5 Tips to manage a global workforce this 2021

It all boils down to trust, communication and respect

According to a recent employment forecast from The World Economic Forum, the transformative drivers of tomorrow’s world would be a globally diversified and virtual team. Thanks to the advancement of technology, borders no longer dictate career boundaries. However, a global workforce presents new challenges and managerial practices for those who are hiring global talents. But before we dive into the tips for managing a global workforce, what are the benefits of having one in the first place?

Benefits of a global workforce

A global workforce is a concept that organisations or companies can exist in more than one country across the globe or can interact with organisations in different locations globally. As companies and organisations alike grow bigger and bigger, global expansion becomes paramount. Furthermore, having access to a global workforce would also mean more growth opportunities. A global workforce enables companies to not only reach new customers but also gives them resources to better communicate with the audience in the respective targeted markets. For example, hiring local talents can lead to extensive cultural insights and this gives greater clarity to how consumers of a particular region may respond to the company’s culture and services.

With that being said, although managing a global workforce does have its benefits, it also poses unique challenges. So here are five tips to manage a global workforce in order to reap the bountiful benefits of a borderless operation.

5 Tips for managing a global workforce

1. Implement cultural awareness among employees

Every country has different cultures and traditions. Cultural sensitivity and awareness is the key to building a strong relationship among employees and management. Employees should be mindful of the diverse cultures between their peers to avoid any unnecessary conflict. Also, this creates a healthy bond among teams and results in a productive work environment. Investing in cultural awareness training and hosting multicultural celebration parties can foster closer ties among employees with different cultures and beliefs.

Naturally, these cultural sensitivity workshops and events would also reduce miscommunication and misunderstanding among employees and leaders, allowing them to have a greater understanding of their peer’s cultural differences. This then allows for greater creativity between different cultures and beliefs.

2. Ensure open communication

A global workforce would mean the lack of face-to-face contact and more virtual and verbal communication. It can be difficult to find a channel of communication that works best for everyone, but the team must be on the same page. Open and transparent communication between peers is essential to foster trust among employees and increase productivity. As an example, the BMW Group celebrates its diverse workforce and sustains them through open communication. This organisational structure allows a multinational team to work and collaborate as a single entity and exchange unique ideas through online collaborative tools.

Greater accessibility among peers often leads to better collaboration and ensures that the remote teams are well informed of the company decisions and plans. Moving forward, open and transparent communication among peers allow employees to express their ideas openly without the fear of mockery or retaliation. As innovation depends on transparent and open communication, companies who practise effective communication have a greater chance of success.

3. Effective and seamless workflows

Managing a multinational workforce can be challenging if employers are not aligned on the same page. It is imperative to create a smooth and seamless workflow for employees who rely on open communication. Preferably, employers should invest in a system that keeps projects aligned, activities allocated, goals designated, and benchmarks checked off for employees. Passing on tasks or projects to the next employee in line should be a seamless process that has no hiccups or mishaps in between. Of course, constant communication and technology are required to facilitate such processes. By making sure everyone is attuned to the same workflow, employees can be on the same boat and lead to greater productivity.

4. Labour laws and employee rights

Different countries have their own set of labour laws and employee rights. As an example, many European countries hold laws protecting employees' right to disconnect after work and in fact, the EU lawmakers have recently pushed for a bill to fit the work-from-home situation. Japan, on the other hand, has allowed for paternity leave that gives new dads roughly 60% of their wages during a year-long leave. What this means for leaders is that they must invest in learning the different types of labour laws and employee rights of different countries to meet the legal compliances and avoid any unwanted legal issues.

5. Non-discriminatory role-based performance metrics

Role-based performance rankings should be implemented to ensure fair and equal treatment for all employees. That means the KPI (Key Performance Index) and rating scales should be agreeable from all parties. To put it simply, different positions and roles within the company will have different forms of performance rating scales. Of course, some roles and positions are more valuable than others. Nevertheless, there must be a clear and consistent performance rating index amongst your workers regardless of their location or identity. Peer-to-peer performance should be equal and fair. With a transparent and standardised performance evaluation system, there should no longer be any employee discrimination. Let your multinational employees know how their performance is ranked and reassure them that they are being treated fairly.

Managing a global workforce is no doubt challenging. However, the benefits of having a culturally-diverse team far outweigh the drawbacks. If you are planning to tap into new markets and build your multinational team, TranSwap is here to assist all your cross-border money transfer needs. Our wide network of banks and partners across 180+ countries will guarantee you have unlimited opportunities to grow. For further enquiries, send your questions here or visit our website at transwap.com.

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