Improving communication in multinational organisations can be quite the challenge, even for senior leaders. The introduction of internet access and e-mail has added instant communication methods that are an excellent addition to any organisation, and a multitude of productivity tools are now available that are sure to make multinational communication as quick and easy as clicking mouse buttons.
Many organisations are starting to utilise social media to communicate with customers and clients. Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are an excellent way to market services and provide clients with insights into new products being developed. These sites can also be used to improve communication and relationship building between employees, provided clear policies exist regarding appropriate representation of organisational values. Encouraging employees to set up separate social media accounts for business purposes and to communicate with each other can help to build relationships and increase organisational commitment.
Similar increases in commitment and engagement can be achieved through the use of private instant messaging or chat software. These programs allow employees to communicate about work processes and engage in virtual ‘water cooler’ chit chat with employees in other countries, without the publicity of social media.
For positions where employees need to keep track of frequent news updates, either from the organisation or world new sources, RSS feeds can be an excellent method of simplifying the process and minimising the impact on productive time. RSS feeds can be set up to include blog entries, news headlines, and other published web content that is relevant to the organisation. A private WordPress blog could also be set up for the organisation to publish internal news updates that can be pushed via RSS feeds to relevant employees.
One of the biggest challenges of multinational organisations is communication related to projects that require input from employees who are geographically separated. While e-mailing files back and forth can work, there are many file sharing and project management software options available that can help track progress and organise information much more efficiently. Investing in a web-based file project management software package for the entire organisation will improve employee efficiency on shared projects even in the employees are located in the same office, and many allow managers to also oversee user input and monitor employee productivity.
Project meetings can also be simplified with the use of internet technologies. Video chat software, such as Skype, can be used to arrange video conferences and webinars to ensure that employees from around the world are kept up to date with organisational goals. These meetings can be easy to arrange with the help of time zone meeting planners that can identify overlapping times in the work day for multiple locations.
Of course, for any of these communication methods to be effective, the employees must be able to understand each other. Whether the organisation relies on email, social media, project management software, video conferences, or a combination of approaches, employees will have to identify a common language or utilise a translation service to communicate successfully. Fortunately, with the exception of live video or audio communication, translation services are built into the majority of the current productivity software platforms, ensuring that clear communication across multinational organisations remains a click away.
Senior Trainer & Consultant