The past decade has seen technology and globalization make global expansion far more accessible to businesses worldwide. However, it’s one thing to go global; remaining global can be a challenge for some organizations. Mastering the complexities of cultural differences and cultivating strong culture plays a significant role in the continued success of a global company.
The company values, business goals and aspirations, work environment and practices of an organization are generally known as a company culture. In addition, it can be stated as the shared ethos of a company.
Why is company culture influential in global business?
Company culture directly impacts employee retention, innovation and customer service. It goes beyond the “vibe” of your office and impacts all facets of your business, from employee recruitment to retention to performance.
Consider that when evaluating career opportunities, 66% of job seekers say the company’s culture and values the most important factor. Companies that actively manage their culture retain 40% more employees. And when it comes to performance, count on happier employees to be more productive—12% more productive, in fact.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your company culture evolves as you expand internationally so that it takes into account the various cultural preferences and expectations of a global workforce.
Shaping a culture to encourage global buy-in
There are specific actions a company and its leadership can take to shape a culture and encourage employees—regardless of where in the world they live and work—to participate in and support it. These include:
Keeping communication open and transparent
Maintaining transparency in communication and information-sharing—even across languages and time zones—helps to ensure that data doesn’t get stuck in the silos that contribute to bottlenecks and disruptions in workflow. One way to promote transparency of information is to share it publicly. So, rather than direct, one-to-one messages, consider asynchronous company- or team-wide communications and open instant-messaging channels.
Open communication also helps ensure everyone is aligned on the company’s goals and success metrics so they are able to work toward them efficiently, and it helps management address employee concerns that may be affecting their performance, engagement or work-life balance.
Implementing diversity management in your global workforce
Inclusive hiring can play a significant role in attracting top global talent. Listening to diverse perspectives and experiences is a powerful tool that can help you engage and connect with your workforce, recruit new talent, boost retention and achieve business goals. By learning to listen more effectively, you can gain valuable insights. A diversified workforce also fosters an environment that encourages new ideas and problem-solving approaches.
Hiring a great team isn't just about finding people with the right skills and experience. It’s also about finding people who will contribute to the company culture. A company unbound by geography in its hiring practices is inherently more likely to foster diversity in its workforce.
Recognizing employee contributions and achievements
Showing employees that you appreciate their contributions and accomplishments helps foster loyalty and satisfaction. Some ways to recognize employee contributions include:
- Sending a companywide email
- Organizing a lunch or other celebratory event
- Recognizing birthdays, anniversaries or other significant milestones in an employee’s life
Additionally, it’s important to show that you value employees by making it clear how they can advance their careers. This includes identifying and communicating growth opportunities, offering training and education, and offering flexibility so they can work in any way that best suits their strengths.
Local HR guidance to support a global workforce
Many companies rely heavily on human resources, leveraging their expertise in helping to establish and maintain a global organizational culture. A multicultural HR strategy can engage, motivate and align your employees, regardless of their location.
But what if you need to hire workers in a country where you don’t already have an HR presence with the knowledge of the local cultural considerations that influence a company culture?
A global employer of record can act as an extension of your HR team, even in countries where you don’t have an entity, to give your workers assurance that even if their employer is foreign, there’s someone in-country who knows the local requirements and cultural expectations. Additionally, an employer of record helps your company with local administrative HR tasks, like payroll, benefits, tax and employment compliance requirements.
Learn more about how an employer of record like GEO can help your company maintain your culture, no matter how far and wide your workforce grows, by speaking with a global solutions advisor today.