Developing and maintaining relationships within your company is key to business success. This is vital for colleagues in the same building with just floors separating offices but it becomes even more important when there is an ocean between their desks.
Here are a few tips to help ensure you build relationships despite there being thousands of miles between you.
Know your differences
Although you work for the same business there will be differences within each global office. This ranges from the local culture and language to the way of working and time difference. You need to be aware and understanding of this. If you don’t you’ll push your employees further apart rather than closer together. Embracing the differences will be beneficial to your business as perspectives and ideas come from across the globe rather than one corner of the Earth. To avoid a breakdown in communication, it may be worth hiring multilingual roles in all your offices.
Create a culture
While there are many differences, you should ensure there are similarities too. Creating a company culture will make you feel like one team and help to create a bond between your employees who share and are aligned with your corporate values and global mindset.
Introduce the right people to each other
It’s all well and good for those at the top of the business building relationships with each other but you need to go beyond this. It’s perhaps even more important for those further down the business to get closer to one another. The best way to build beneficial relationships is to create contact between the relevant departments and relevant roles. Ensure they become a person and not just a name on an email address.
Create a central information hub
You don’t want any part of your business to feel out of the loop. So, create a hub that every employee, no matter where they are based, can access. This can include everything from business news and updates as well as the fun stuff. This will help employees get to know who else is in the business and what their colleagues on the opposite side of the world are doing.
Take advantage of Skype
Plan in meetings with colleagues in different countries via Skype. This enables you to have a face-to-face meeting even when you can’t be in the same room. This will help you get to know each other better than you ever can over email and will enable you to tap into the skills and knowledge of colleagues outside of your own four walls. But, don’t forget to be aware of the time difference – it may be that you need to plan the meeting as one of you has just arrived at work, while the other is about to leave.
Plan in face-to-face meetings or socials
While Skype brings them to the room when they can’t physically be there, there is no better way to build relationships than actually meeting each other. It’s worth planning in regular meetings, where you travel and work together. Find a rental car and you can easily explore while you are there and get to know the area at the same time. Alongside this, you could plan in a social event at least once a year, that brings everyone together, so they can get to know each other outside of their day-to-day tasks.
Ensure you build relationships in your global business and you’ll only strengthen the company as a result.