company diversity and even intensified company success. When a company’s workforce is spread across different countries and time zones, it provides businesses an opportunity to embrace an inclusive and diverse workforce, putting them in a position of competitive advantage in the international marketplace.

However, this opportunity requires businesses to think strategically and intentionally, not only about the logistics of hiring internationally but how they’ll create positive experiences for their global employees.

There are endless resources to help leaders create a positive employee experience in a local setting, but what about those employees who are living out of the country and thousands of miles away from their peers, managers and executive decision-makers?

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How does a business create an inclusive environment that makes them feel valued?

Managing global teams requires a new level of cultural competence as well as a stronger and more concerted effort by leadership to act inclusively and create a culture of belonging, no matter where an employee lives.

Here are three considerations for a stronger global employee experience.

Focus on Stability & Security to Retain Global Workforce

At a foundational level, most people would agree that financial stability and job security are important to feeling happy at work. In fact, one of the biggest contributors to the Great Resignation is perceived job instability.

Business leaders cannot communicate enough with their teams about financial stability as well as individual job security with their employees. To convey healthy financial stability, businesses should offer engaging compensation and benefit plans to their employees. This is even more true when addressing the global marketplace, as there is increased competition for talent. It’s wise to incorporate weekly company performance updates that highlight data such as ROI and sales figures.

Businesses should also show employees how they fit in with the future of the company.

Consider presenting employees with a future timeline of company goals and showcase where an individual employee fits in with those plans – making it clear that they are key to the success of those plans. Provide concrete projects and goals that give a clear view of the company’s success and where they fit in with those projects in a practical way.

Build Trusting Relationships with the Global Workforce

Ingraining stability and security in a work environment also require the formation of deep-trust relationships, though there’s no one-size-fits-all, golden standard. Trust is a multi-layered and integral component of employee engagement that requires the focus of leadership, managers and even peers.

One proven way to build trust is through recognition. Non-financial and financial acknowledgement are both great ways to create an environment that is conducive to deep-trust relationships because it establishes value for an employee and can also encourage them to pay recognition forward to others. Consider non-financial appreciation efforts such as team offsites, virtual happy hours, swag boxes, thank-you cards and team-building exercises. These are all great ways to enhance social cohesion and inclusion, which are the foundation of workplace trust. On the other hand, financial recognition, like bonuses, rewards plans or promotions can convey trust from leadership to management and staff.

Aside from recognition, leadership must walk-the-walk by treating their teams fairly and with respect, creating a supportive work environment and communicating formally and informally to build team rapport. Culturally competent team communication will promote fairness, involvement, respect and equality. They should also encourage their team to practice cultural competence daily, perhaps providing cultural competence resources like free training classes and webinars.

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Foster Individual Purpose and Contribution

Apart from implementing a positive, collective employee experience, business leaders should implement ways to learn about individuals’ personal work goals and then navigate ways to encourage each person to achieve those goals. For example, some team members may be concerned with growing their confidence with clients, while others might want to work on ways to achieve certain experiences to be promoted at a faster rate.

Listening and collecting this information from each team member is critical, especially if they’re working in a different country than the rest of their team. Business leaders should then align the individual employee’s skills and goals to the company’s mission and values.

Remember to set realistic work goals for each employee and encourage employees to fairly balance their work and private life. It’s wise to set up monthly or quarterly “individual purpose and contribution” meetings with each employee that serves as a follow-up on the status of their personal work goals, and of course, a time to think about ways to help them along that journey. There’s no substitution for individual focus and attention when it comes to creating a purposeful employee experience for global team members.

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Final Thoughts on Global Workforce Management: The Case for a Diverse Company Culture

There is no time in history where diverse company culture has been more achievable. With more people willing to work remotely from different parts of the world, there is a great opportunity for businesses to dive into the proverbial melting pot.

In this new global business environment, culture cannot simply be defined as “the way things are done” – it is more about understanding the common set of behaviors, beliefs and underlying mindsets that shape how employees interact. Cultural competence is a crucial factor that separates a high-performing company from the rest. Focusing on creating a secure and stable work environment that is conducive to deep-trust relationships and focuses on the individual on a personal level is a great place to start when defining the culture of a global team. Leaders must have the perceptiveness and ability to understand the habits, gestures and assumptions of employees across the world.

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