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How to Gain Trust From Your Overseas Employees

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Trust is one of the most important elements of a thriving workforce. Without trust – employees will quickly start questioning your decision-making and processes, gossip and disrespect can spread like wildfire, and you may even notice a hit to productivity and morale. With so much on the line – it’s no surprise that trust in the workplace is on the rise. According to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer research, employees are increasingly placing more trust in their managers and place of employment. If you feel that workplace trust is something you need to work on, keep reading!

How Important is Trust for Employees?

Encouraging trust is great for the company and the workforce. Harvard Business Review research into high-trust and low-trust companies found that “people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, [and] 40% less burnout.” That makes trust a pretty powerful emotion!

Of course, trust has to go both ways. The shift to remote working has put the enterprise’s ability to trust their employees under the spotlight. Looking at the data of work from home productivity, the viability of choice-first workplaces, and even the recent data from Iceland’s four-day work week trial, remote workers are just as productive as those in the office! But in an increasingly employee-centric world, it’s important to think about it the other way around, too. How can employers help employees to trust them? If we accept that enterprises are increasingly looking to hire candidates abroad – how can today’s decision-makers encourage and support a high-trust relationship with their overseas employees?

Streamline Processes for the Whole Organization

Ensuring you have a single global workforce management platform can make all the difference to encouraging trust across the workforce. This starts before the candidate is even called for an interview, creating a clear process for hiring that is suitable and streamlined for any location. . Look to create a uniform process for onboarding new workers, including uploading all necessary documentation to a single place, getting contracts signed and sealed, and managing anything from expenses to time and attendance. As you move past the onboarding stage, you can create a global benefits package so that all employees get the same perks, for example extra days off for years of loyalty.

Another big factor for trust is security. Consider using an Employer-of-Record solution for employees who you want to onboard abroad, giving them more security over their role than they could have as freelancers or independent contractors. According to Forbes, freelancers can often feel unconnected to the rest of the company. By their very definition, you won’t get the loyalty you expect from full-time employees by using a contractor model. In contrast, by using local in-country partners who can compliantly hire your candidate abroad, your workers feel like they are part of the family.

Strengthen Communication Across Your Workforce

Once onboarded, your employees need to feel they are part of a singular global culture and communication strategy. Even if they are working as a single employee in the region, they should be able to utilize the same internal systems and processes, be kept in the loop about company vision and messaging, and have clear lines of communication to channel questions, feedback or criticism. Consider utilizing a company intranet to help all employees speak to one another and communicate more often, or encourage “all hands” Zoom meetings. At these, more junior employees get a chance to hear from senior leadership, and all workers are invited to hear about messaging, vision or strategy.

Don’t stop at organizational communication. Look for ways to encourage employees to communicate better with one another, too. When your employees all work in the same office, you could expect that they will naturally form friendships and bonds, and schedule out-of-work social activities. Since COVID-19, and in a remote workforce this isn’t the case. Many workers struggle to be communicative about what they need or even who they are. In fact, 1 in 4 employees say they need to hide parts of who they are in order to better fit in at work. According to Google, managers who express interest and concern for team members outperform others both by the quantity of work and quality of work. Whether their team is in the cubicle next door or thousands of miles across the globe – encourage managers and colleagues to look for ways to engage.

Over the past two years, many organizations have gone through extreme changes. High-trust organizations see loyalty and innovation from their employees even when the going gets tough. 21% of employees say they would work longer hours if they trusted their employers more, and 23% say they would put forward more creative ideas and innovative solutions.

Increase Transparency through Self-serve Tools

One of the main ways to establish trust is to provide a culture of openness on both sides. That means your employees shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to find access to information about their role, their benefits, or their payment schedules. 58% of employees are worried about their finances, and 38% say that they don’t currently have more than $1,000 in the bank to deal with unexpected emergencies. When the payroll manager isn’t at the other side of the office to ask a quick question, remote employees need a feeling of security around where they’re going to find the information they need. This could be about anything from late payments, when bonuses can be expected, to if vacation days are running out.

This was an important factor in creating Papaya Portal, the employee self-service portal that we offer to our customers. From the portal, employees can handle their time and attendance, request vacation days and time off, indicate their PTO to other employees, and access vital information on their benefits and payslips. Your company can also use Papaya Portal to share updates and notifications with all employees – so they never feel out of the loop.   It’s a unique way of recognizing your employee’s specific needs while enveloping them in the overarching culture of your organization.

Your Credibility as an Employer Means Everything

As a global employer, the choices that you make will impact employees in all of your locations. Focusing on a core group of employees in HQ and relying on disparate solutions to pick up the slack elsewhere could have a negative impact on the trust you’re garnering from your company’s workforce as a whole.

In contrast, keeping your messaging and communication consistent, your processes streamlined and holistic, and all information transparent, accurate and easy to access allows you to build a culture of openness and trust. The result? You’ll see it for yourself, on employee morale, productivity, retention and loyalty.

Looking to see how Papaya Personal works with your own eyes? Arrange a demo with one of our global workforce management experts.