Having an international workforce can breathe new life into your organization, enhance problem-solving through the addition of fresh perspectives and help your bottom line. However, one key to making a crew of remote employees spread across the globe be a benefit to your business is clear communication, especially in meetings. If everyone isn’t on the same page during a conference, the meeting can feel like a waste of time and productivity can take a hit.
Keep all your employees in the loop, no matter where they are, with these four tips for running business meetings with an international workforce:
1. Respect cultural differences
When you have a workforce made up of individuals from around the world, it’s important to take cultural differences into account. Ahead of the meeting, read up on standard business practices and etiquette for the countries from which you have employers calling in, the Harvard Business Review recommended.
“There are differences in terms of how and where people are supposed to sit in meetings, the extent to which they get down to business at the start of a meeting versus how much time they spend socializing, the extent to which they’re willing to provide feedback or argue publicly—there are so many different elements,” said Andy Molinsky, professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis University International Business School.
Even when your meeting attendees are not physically in the same place, it’s still important to be aware of cultural differences in terms of tone and style of conversation and approaches to problem-solving.