As the world becomes more and more connected and as big business makes the inevitable global expansion, the need to manage and communicate with employees and teams all over the world becomes necessary. This comes with a unique set of challenges, particularly around time, human resources practices, and cultural barriers. Managing teams in different countries effectively means understanding and working to overcome these barriers. Here are some tips for managing employees in different countries.
The first step to making your remote employees feel like part of the team is to communicate with them often. This means having frequent team catch up sessions and communicating with them in much the same way as you do with your local teams. You’ll want to use the technology and tools available to you to interact with these teams, like using group chat tools and video conferencing.
Remember Time Zone Etiquette
Something that managers and employees need to get used to quite quickly are the time differences across different countries. It takes some logistical planning to have some time each day where both teams and locations are available for collaboration, particularly if they have very different time zones. This might mean that meetings need to take place outside of work hours, so prepare for this in your planning.
Manage Their Performance as Normal
Managing a remote employee, particularly one that is in a different time zone might mean you won’t have constant and direct supervisory capabilities. Adjusting to this and changing your way of managing the employee to focus on their output, deliverables, and performance therefore become more important than micromanaging them. Allow them some autonomy and flexibility in their hours if possible and manage their performance like you would any other employee who works in the same building or city as you.
Try and Meet in Person
This might not be the most practical tip on this list, but it can be quite important. Of course, making a special trip to meet a new employee is likely too expensive, both in time and money, but if you’ve opened a new office or made significant hires then trying to meet them in person is a good idea. While you’re there you can also schedule and meet with your clients in those areas too, so that your trip serves more than one purpose.
To give you more time to focus on your team and making them feel valued and like they are making contributions, you can outsource some of the responsibility of human resources to a global PEO such as New Horizons. A PEO (Professional Employer Organization) can handle the legal responsibilities of employment for you, such as an international payroll. This provider that does international payroll can also manage the legal requirements of employment in an international office.
Managing remote employees largely mirrors that of in-person employees with some specific differences, mainly around the autonomy that you need to be prepared to give to your remote teams. Understanding this and how to communicate effectively means you should have no trouble when that global expansion comes around.