The phrase “the world is a global village” describes the technological advancements and how the world is now interconnected to resemble one tiny village. The business industry has taken advantage of this concept to promote itself. Where previously a business could only be run by individuals in the same location, advancements in communication and technology have enabled a business to be run by a global workforce.
The world being a global village has enabled employers to fish the best employees from different regions to get the best results for their businesses. A company or business with a global workforce has increased opportunities since the diversity of the employees’ present innovative ideas that may have been missed by a local workforce.
There is a great advantage in having a global workforce. The concept of a global workforce, however, necessitates HR officers that are equipped to manage all the employees from the diverse regions. The successfulness of a business, whether it is big or small, depends fully on the management of the staff when dealing with a global workforce.
Challenges in Managing a Global Workforce
Though the advancements are truly a great feat there are various challenges and complications that global employers face. Some of the challenges are expected while others arise afterwards. The major issues that challenge the management of a globalized workforce are such as time zone and border differences, difference in currency, customs, culture, varied interests and talent gap. Of the expected issues and challenges the ones that cause the most disruption are; customs, culture and language.
Though most companies use English as a means of communication, English is not the first language of some of the employees. Primary communications may be easy but some instructions or meanings may be lost in interpretation as those employees try to communicate. Also, the aspect of culture comes in when commonly used expressions are misinterpreted which may make it hard for employees to understand each other or even for the management to understand the employees.
On matters to do with culture, the difference in cultural experiences influences the way people expect to be managed. In some societies the workforce, the employees, expect day to day guidelines on what they are supposed to do while in other societies the employees only need an end goal and minimum supervision. This challenge requires the management officials to be conversant enough with all the cultures in order for them to manage the employees efficiently.
The customs that govern a country influence the running and management of a global workforce for any particular company. The regulations that are placed to protect the working faction of a country differ from country to country. For instance it is illegal for an employer to fire employees without giving an appropriate reason in India while the “Employment at Will” statement in the US allows a company to terminate the employment of an employee without any reason.
Managing a global workforce can prove hard especially when the aim is to align the interests of all the individuals with those of the company. It is the task of the HR officials to ensure that all the interests of the employees that are working in different countries align with those of the company. The challenge in the situation is brought about by the fact that since the employees are working in different countries that are faced by different conflicts which makes each to have their own interests. In most cases the conflicting interests may further go against the company goals which escalates the problem.
Managing a global workforce would first require the acquiring of the global workforce. The main aim for all employers is to have the best employees working for them which means that in every country the employer will task the management with finding the best talented employees suited for the job. Since in most cases the management is comprised of foreign individuals it may prove difficult to identify the best talented workforce which leads to poorly talented employees that reflects negatively on the company.
Solutions to Challenges in Managing a Global Workforce
The basic challenges that affect the management of a global workforce can be handled easily. When it comes to issues such as language, culture, conflicting interests and even dealing with the issue of the talent gap require the HR officials in charge of managing the workforce to be keen and interested in the people.
Since the management deals with diverse employees, the officials should be open and ready to learn about their employees cultures. Through being open, the management is able to accommodate the different cultures while also improving their understanding to enable them to be able to guide and manage the employees towards achieving the company’s goal. In matters to do with language the best way for the management to effectively lead and manage the employees would be to encourage the use of formal English language.
Encouraging diversity among workers
Also, the employees should be encouraged to diversify and learn new languages including their informal phrases. This will ensure that the employees are able to communicate freely. It is also very important for the management of any globalized company to learn the customs of each and every country they have employees in before they engage any of its people as employees. Additionally, the management officials should ensure that they keep themselves updated regarding the same. This will ensure that there are no future complications regarding customs that would hinder the running of the company or business.
Challenges such as conflicting interests between employees and the company’s goal and talent gap can also be resolved by the management being open to other people’s culture. By them being ready to work with others and ensuring that they are aware of all the current trends in all the countries they deal with, they will be able to manipulate the interests of their employees to go hand in hand with the interests of the company.
Globalization has highly benefitted the people of the world due to the increased opportunities it offers. However, just like other advancements of technology globalizing businesses has led to a variety of challenges that directly affects the running of the business. These challenges could hinder the running of businesses and it is only through appropriate management skills that the challenges could be overcome. Through appropriate management skills the challenges that affect globalization can be overcome.
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