At SJ Innovation, we are all about the hard-working people who represent us on a daily basis. We consider it our mission to ensure that our global team of employees are happy, contented and motivated, as we believe that this translates into client success and attainment.
Of course, the growth of our business and its international expansion has caused some considerable challenges in terms of maintaining this culture. Starting with just employees working from a single, New York location, we now operate four offices across the US, the Ukraine, India and Bangladesh.
The Challenges of Coordinating International Teams and how to Overcome them
Not only are these locations separated by thousands of miles, but they are also extremely diverse in terms of their cultures, language and employee expectations. This means that employees in each individual country have different ideas of what to expect from us as a company, while there may also be significant challenges in terms of communicating our ethos and the details of individual work tasks.
Quite quickly during our evolution, we realised that we would have to address these challenges directly if we were to truly empower our international workforce. Here are some of the steps we took to achieve this: –
We Created Clear Processes and Lines of Communication
Ultimately, we decided that there were two main things that we would need to do to negate potential language barriers and communicate effectively with employees overseas. Firstly, we opened up strong and honest lines of communication, ensuring that employees always had a forum through which to ask questions and clarify any queries regarding the work.
Secondary to this, we began to implement clear and rigid processes that controlled the distribution and execution of work. Cloud-based workflow programs can help with this, as they provide instantly accessible written confirmation of work requests and real-time communication tools through which staff members can interact.
We Uphold Employee Happiness at all times
Regardless of the location of our staff members of their cultural beliefs, our employees remain our top priority and we seek to uphold their happiness at all times. This breaks down the geographical boundaries that exist between our international teams, meaning that each employee is empowered as an equal part of the businesses success.
We found that if employees in certain areas feel as though they are being treated differently to others, their levels of motivation will fall accordingly. The key is therefore to develop a culture that respects employees as individuals, regardless of their background or the role that they play within the company.
We Get to Know our Employees on a Personal Level
Similarly, employees can begin to feel distant from the brand and us as employees when they work remotely. This is especially true if employers fail to get to know or understand their staff members, and such a disconnect can create significant gaps in communication, knowledge and appreciation.
To avoid this, we always take the time to become familiar with each individual team member across our four locations, as we look to understand them on a personal level and ensure that they feel like an important member of the team. We travel extensively to these locations and meet with remote workers to achieve this goal, taking great care to ensure that we are able to motivate them and immerse them in our brand.
As if all of this is not enough, we are also proactive in arranging regular, team-building trips to exotic locations such as Thailand and Dubai for our employees. We have also been known to fly workers to our base in New York, as we have found that this helps to immerse them in our philosophy and creates a greater level of mutual understanding. These trips are incredibly worthwhile, as they help to improve communication levels within the business while driving superior morale and productivity.