by Razor Suleman | November 30, 2011
The quest to bring together a dispersed workforce is bound to face some hurdles. Whether you’re a part of an international organization or on the verge of expansion, there are many obstacles to overcome when it comes to your workforce. Transparency, corporate alignment, and cultural differences are only a few of the challenges global businesses encounter. Many trials that global companies face can be overcome by implementing a formal global rewards and recognition program.

A formal program is sensitive to cultural differences and works as an engagement tool that bridges the gaps for a dispersed workforce. Below are some of the top dilemmas global companies encounter with their people. Learn how you can solve these issues by simply applying a global rewards and recognition program. Globally dispersed workforces have their challenges, but engaging employees shouldn’t be one of them.  

Dilemma: Studies show that one of the largest issues global companies face is the lack of confidence employees have in their senior management and executives.  Transparency is hindered by multiple office locations, calling for blind faith from the workforce. Having faith in leadership is a key component to employee engagement.

How a global rewards and recognition program can help: Peer-to-peer recognition is one of the most effective forms of recognition, because employees can recognize anyone at the company in real time for great accomplishments. Coupling this feature with a live recognition feed in a global rewards and recognition program means your business can publicly share achievements companywide. This alleviates the transparency issue that dispersed workforces battle and provides employees with a tool to openly see what’s happening at the company across the globe.

Dilemma: When employees are not aligned to corporate goals, your company is not on track to succeed. Instilling autonomy and purpose in employees is crucial to driving results, especially in a dispersed workforce, because your employees then know they are working toward something greater than themselves. With no alignment to your corporate values, a global workforce is not infused with a sense of mission.

How a global rewards and recognition program can help: It is one thing to recognize your employees, and it is another to liken their successes to your company’s values.  Formal global rewards and recognition programs professionally align your team’s results and the overall organizational goals. By making recognition criteria your corporate values, employees' positive performance is attributed to your business’ goals.  Now, not only are your corporate goals transparent, but they are instilled in your employees' everyday work. A formal program makes your values an important component of your global workforce—not just a plaque on the wall.

Dilemma: A pen is an excellent gift—unless it’s filled with red ink. A gift card is thoughtful—but not if the denomination is an odd number. In other cultures, gift-giving is taken for bribery. Overcoming cultural differences is a key component to global business success. That’s why do-it-yourself rewards and recognition programs may not just actively disengage your employees, but could also blatantly offend your workforce.

How a global rewards and recognition program can help: Understanding and respecting cultural differences is critical to engaging a global workforce. By implementing a formal global rewards and recognition program, your business removes the ambiguity of gift-giving and leaves it in the hands of professionals. Meaningful and locally fulfilled rewards are provided globally and transcend cultural likes and dislikes. An effective global rewards and recognition program has catalogs that vary from country to country, reflecting respective cultural norms. Further, a local fulfillment process ensures timely rewards delivery and shows employees everywhere that they are a priority. With employees around the world, a global rewards and recognition program can effectively engage the workforce in different countries and in multiple languages.

Razor Suleman is the CEO and founder of Achievers (formerly I Love Rewards). Achievers is passionate about employee rewards and social recognition. Its software helps engage employees and drive performance globally. Achievers is on the web at