In the past, it was standard for workers to remain with the same employer for 10, 20, or 30 years. This is no longer the norm. Today’s workers have no problems changing jobs if a better opportunity comes along. There are many causes behind the increase in workforce mobility, but one leading cause is today’s workers desire to build a career, not just a job. Employees are looking for ways to build skills and move up the career ladder, and they’re willing to switch employers if necessary.

According to the Allegis Group survey, 80 percent of employers have experienced challenges with recruiting critical talent due to the changes in the global labor market. Those same respondents cited a number of factors that contributed such as, the economic environment (55 percent), followed by demographic shifts (32 percent), generational differences and pressures for social responsibility (31 percent), labor regulations (24 percent); and, any political volatility in that nation (10 percent).

Companies that embark on recruiting a diverse labor force open their businesses to a larger sea of candidates. While diverse workforces aren’t limited to employees from different countries who speak more than one language or have many ethnic backgrounds, employees with these characteristics are beneficial to companies looking to expand or improve existing operations in national markets. Use any of these techniques to lead multinational teams, improving the success of that group’s workplace performance:

  • Remember that disparity in working techniques and personal style can be misunderstood by an employee’s physical absence. Realize that the traditional 8am-5pm work attendance is outdated. Unless you are required by a government agency or a security contract to be physically present in the office, smart phones, Internet tablets, and laptops enable many workers, not just GenY, to be productive at any hour and any place. Establish working options that are aimed at productivity and without sacrifices to home or personal life.
  • Team leaders must clearly voice the vision for the entire company. Vision statements are where you want to go. The problem that leaders encounter when doing this is to articulate what that vision is and what will be the benefits when ‘we’ get there. Statements such as, ‘when we get there, not if’ underwrites the determination and perseverance required towards the collective vision.
  • Study how you engage others that defines the culture of the group. Positive psychology has demonstrated that declarative statements towards a shared future will keep the passion and focus for the all the members of a workgroup or even, entire departments. Identify and remove barriers that re-enforce workplace stereotypes and prejudices among employees.
  • Infuse conversational practices to include all ethnic groups as ‘insiders’ to organizational decision-making and future policy. Implement nondiscrimination rules on how to resolve conflict without dismissing others’ opinions as non-significant or stupid. Global leaders need to listen without judgment or discrimination, without multi-tasking, or be on auto-pilot. Listening with ‘filters’ in place can have you miss the opportunity to hear inventive solutions to problems. If you cannot listen without distraction, re-schedule the current conversation for another time when you can be truly present.
  • Commitments are a crucial element of our lives in building and maintaining meaningful success in relationships and in business. Commitments are how we coordinate actions with others for valuable outcomes. Regardless of the current circumstances, humans have the capacity to change, effect change, and rise above unforeseen hazards to the original plan.

As you may be starting to lead a global team, think about:

  • What have been failures or mistakes that have provided you the greatest learning for the next goals of a specific work team?
  • Does the company practice employee assimilation of other cultures? If not, what are you willing to change so that all genders and ethnicities are valued for their uniqueness?
  • Are you, and other leaders, familiar with any of the other employee’s traditions, speech phrases, or holidays that are not acceptable to use in business meetings or negotiations?
The Rise of Workforce Differences