In today's interconnected world, many corporations are going global, crossing borders to take advantage of new markets and setting up shop in various regions. For companies that span the planet, maintaining a consistent corporate culture can be a challenge, as can effectively engaging employees in all locations. However, with the right tools and strategies, it's possible to boost employee morale and keep performance high no matter where in the world you are.
Why worry about engagement? Engaged employees, such as those who actively participate in social recognition and collaboration programs, tend to be more invested in their careers, have greater company loyalty, be committed to their co-workers and perform better in terms of quality and productivity. To inspire creativity, innovation and strategic thinking, organizations need to create just the right atmosphere in which team members feel challenged but supported and rewarded in their endeavors.Doing so usually has a massive impact on business outcomes and bottom lines. Think about it: Your workers are the ones who serve as the face of your organization, build its products and come up with the insights that drive the next big developments. Investing in your team members' talents and encouraging greater employee participation in making company ambitions a reality is critical to your short-term and long-term success.
Global considerations While studies have shown that companies as a whole are falling short on employee engagement, the goal can be particularly elusive for global corporations. In addition to facing common problems such as recruiting and hiring challenges, unhappy or overextended workers and downturns in the economy or market, organizations with offices in multiple countries need to take a number of complicating factors into consideration.In an article for Plant Engineering, Phil Hubbell Jr., vice president of employee engagement and regional human resources at Jabil, recently offered some insights into the challenges his global company faces while implementing employee engagement ideas. According to Hubbell, organization must keep in mind:
- Regional differences
- Differences in wage rates
- Labor shortages
- Foreign-born workers
- Job mobility and turnover trends
As an example, he explained that in Mexico, employees tend to have extended family nearby, so they require access to adequate medical care and transportation, and they seek schedules that enable them to care for their children.
To create a strong corporate culture and the right environment to boost employee involvement in projects and initiatives, global enterprises should make sure they have tools and processes in place that contribute to these goals. Hubbell suggested steps such as making new employees feel at home in the organization, especially if they're from another country or the company is a newcomer to the region. Organizations should also "empower individual advancement," he noted. For example, companies can implement employee engagement software and social recognition programs that help workers track their progress and advance in their careers.
Finally, strong management and utilizing opportunities offered by new technology like smartphones can fuel engagement, employee participation and excitement about projects. Hubbell explained that because smartphones are so popular in China, Jabil has focused on ways to use them to reach out to workers. For organizations with engagement programs, ensuring that these are accessible from mobile devices can help to boost adoption and increase activity.