5 Tips For Managing A Global Workforce

3rd August 2016

shutterstock_102617819Managing a global workforce has never been easier. We live in a world of 24hr communication that allows even the smallest business the opportunity to connect to a global network of customers.

Hiring a global workforce allows you to source talent from any location, giving you have access to the most capable employees in the world, rather than just the ones who live within driving distance of your business. Keeping on-site functions light, through remote working and outsourcing, allows businesses to be more flexible and more streamlined.

Here are 5 tips to help businesses get an edge by keeping costs down and managing global employees the smart way:

1. Get your remote staff comfortable with your business

Once you’ve found a new addition to your team, you should get them into your HQ. This will allow your newest team member to meet co-workers, put faces to names, attend training sessions and familiarise themselves with your business’s ethos. This will help ease your staff toward becoming a fully integrated team member.

2. Utilise technology

One of the biggest challenges with remote workers is maintaining good communication. Setting a unified standard of communication will help teams avoid miscommunication and streamline the workflow process. Make sure that they are all using the same programs for communication and project management. This will keep everyone on the same page.

Communication is key. Daily and weekly check-ins allow employees to share what they’re working on. Project management software allows the whole team to be aware of one another’s immediate priorities. Cloud-based CRM tools allow everyone to have access to documents and updates where ever they happen to be based.

Other business functions, including payroll, HR and distribution can be easily managed off-site centrally thanks to global providers such as IRIS FMP. Outsourced resources fit in perfectly to a remote worker business model, keeping on-site costs down and giving businesses access to the best talent.

3. Keep Accountability Transparent

Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. As a remote worker, it’s easy to hide behind the screen and skate along without supervision. Other times, the employee doesn’t fully grasp the full nature of the job. Providing these details from the start will eliminate much of the confusion and management issues. Effective time management and regular meetings will help keep everyone on the same page.

4. Let Go And Trust

As mentioned above, one of the key benefits of establishing a remote worker model is being able to hire the best in the business. When you’re hiring experts, the best thing to do is to let them get on with what they do best. Distrust breeds distrust and if you start being too demanding with their accountability and productivity, you’ll only cause rifts in your relationships. Short communication, clear deadlines, and a light managerial touch will get the best out of highly skilled remote workers. Trust your staff. After all, you hired them on the basis of their skills and integrity.

5. Keep up to date with regional legislation

A global workforce requires more than effective man management. Be aware of any legislative concerns that might affect your employees or your business. Employment regulations become murky when the employment process is conducted online, across borders, so maintaining compliance is essential. Keep up to date with the various labour laws in different regions to ensure that employees are treated legally. If you are using an outsourced provider for a function of your business, you should make sure that they too understand the often complex payroll legislation unique to each region.

Businesses today have the opportunity to reach into a global network of markets from any single location in the world. Through remote working, outsourcing and effective use of technology, businesses can be light on the ground to optimise their revenue streams and investment opportunities.