The Secret to Keeping Overseas Employees Engaged in your Business

A good employee experience – and employee engagement specifically – has been the focus of HR departments for a number of years. However, despite significant amounts of time and money spent trying to improve engagement across organisations, the data suggests that these measures of ‘happiness’ have never been lower. Recent research1 shows that fewer than a quarter of employees consider themselves to be highly engaged, and 39% of them are only moderately engaged.


This realisation is perhaps even more troubling for business owners who are expanding internationally: it’s no secret that there are logistical challenges to hiring remotely or creating subsidiaries in foreign countries, and harder challenges still arise regarding to retaining the best talent and benefitting from their strongest performance.

We believe that the answer to improving and maintaining employee engagement with overseas workers is a multi-faceted issue, with more considerations than can be explored and summarised in a blog post. However, there are four areas of focus that should perhaps be considered first. These are:


Collaboration: will you encourage teams spread across multiple locations to work on the same project? How will you handle competition and a sense of ‘us versus them’?


Coordination: what technology will you use to ensure employees are engaged, no matter their location? How will you facilitate face to face conversations too?


Culture: how will you ensure you’re not micromanaging international employees? What will you do to gather feedback on how things are going?


Communication: how will you ensure everyone has access to information, both trivial and significant? How do you plan to handle differences in communication styles or even language barriers?


By pouring consideration, research and planning into these four areas, it’s more likely you’ll be able to keep the creative and cultural loop intact. Foster a true sense of belonging among employees who may be based thousands of miles away from your head office with these tips: