7 HR Strategies to Manage a Global Team in Different Countries

In this article, we explore seven best practices for managing a global team across different countries.

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Remote work is the new norm for many organisations across the globe. That said, about 65% of professionals reported their preference for a remote work arrangement, and that includes job candidates too.

However, managing a globally dispersed team comes with its set of challenges. When team members are located in different places and time zones, effective communication requires extra effort and planning. Moreover, creating a positive work culture while maintaining a work-life balance gets difficult.

Overall, as an HR manager, to manage a global team, you need to be adaptable, flexible, and culturally aware.

Let’s explore seven best practices for managing a global team across different countries. We’ll discuss ways in which you can address the above challenges and ensure your team is productive, engaged, and successful.

1. Streamline the payroll system

When it comes to global teams, managing payroll is not as simple as crediting salaries on a monthly basis. It requires a lot of careful planning and effective communication to ensure that payments are processed accurately and on time.

Here are some challenges that come with managing remote teams:

• With remote teams, you must comply with the local regulations of each team member's location. This includes tax regulations, labour laws, and other compliance requirements that can vary significantly between different countries and regions.
• Since different team members are located in different countries, they might have different payment methods—direct deposit, wire transfer, or online payment platforms. You must accommodate these different payment methods to process payments accurately and efficiently.
• You may need to process payments in multiple currencies, which can be affected by fluctuating exchange rates. This often leads to discrepancies in payments, which can create additional challenges in payroll management.

Should you outsource payroll or hire someone in-house?

This decision depends on various factors, such as the size of your organisation, the complexity of your payroll, and your budget. While outsourcing can be cost-effective and perfectly suitable for small and medium businesses, hiring someone in-house will give you more control over the payroll process.

Why should you invest in a payroll platform?

Yes, you should, you should invest in a payroll platform especially when you’re managing a global team, investing in a global payroll platform can benefit you.

Here’s how:

• It will reduce errors and ensure the payroll is processed accurately.
• It automatically calculates wages, taxes, and deductions and saves time.
• It helps ensure compliance with local regulations, tax requirements, and benefit programs to avoid penalties and legal issues.
• It offers enhanced data security such as encryption, access controls, and backup and recovery features.

2. Create a structured workflow

The biggest concern for managers while adapting a remote work model remains productivity. The challenge is they don’t know how to coordinate best with their teams to ensure the work gets done on time. Surprisingly, remote employees are 47% more productive than in-office employees.

It all boils down to your workflow—how you assign, prioritise, track, and review tasks for your team.

Here’s why you need a proper workflow in place when managing remote teams:

• To meet deadlines effectively.
• To ensure everyone works in collaboration, despite the distance.
• To get timely updates from your team.
• To review and provide feedback to help your team improve and grow.

How to create a structured workflow for your global team

• Start by defining your goals—identify the urgent tasks and the milestones you need to achieve.
• Break your goals down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
• Assign specific responsibilities to team members and establish deadlines for each task.
• Select a project management tool to manage tasks, deadlines, and communications.
• Assign specific roles and responsibilities to each team member.
• Regularly monitor progress and make adjustments as needed.

3. Practice inclusivity

As an HR manager, it’s your responsibility to create a bias-free and positive work culture where your employees love to show up. More than that, many countries have compliance laws that require HR managers to conduct a fair hiring process.

How to practise inclusivity as an HR?

• Review your hiring practices to ensure you’re attracting a diverse pool of candidates.
• Train your employees on the importance of inclusivity.
• Implement a diversity and inclusion policy that sets expectations for behaviour and outlines consequences for non-compliance.
• Monitor the workplace for any signs of discrimination or harassment and address any issues that arise immediately.

4. Collaboration tools for the win

Often, remote employees tend to develop this silo mentality where they prefer to work in solitude and not coordinate with their team members.

You need to incorporate some practices to ensure they connect with each other and align well.

• Conduct regular team-building exercises such as fun games, quizzes, and lunches on Zoom to meet everyone often.
• Have regular standup meetings to ensure they’re progressing with their tasks as expected.
• Invest in a collaboration software that helps them stay connected despite the distance.

What kinds of collaboration software do you need?

• Communication tools, such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing software for real-time collaboration.
• Project management tools, such as Trello, Asana, or Jira, to organise tasks and track progress.
• File-sharing tools, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
• Virtual whiteboard tools, such as Miro or Google Jamboard, to brainstorm and collaborate in real-time.
• Time tracking and scheduling tools, such as Toggl or Calendly.

5. Promote employee engagement

Engaged employees are emotionally invested in their work and committed to their organisation's goals and mission. They feel a sense of purpose and fulfilment in their work, leading to higher job satisfaction and overall happiness.

Moreover, engaged employees lead to higher retention rates. Organisations can increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover by creating a work environment that fosters engagement and allows employees to feel valued and supported.

Best practices to incorporate employee engagement

• Provide regular feedback on their work—good or bad—it makes them feel valued.
• Recognise and reward your employees for their accomplishments to boost morale and motivation.
• Foster a positive work culture by promoting core values, celebrating achievements, and creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace.
• Empower your employees to make decisions and take ownership of their work.
• Take time to get to know employees on a personal level, and show empathy and understanding.

6. Make resources and mentoring available for employees

Setting up a remote workplace can be challenging, provided you need the ‘office-like’ system setup and a professional setting. It impacts the energy of an employee and affects their motivation to give their 100% to their job.

Want to avoid that at all costs? Make sure to reduce these roadblocks at work and offer them the resources they need.

How to make resources accessible to remote teams

• Use cloud-based technology to allow access to resources from anywhere, at any time.
• Create a centralised repository for resources, such as an intranet or knowledge base, to help remote teams easily access and share important information.
• Providing remote teams with necessary hardware, such as laptops and mobile devices.
• Offer them the mentoring they need to get over a phase or slump.
• Provide training materials, access to courses, or explore peer-to-peer mentoring options.
• Develop comprehensive training materials, such as video tutorials and user guides, to help remote teams quickly learn new tools and processes.

7. Prioritise physical and mental health

Our health impacts our productivity and attitude at work. Employees who are unwell may have difficulty focusing on tasks or may need to take more time off work, leading to missed deadlines and increased stress. Moreover, it can impact overall team dynamics and make it more challenging to achieve shared goals.

This is why supporting your employees through tough times should be one of your top priorities as an HR manager.

The key is to keep their physical and mental health in check and proactively offer any assistance they need.

How to support your employees’ well-being

• Look for any signs of such issues—absenteeism, irritation at work, and missed deadlines are some potential signs.
• Offer them flexible work timings allowing them to work at their convenience.
• Provide them access to mental health resources, such as employee assistance programs, counselling services, and mindfulness training.
• Implement wellness programs, such as fitness classes, health screenings, and wellness challenges.
• Encourage open communication between employees and management to identify potential stressors and concerns.

Build a productive global team

Managing a global team can be a challenging task for HR professionals, but it can also be a highly rewarding one. With the right strategies, you can create a cohesive and productive team that spans different countries and cultures.

Ultimately, it requires adaptability, open communication, and a willingness to learn from others.

Just prioritise your employees' needs and ensure they align with your organisation’s goals, and you’re gold.

Author Bio

Deepali is an engineer-turned-freelance writer for B2B SaaS, writing actionable long-form content for marketing, Cybersecurity, and HR-Tech companies. When she's not writing, she's engrossed in a cosy murder mystery novel with a cup of hot chocolate!

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