Not all workforce is the same
While you might have a certain type of culture at your company with a solid relationship with your workforce in the USA, this will not automatically translate over when you expand to other countries. This is specially true for the Material Handling industry. There are a variety of reasons for this, some of which are cross-cultural while others are unique to a specific culture only. Whatever the case might be, here is a list of things to keep in mind when you hire employees outside of the USA:
- People tend to be loyal to an individual rather than the company at large – Therefore it is vital that you start by hiring a high level executive who you have full confidence in;
- Find the right person for the right job – even if it takes you 6 months or more. In the Materials Handling industry, warehouse employees generally have a high turnover rate. Thus it is important your employee handbook is accurately localized documenting company policies and expectations;
- Encourage open communications between the employees and their supervisors/managers;
- Hold cross-cultural events twice a year to have successful integration of all groups of employees. If done correctly, you could use this opportunity to also increase loyalty to the company at large;
- Accountability – People everywhere want to feel that they’re making progress in their jobs. Setting goals for your employees (with their input) and holding them accountable to it helps them see that the company takes them seriously and is concerned about their advancement;
- Website localization – Localize your website to the country where you’re expanding to. The importance of this simply can not be stated in a blog.
In order to successfully achieve this, you will first have to have corporate policies at the home office. And from there it can be localized to many countries where you expand to. Doing this correctly from the start will help to lower the cost of doing business in other countries. Saving a few thousand dolloars on localization of your policies can cost you significantly more in high turnovers, unhappy employees, and lost producitivty.