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HCMWorks Insights

4 Communication Secrets of Effective Global and Remote Teams

Posted by Julia Fournier on 20 Sep 2019

Good communication is the cornerstone of your company and an absolute must for any successful business. However, great internal communication can be hard to achieve when your organization is spread across multiple offices and different countries.

Large teams naturally bring with them communication challenges. Research by Bluesource has found that business productivity can improve by up to 25 per cent in organizations where employees are connected, so failing to address these internal communication challenges will see your company lose out on a fantastic opportunity.

Not only that, but the growth of the contingent workforce has also made internal communication more difficult. Remote teams are now the future, and it’s believed the contingent workforce makes up around 30 to 40 per cent of all US workers.

In fact, The Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update estimates that 1.87 billion employees - around 42.5 per cent of the global workforce - will be mobile by 2022.

Your organization now faces unique communication challenges, such as overcoming language barriers, communicating with different cultures, coordinating team meetings over different time zones, encouraging team members to feel included over long distances, improving remote collaboration and much more.

As a result, your business will need to develop an entirely new management approach and communication strategy to ensure your workers, both permanent and non-permanent, are productive.

How to communicate effectively with a global and remote team

Communication plays an important role in all facets of your organization, but how exactly can your company ensure it has effective communications when you work across multiple offices around the world and hire thousands of contingent workers?

We’ve created a list of four key communication secrets that are used by the world’s most effective global and remote teams.

1 - Implement the right technology

Having a clearly defined communication strategy is fantastic, but if you don’t have the technology in place to make it work then there really is no point.

This is particularly important in the current workplace where employees have a wide range of communication technologies at their disposal. From email, chat platforms and web conferencing, employees often default to the tool that is most familiar to them - but that doesn’t mean it’s the best technology for the job at hand.

Some technologies are far more productive for certain tasks than others. Make sure your organization has the technologies in place that it needs, and then set clear guidelines to your employees and remote workers for which tools they should use for each task.

This could include using web conferencing technology for more interactive and complex tasks that require problem-solving and collaboration between peers, while email and chat tools can be used for simple tasks in which information is being passed along from one worker to the next.

2 - Take into account language and cultural barriers

Managing a global team can be difficult at first due to language and cultural barriers, and this can make video conferences particularly tricky to lead.

You’ll need to ensure you can brainstorm ideas, make decisions and clearly get your point across. However, at the same time, you need to make sure everyone in attendance understands exactly what you’re saying, is comfortable with the way you are presenting and doesn’t misinterpret anything. If they do, then it could affect their future work.

By taking some steps to bridge any cultural divides and language barriers, you’ll be able to bring your entire team together and ensure everyone is working to achieve the goals and mission statement of your organization.

3 - Ensure everyone stays in sync

This leads us to our next point. No matter where your workers are in the world and whether they are working from one of your offices or remotely, it’s highly important that you use communication to ensure everyone stays in sync.

The risk of working in different offices is that workers will not have face-to-face communication, and, as a result, will slowly lose touch with each other. This leads to lost communication, a lack of information and workers slowly working towards different objectives.

The solution is simple, your organization needs to prioritize making sure that every worker in your team stays in the loop. By maintaining regular communication and staying on the same wavelength, each and every worker for your company will continue working towards a common goal.

4 - Empower your colleagues to get to know each other

Team members based in the same office will get to know each other organically, whether it’s a conversation at the coffee machine or going out for team lunches on a Friday. This isn’t the case for remote and global workers.

Since remote teams do not have natural opportunities to bond with each other, it’s important that your organization actively creates ways for them to connect with each other and collaborate.

By encouraging your team members to recognize the importance of getting to know remote colleagues on a personal level as well as on a professional level, you’ll be able to improve the way they work together moving forward.

Do you have any further questions about improving internal communications for your global and remote team, or simply want to enquire about how HCMWorks can help your business reach its workforce targets through our world-class contingent workforce management strategy? Contact us today.

Human Capital Management Trends

Tags: Contingent Workforce

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