Remote work has become more popular than ever. It’s not just domestic companies that are employing remote workers, either. A growing number of international companies are now hiring workers from anywhere, PayScale says.
Leading an international workforce has some advantages, but it can also present some management challenges, including hiring, project management and worker engagement. Here are three steps to help you effectively build, manage and motivate a cohesive, efficient global business team.
Building an effective global team begins with smart recruitment strategies. When crafting job descriptions, it’s important to keep your company culture in mind and seek suitable soft and hard skill sets. Taking advantage of artificial intelligence recruitment tools can help you more efficiently identify qualified candidates. Use your current employees to help refer you to potential candidates as well. Once candidates start applying, objective and structured pre-hire assessment can be an effective way to screen talent prior to conducting interviews.
It’s also important to get an early start on the legal paperwork required for hiring international workers. Determine whether you need to use any immigration programs for your international workers, and if so, take appropriate steps with the Labor Department and USCIS.
One of the challenges of managing a global business team is communications. With workers located in different locations, real-time and face-to-face communication is completely dependent on technology. This makes communications tools such as instant messaging and video chat invaluable. However, this raises the additional challenge of how to integrate these communications channels with other important channels such as email and phone calls without unnecessary duplication of conversations or loss of information.
An ideal solution to this is a cloud contact center. A cloud-based contact center provides a central platform that all your international workers can access regardless of physical location in order to use any of your communications channels. This enables you to integrate all channels for both your internal and external communications.
Another challenge with employing international workers can be maintaining worker engagement, especially if your foreign workers are working remotely. Workers who work remotely all of the time are the least engaged among any group of employees, Gallup research shows. Lack of face-to-face communication and lack of social interaction with fellow workers contributes to this lack of engagement. Lack of a sense of career growth potential can also make workers inclined to switch companies if they don’t see opportunities for advancement.
To offset this, it’s important to use motivational strategies to boost worker engagement. Holding periodic video chat meetings and reviews can help build face-to-face communication into your workforce. Setting up a social network for your workers and creating groups that allow employees with common interests to chat can help build social relationships among workers in other countries. Offering opportunities for career skills growth and internal promotion within your company can also help keep your workers engaged.
Using strategic hiring strategies, centering your communications around a cloud-based platform and deploying proactive strategies to maintain worker engagement are three keys to leading an effective global business team. Following these steps can help you recruit, manage and retain the right workers to run an effective international operation.