Turnover increased from 2015 to 2016 at 37 percent of organizations in emerging economies and 33 percent of companies in mature markets, according to a Willis Towers Watson report; to meet growth-related needs and fill vacancies, hiring has become a global concern for many organizations.
Some are also struggling to effectively oversee employees who are spread out across the world and have different needs, expectations and skill sets.
Expansion can be a profitable endeavor — but its effect on talent can be profound. Large companies with 10,000 or more employees, in fact, ranked global HR and talent management as the second most important trend in a Deloitte survey.
To add and supervise employees in remote areas — and position themselves to keep engagement and productivity levels high — some organizations are utilizing the following five techniques:
Study and Encompass Local Culture
Companies expanding into new markets may find employees in the area are motivated by different incentives and management styles, according to research from the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Society for Human Resource Management.
As a result, the report notes HR needs to obtain a thorough understanding of regional business practices and customize protocols for each area; a one-size-fits-all approach likely won’t work.
Tap Into On-the-Ground Expertise
Once you’ve established a presence in a new area, consider asking employees to refer candidates for open positions. Roughly a third of global talent leaders identified referral programs as one of their top sources of obtaining quality hires in LinkedIn’s 2016 survey on global recruiting trends, which also noted referral-based hires have been shown to have a longer tenure and higher job performance. Get tips on establishing a worker-based referral system in our blog post on employee alumni networks.
Make Sure Supervisors are Successful
At companies where senior leaders and managers were both ranked as being effective, Willis Towers Watson found 67 percent of employees were highly engaged. An ineffective manager paired with an effective senior leader, however, resulted in only 33 percent of employees being engaged; in scenarios where the manager was effective, but the senior leader was not, only 23 percent of employees were engaged.
To ensure effective talent management, avoid overloading supervisors. Fewer than half of employees feel their manager has enough time to handle the job’s people-related aspects. Additional training may also help; many workers also think their managers lack performance management and other critical skills.
Utilize Technology to Keep in Touch
Communication is a key part of inspiring a sense of inclusion. Frequent contact with remote locations — to outline expectations, check on progress, offer kudos and lend assistance, when needed — can prevent employees from feeling ignored and becoming disengaged. Share company news with remote locations. Utilize phone and video options, instead of relying on email.
Have a Plan to Transfer Skills
Companies have a number of reasons to fear skills shortages — population declines; older workers reaching retirement age and educational gaps for some in-demand roles.
To be successful, companies will need to find a way to transfer experience and knowledge from older workers to younger employees in the coming years, according to SHRM and EIU’s report. Additional training may be required to provide younger workers with skills the company anticipates it will need to maintain productivity in the future.
In lieu of hiring, some companies may opt to send current employees to new locations to oversee operations or fill other critical roles.
Pre-existing employees typically possess a more intricate knowledge of a company’s goals and expectations than brand new hires, and may not need as much training or help getting up to speed; if the relocation process is handled improperly, though, valued talent assets can end up feeling alienated.
Learn how you can make employee relocation a positive experience in our recent blog post on the topic — and find out some additional ways to reach out to remote locations in this separate post to ensure your global talent management efforts are effective as possible.