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Human Resource Management

How to Keep Your Global Tech Workforce Engaged

Engineers are notorious for putting in long hours on the job. This can be perceived as a badge of honour and as such, perks including free dinner and onsite services are designed to support an employee’s time spent at the company’s offices. But as the war for talent continues to rage on, multinational companies face a much greater challenge than supplying workers with Ping-Pong tables and a napping space.

Today, multinationals have to cast a wider net for quality engineering talent and as a result, can end up hiring large numbers of people in different countries. This presents a number of hurdles such as language barriers, differing employee regulations and cultural customs. As these employees are not located at the company’s headquarters and don’t experience the same in-office perks, what’s keeping them engaged? As multinationals continue to on-board their employees on a global scale, how can they retain their talent?

It’s all about personalisation

Multinationals are spending a lot of time and money locating new talent; therefore, retaining that talent should be a top priority. But according to the research company Gallup, more than 70% of international workers consider themselves either not engaged or actively disengaged, costing businesses more than $370bn annually.

With the expansion of multinational companies, the need for personalisation is even more crucial. Gone are the days when there were different benefits and payroll providers for each location – consolidating and implementing a more consistent approach is what HR managers are looking to incorporate. Tailoring specific needs to individuals becomes easier when there is a unified approach that can be monitored and changed from country to country with core software in place.

Building a unified identity through a harmonised, branded rewards program with the same look, feel and structure globally can make international employees feel that they are treated the same as those based at the headquarters. To combine that with thoughtful and meaningful messages from their employer on benefits and rewards information can greatly reduce the time, energy and stress involved in a company’s effort to communicate benefits, not to mention creating an impressive experience for the employee.

The Cloud-Based HR Benefits Model

Companies that are switching to cloud-based technology have the opportunity to quickly streamline processes that are already in place or are being newly implemented. By merging their information into one central portal through the cloud, HR teams have more time to focus on employee engagement initiatives and other value-adding tasks for the company. Not to mention, it lowers the possibility for human error in paperwork and data input.

This kind of HR technology has the capability to be easily accessible which is appealing and beneficial for employees that are always on-the-go. Relying heavily on smartphones and tablets, employees have access to make changes to their benefit packages and view what it being offered to them, virtually anywhere. As multinationals look to retain top talent coming into the workforce, this can be a key selling point. Additionally, if companies want to incorporate an interesting spin on this HR function, gaming elements can be added to engage employees. Puzzles, competitions and challenges can all be utilised to educate employees and build awareness for benefit packages offered by employers.

Real-Life Scenarios

The good news is that multinationals are adapting better practices when it comes to engaging talent and benefits management. Take Cisco for example: with thousands of employees located in numerous countries around the world, appealing to a wide variety of employee needs is essential. After realising that in some countries a large percentage of employees were not taking advantage of the benefits available, Cisco implemented a single benefits management solution. Following implementation, there was a significant increase in benefit awareness and employee engagement.

Companies have to be resourceful to attract and retain today’s top talent. This includes understanding the expectations of different work/life balances of the local country, and still maintaining the corporate culture that made it a success. Acknowledging that in order to succeed, replication is not the way to go but instead altering and assessing the needs from nation to nation is how these companies have become, and will continue to be successful. 

 

Chris Wakely heads up the enterprise sales and account team at Thomsons Online Benefits from their Silicon Valley Offices. He has been with Thomsons for more than nine years and has worked in HR technology for the last 15 years, having previously been in the global accounts team at Microsoft.

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Chris Wakely

Chris Wakely heads up the enterprise sales and account team at Thomsons Online Benefits from their Silicon Valley Offices. He has been with Thomsons for more than nine years and has worked in HR technology for the last 15 years, having previously been in the global accounts team at Microsoft.

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