10 dos and don’ts for employee engagement within international teams


Developing an employee engagement strategy from scratch can often be a struggle. So, to help streamline the process, we’ve compiled the following list of 10 dos and don’ts:

What is recommended


 1. Create a top-down engagement strategy

When dealing with international teams, a top-down engagement strategy is crucial. The reason is simple: without a centralised strategy, teams can become easily drawn by local pressures and concerns. Connect your staff across all locations with a comprehensive L&D plan.


 2. Reward remote employees through L&D

Rewards schemes work like this: by recognising personal achievements, staff is more likely to engage where they may feel disconnected and disengaged from the workplace. Reward remote staff with effective personal development opportunities like language learning programmes to enhance employee engagement.


 3. Engage with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to business policies intended to have a positive influence on the world. Whether through fundraising or sustainability, CSR is a great way to raise your company profile at a time where your reputation is soon felt around the globe.


  4. Use feedback - 1-on-1s

When formulating an engagement plan, don’t forget to personalise your strategy. Use 1-on-1 reviews to make sure your staff is getting the most from their role, whatever their location in your business.


 5. Invite business proposals/innovations from staff

Where appropriate, consider taking proposals from staff on your business strategy. This may include technical innovations, or streamlining existing processes to aid productivity.


 6. Encourage employee advocacy via social media interaction

Employee advocacy is a vital yet much-overlooked tool when promoting employee engagement across different regions. Encourage staff interaction via social media and boost your corporate reputation in turn.


 7. Focus on retention of existing staff

Attracting fresh talent is important, but just as important is retaining existing team members.  L&D proves that you’re committed to improving the working lives of all your employees.


 8. Encourage managers to conduct welfare chats

In a large, international organisation it’s easy for employee welfare to get lost in the mix. Support your staff with regular ‘check-ins’ to see if they need help with their work, or with issues at home.


 9. Establish a regular feedback loop via questionnaires (Q12)

Gallup’s Q12 is comprised of 12 metrics to measure employee engagement. Since the 1990s, the survey has been used to poll 25 million employees worldwide. Gain insights into the engagement of your staff across all regions and countries with this proven questionnaire.


 10. Conduct exit interviews to undercover internal issues

Exit interviews are often left out of employee engagement best practices. But finding out why an employee wants to leave is crucial to pinpointing underlying issues. Talk to staff before they leave to ensure you have a clear understanding of where you might improve. 


What more tips? Learn about the 5 initiatives you should include in your employee engagement strategy.


What is not recommended


 1. Setting unrealistic expectations

Expecting employees to acquire skills without proper training, or adapt to a new strategy without support, are just some of the ways to unintentionally inhibit engagement. Ensure your employees are engaged by showing that your expectations are aligned with their abilities.


 2. Ignoring employee survey findings

 It may be a ‘no brainer’ to run questionnaires and polls. But acting on your findings may prove difficult to implement. Hold seminars and 1-on-1s to see how to address any of the issues raised.


 3. Discouraging socialising between teams

It’s natural for employees to want to socialise, but it’s all too easy to discourage socialising under the misperception that it will negatively affect your bottom line. Make sure that your staff have help in organising away days, and that they have facilities to meet and socialise after work. 


 4. Skimping on regular internal communication

Engaging employees through internal communication is another benefit not to be overlooked. This is especially true of international teams, where staff members might not be familiar with one another. Also, make sure to encourage engagement with remote workers who in a post-Covid world make up a growing percentage of employees.


 5. Undervaluing long-term employees  

When you undervalue long-term employees, this directly affects retention. Focus on improving staff morale by offering L&D programmes. Recent research from Linkedin showed that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they invested in L&D.


 6. Forgetting to lead by example

To lead by example simply means to guide others through behaviour rather than words. It’s by no means necessary to attend all the same events and engage in every single part of the business. All the same, you should strive to inspire through similar activities where possible. 


 7. Limiting opportunities for self-development

Having a bursary set aside for L&D is fast becoming the norm. But even where provisions are made for employee growth, it’s easy to become short-sighted. Don’t overlook L&D opportunities that might not have an immediate impact on your business, but which could generate employee engagement in the long run.


 8. Insisting on 24/7 communication - let your employees cool off

Forcing your employees to connect out of the office isn’t a good idea at the best of times, but with international teams, the pressure to be always ‘on call’ can be overwhelming, given time zone differences. Allowing employees to cool off goes a long way in keeping them engaged. 


 9. Forcing your staff to engage in out of office events 

It’s great to socialise, but don’t forget, it can be counterproductive to insist your staff attend all outside work events. Make sure employees have the opportunity to socialise if they want to, helping them source venues where possible, but don’t make socialising compulsory. 


 10. Overlooking language barriers 

Whether engaging remote workers or connecting with staff overseas, it’s essential to keep in mind the difficulties faced by working in different languages. With a language learning programme, however, you can easily overcome and help your employees connect.


Learn how we can support you in driving up employee engagement across global teams through online language learning.

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