5 Important Tips to Manage an International Remote Workforce Efficiently and Compliantly
By Rilind Elejaz
With each passing year, expanding into the global market via digital channels becomes a viable option for many businesses around the world. Whether you are running an agency as a solopreneur or if you’re the head of a small business, the digital realm allows you to offer your services or market your goods to a global consumer group efficiently and effectively. What’s interesting is that the same technology allows you to reach the top international talent in your industry just as easily as you’re reached international clients and customers.
That said, while you may be able to reach some talented individuals and recruit them for your remote workforce with relative ease, onboarding and managing them while ensuring compliance with their local laws and regulations can be a daunting task. This is not a challenge you want to take lightly, but there are some great ways you can overcome the obstacles of remote workforce management and retain some of the best employees your company has ever had.
Here are the key tips you should use to achieve success when managing an international remote workforce.
Adopt a unified communication system
To start, you can’t expect to manage a global workforce efficiently without a strong communication structure. Also known as the communication hierarchy, this is a crucial element of good workforce management that will allow everyone in your organization to communicate and collaborate effectively. If you don’t have a communication structure, though, you can expect information bottlenecks to appear early on, and you can bet that your employees will waste time trying to figure out where each piece of information should go.
Instead of wasting money and other resources trying to sort out the mees, you need to create a communication hierarchy that you’re going to disseminate throughout your employee collective. Make sure that everyone understands the horizontal and vertical communication lanes and when to use each, and that they’re on board with the communication best practices in your business.
Empower your employees with the right tools
Of course, a communication hierarchy, no matter how well thought-out it may be, can’t achieve much all on its own – your employees also need the right digital tools to communicate and collaborate with ease. You can’t rely only on email or direct messaging to get the job done, especially when there are deliverables involved like pictures, written content, code, and the like, because that’s inefficient and unsafe.
Instead, you need a robust communication tool and a comprehensive project management tool that offers all the features you international workers need to do their work properly. It’s very important for everyone in your organization to have instant access to the information relevant for their work and the projects they’re on, which is why adopting a cloud-based collaboration tool is a must for effective management and training, productivity, and oversight.
As for communication, a great idea would be to integrate a VoIP system that has various built-in communication tools that will allow your employees to communicate via phone, direct messaging, file sharing, audio and video calls, conferencing tools, and more.
By using all these tools together with your employees, they will not be the only ones to benefit from them. You can make use of these tools for your own professional development, and you will be one step closer to PMP certification.
Ensure compliance and effective onboarding
When hiring and managing international remote workers, many small business owners will quickly abandon the idea because of all the legal challenges involved. While this can be a big obstacle to overcome, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to figure out how to navigate the murky waters of international law and local regulations all on your own.
You can always look for employer of record services provided by some of the leading names in global workforce management, to help you with all legal matters and ensure compliance for every country where you employ a remote worker. This is one of the best ways to stay on the right side of the law and avoid financial waste, but most importantly, create happy and thriving international workers that will take your business forward with their talent and expertise.
Focus heavily on improving cybersecurity in your business
Once you start managing international remote workers, you have to start prioritizing cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection in your business. Keep in mind that cybersecurity laws differ between continents and even countries, and some regions might not be as safe as your own. Now that people are connecting to your communication and collaboration tools from various countries, you have to make sure that the tools you’re using together are air-tight when it comes to security.
All the messages you send should be end-to-end encrypted, all the data should be backed up frequently, and the cloud-based tools you use should always innovate and adopt new security features. This is the only way to prevent a data leak and safeguard your business, your customers, and your employees, but it will also help you deal with setbacks more effectively.
International employee management demands personalization
Lastly, don’t forget that in order to retain the best international experts and inspire them to stay with your company over the long term, you have to take a personalized approach to remote workforce management. One of your top priorities should be to personalize the way you communicate with and handle the needs of your remote employees.
Even though they are not working in the same office as you, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be treated in the same way that you treat your local employees. Make sure to conduct regular one-on-one meetings, focus on the individual and their needs, and help them thrive at work with personalized solutions. This will help you take your entire business forward and retain the top experts in your field.
Managing a remote workforce efficiently and compliantly is not an easy task, but it’s worth it to invest in this business model now that digital technology allows you to reach the most talented employees on the global stage. Use these tips to manage them in a way that will protect your business, unlock their true potential, and help you thrive.