Employee engagement is more important than ever when you expand your operations overseas. Here's how to make sure your team members feel appreciated.
When a company has multiple offices in multiple locations, employee engagement can be much more difficult to achieve. After all, differences communication and cultural differences between each of your operating countries could result in one engagement strategy being a success in one country, and a failure in another.
However, in the UK, businesses are increasingly looking to expand their operations overseas. Indeed, in 2017, the number of SMEs exporting abroad increased by 6.6% to 232,000 (9.8% of all SMEs), according to the Office of National Statistic's Annual Business Survey. Meanwhile, the number of large businesses that export increased by 6.1% to 3,500 (41.7% of all large businesses).
This means it's more important than ever for UK businesses to nail employee engagement across different locations. Here's how to do it.
Communication is key across any business, but when your operations span multiple countries, it becomes even more essential. Make sure your leadership team is communicating important news as soon as it's appropriate to do so. They should release company-wide updates to every location, as well as tailoring messages to individual locations.
Communication is key across any business.
The trouble with many overseas operations is that the people in other countries may never have had a chance to put a name to a face. And, it's much more difficult to communicate effectively with someone if all they are is a name. It's a good idea to use face-to-face communication as much as possible to mitigate this. Insist that meetings are done with people's cameras on. You could even promote the use of video for company updates - it should help employees relate a lot more than with a wall of text.
Understand local cultures (and regulations)
Every country has a unique culture that you must understand when you communicate and create policies with them. For example, offering free food as a perk (as companies such as Google are known to do) may be great for many, however it's probably not going to be as welcomed in predominantly Muslim countries during Ramadan. It's important to be aware of all these differences before creating communication and HR policies.
Power2Motivate understands the importance of local differences, which is why our global rewards gallery offers employees a choice of prize, uniquely tailored to the cultural sensibilities of each country our clients operate in.
Celebrate each other
Employee recognition is key to successful engagement, and just because your team operates in different countries doesn't mean that should fall by the wayside. If anything, it becomes more important, as you need to show your employees that you are fully aware of their work and really appreciate what they're doing.
An Employee Rewards and Recognition Programme from Power2Motivate can help you inject the type of appreciation your multi-national organisation needs to succeed. In addition to top-down prize giving, we can also incorporate a peer-to-peer element, which allows team members to nominate others for awards even if they're in different locations.
A Travel Incentive and Rewards Programme is also an option for businesses operating in different locations. You can fly your top performers to your other offices to give them a chance to see different locations and meet the people they've been talking to in-person.
Employee engagement is essential at all organisations, and it shouldn't get forgotten when you expand overseas. To find out more about any of our incentive programmes and how they can promote engagement at your multi-national business, contact the team at Power2Motivate todayor request a demo.