Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into teams. The employee who fails to assimilate both the needed information and culture will be headed for the door. Also, taking the company’s initial investment with them. Onboarding employees is a challenge, and onboarding internationally-based employee is a different and unique experience that requires special care and teaching ability. It can help you avoid the loss of promising talent at home and abroad by developing a solid onboarding strategy.
Here are five ideas you can use to make it a little easier to get your global workforce onboard:
Prepare to pay up
The first important thing that comes in onboarding is about payment processes. For global workers, this can be a complicated thing. Different countries have different rules and regulations for cross-border payments. Not all banks can facilitate such transactions.
Executing an international payroll system is a vast undertaking, but it is essential to make sure that employees are paid well. Lean on a payroll partner to handle all the taxes and withholding requires team member’s home country. You need to back up your word with hard cash if you want your foreign workers to trust your company. A global payroll system for foreign workers is part and parcel of being reliable.
Be proactive — and reactive
Your onboarding plan should be inclusive and tailored to each of your international locations. Onboarding actually starts with pre-boarding and lasts throughout the first year, with a half-dozen or so critical milestones along the way. Following are the steps involved in this:
- Provide access to your online onboarding portal when an employee accepts your offer.
- Ensure that this portal has accessibility features for people whose primary language is not English.
- Introduced employees to important company individuals and to their primary team.
- Make sure to include information about your company’s global workforce as well.
- Don’t just throw your onboarding program out there to see what sticks and provide substantive feedback from new and seasoned hires.
- Not only rely on HR managers to get feedback but also ask employees, supervisors, and mentors they might provide the most in-depth insight.
Mind your language
American English is full of idioms, which can be troublesome for non-native speakers. Add in industry catchwords, abbreviations, and slang, and you can confuse even fluent global hires. For international employees who are not native English speakers, it is possibly more comfortable to read than to listen to business leaders talk. Put onboarding information, including team meeting minutes, in writing online where it can be accessed at any time. Having a site with all available information at all times allows more time for global workers to read and absorb data.
Address cultural differences
New employees are not a one-size-fits-all group, so there should be no one-size-fits-all mechanism for onboarding. The secret to retention is a commitment, so make sure you deliver a culturally relevant onboarding experience.
It can be challenging to understand each culture’s complexities from which your workers come if you are developing a multinational workforce centered in a variety of foreign countries. Often, by enabling workers of various backgrounds to educate each other, the best way to cross-cultural differences is to encourage them to ask questions if they do not know what is being said.
Watch the clock
If offices are in three or more time zones, consider using Synchronized Universal Time to schedule meetings and activities (UTC). UTC, not a time zone, is a time standard. Without the need to Google someone else’s time zone, workers can calibrate their local time to UTC. Different calendar apps and scheduling apps make these conversions for you not to have to stop and measure them.
Business is an increasingly multinational game. The only way to rise to the challenge is to create a global team. You are setting the company up to win in the 21st century by onboarding your foreign hires well.