As your business expands, the responsibilities of your HR department also increase. One direct impact is observed through the challenge of handling overseas teams and collaborating with employees. And no matter how wide and huge your organization is, the HR department still needs to work to retain, hire, and manage these employees globally.
Let’s look at the challenges HR face, as they streamline the global activities of the business.
1. Communication Gap
One of the most common challenges comes in the form of communication gap. You want to communicate with your team and be available at all times, but time difference and location distance makes it impossible. You are not able to meet or see employees and give them the attention they require.
2. Complicated Work Structure
Work assignments are hefty with an overseas team in the picture. Who will work on which project and who has the final responsibility often poses a risk of miscommunication and errors? Sometimes, all the members of your team won’t even get full information regarding the task, which may lead to a lot of mistakes.
3. Identifying and Building A Team
Identifying the right people from a different location is difficult. The risk is too high because one wrong employee will hamper the growth and working of the overseas team as well other connected teams. So, building the right team is a major roadblock.
What HR Will Have To Do?
Since there are several challenges related to handling global employees, every HR needs policies and procedures to back them up. Some of the common policies and procedures to implement are:
1. Evaluating interpersonal skills
While working skills are important to have in an employee, knowing their culture and their ability to fit in also required. You need to know if an employee will be able to adjust to a different environment. For this, you will require a procedure to evaluate interpersonal skills, sensitivity towards different cultures, and flexibility to adjust at a new location.
2. Letter of Assignment
You need to formally document specific tasks. For instance, if you have hired an employee on contract for a single project, then the roles and responsibilities of that employee should be clarified legally, on paper.
3. Assistance with Relocation
If an employee agrees to relocate, then evaluate the assistance they will need for relocation. You should have a policy in place to specify the maximum limit. If not that, then a contract or legal document should be signed with the employee based on the agreed terms such as commute, accommodation, etc.
4. Compensation and Benefits
This may differ from place to place and you may have to offer the compensation according to the location the employee is moving to. Along with vast difference in living expenses, the standard of living in the destination country should also be considered.
Role of HR in Global Functioning
HR managers can create numerous policies but the management of these policies and overseas employees is still a major task. Here’s how HR managers can accomplish this:
1. Streamline all the communications
You should have a particular standard and security system in place for communication. It would create chaos if one team were communicating through Skype, other on call, and some on email. Have a standard structure in place to avoid miscommunication and ensure the security of data being shared.
2. Implement Technology
The above point can be directly implemented through technology. Have a customized HR system in place to give your team a common medium to interact. From updating travel expenses to communicating with team and project updates, everything can be organized using technology.
3. Make Communication Better
Since the communication barrier is the biggest drawback faced by the overseas team, ensure that the right tools are available so teams can connect faster. These tools may include a webcam, Skype access, con-call arrangements, etc.
This will also include synchronizing with people in different time zones, who speak different languages and have varied holiday schedules. Streamlining communication will be the hardest task, but with the right tools by your side, it is possible.
4. Adapt To Cultures
One thing that people are really sensitive about is their culture. To have a good relationship with your overseas team, HR needs to know their local customs and laws. Pronounce their name right, know the laws they follow and analyze the work culture in the city to offer an enhanced environment to employees.
Make Global Functioning Easier
The biggest driver of streamlining global functioning is technology. You may have often heard CEOs and employees saying that they can’t work without the internet. That is because they have a team overseas and the main source of communication is the internet and technology. Hence, it can be concluded that HRs need to leverage the right technology by their side to strike a balance between their on-shore and off-shore teams.