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5 Tips for Making Onboarding Global Employees Easier than Ever – ReadWrite

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Brad Anderson


Onboarding is the process companies use to integrate new employees into their teams, the keyword being “integrate.” Employees need to become one with the company quickly. The employee who fails to assimilate both the needed information and culture will be headed for the door — taking the company’s initial investment with them.

Onboarding any employee is a challenge. Onboarding an internationally-based employee is a different beast entirely — requiring special care and teaching ability.

Creating a solid onboarding strategy can help you avoid the loss of promising talent at home and abroad. Here are five tips you can use to make onboarding your global workforce a little easier:

1. Prepare to pay up.

The first question of onboarding will always be about payment processes. For global workers, those can be complex. Different countries have different rules and regulations for cross-border payments. Not all banks are prepared to facilitate such transactions.

Implementing an international payroll system is a huge undertaking, but it’s necessary to ensure employees are paid promptly. Lean on a payroll partner to handle all the taxes and withholding required by the team member’s home country.

If you want your international workers to trust your business, you need to back up your word with hard cash. A global payroll system is part and parcel of being reliable to international employees.

2. Be proactive — and reactive.

Your onboarding plan must be comprehensive and tailored to each of your international locations. Onboarding begins with pre-boarding and lasts throughout the first year, with a half-dozen or so key milestones along the way.

Step one is to provide access to your online onboarding portal as soon as an employee accepts your offer. Ensure this portal has accessibility features, such as translation tools for people whose primary language is not English.

As soon as possible after hiring, employees should be introduced to important company individuals and to their primary team. Company introductions tend to focus on the home country; make sure to include information about your company’s global workforce as well. Explain the roles and responsibilities of existing team members to give your new hire a sense of their place in the business.

Check-in at the one-month, three-month, six-month and one-year marks. Don’t just throw your onboarding program out there to see what sticks. Provide substantive feedback from new and seasoned hires.

Remember not to rely solely upon your HR manager to gather feedback. Fellow employees, supervisors, and mentors might provide the most in-depth insight. Even interns and contractors can provide new hires with meaningful feedback, though you may need to prompt them to provide it.

Don’t forget to solicit feedback, too. What did your new team members like about their onboarding experience? What are their suggestions for improving it? Welcome both positive and negative feedback, as long as the information is constructive.

3. Mind your language.

There’s no beating around the bush: American English is full of idioms, which can be problematic for non-native speakers. Add in industry catchwords, abbreviations, and slang, and you can confuse even fluent global hires.

The fast-paced nature of business conversations compounds this challenge. For global workers who aren’t native English speakers, reading is likely easier than listening to company leaders speak. Put onboarding details in writing online where it can be accessed at any time — including team meeting minutes. Having a portal with all information available at all times gives global hires more time to read and absorb information.

As with pre-boarding materials, make meeting minutes available in employees’ native language when possible. If nobody on the team can translate, invest in professional translation services. The payoff is worth the price: Your new hires will more intimately understand the nuances of your company.

Be understanding if a new team member stumbles over their words when communicating with you. Remember, starting a new job is intimidating. If their language skills aren’t perfect, chances are good they will flub a phrase or two. Don’t take it as a demonstration of their skills.

4. Address cultural differences.

New hires aren’t a one-size-fits-all group, so onboarding shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all process. Engagement is the key to retention, so make sure you provide a culturally meaningful onboarding experience.

If you’re building a global workforce based in a number of foreign countries, it can be tough to grasp the nuances of each culture your workers hail from. Sometimes, the easiest way to bridge cultural divides is by encouraging employees of different cultures to educate one another. Encourage them to ask questions if they don’t know what is being said.

Start things off on the right foot. Hold icebreakers where workers can talk about their backgrounds in a productive way. Facilitate “did you know” and “would you rather sessions.” Questions are not only less intimidating in this climate — but they make it easy for team members to get to know each other.

It’s vital that collaborative teams understand one another on both personal and professional levels. There’s no easy way to bridge cultural gaps, but one of the best is through casual interactions. Make space for chit chat, fun activities, and other diversions to bring workers closer together. The result will be teams that are more understanding, better informed, and more efficient than they would be otherwise.

5. Watch the clock.

Navigating time zones can be tough for global teams. The more offices you have, the more time zones you have to work with.

If offices are in three or more time zones, consider scheduling meetings and events using Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). UTC is a time standard, not a time zone. Employees can calibrate their local time to UTC without the need to Google everyone else’s time zone. There are various calendar apps and scheduling apps that will make these conversions for you so that you don’t have to stop and calculate time.

Regardless, the responsibility is on you to schedule times that work well for everyone. No new employee wants to be embarrassed by missing a meeting because it’s at 3 a.m. local time — or someone miscalculated the time or date. International workers’ hours may not always align with your own, but giving them some breathing room is crucial for getting off on the right foot.

Business is an increasingly international game. Building a global team is the only way to rise to the challenge. By onboarding your international hires well, you’re setting your business up to win in the 21st century.

Image Credit: andrea piacquadio; pexels

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Politics

UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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