In the United Kingdom, trick or treating, has been a Halloween tradition since the 16th century.

As the 31st of October date looms there are many more commercial considerations for employers than just Brexit.

As a Global PEO, we work closely with our clients to enable a critical aspect of their global workforce expansion ambitions, by facilitating employment of their staff who will be based in another country.

After the challenge of sourcing and recruiting the candidate is completed and they are successfully onboarded, it is important that the process for remote workforce management is put in place.

 Here are just a few examples of what can go wrong when what starts out in all good faith with the employee as a “treat” can turn out to be an employer’s nightmare, a “trick”.

Providing business tools and equipment during the course of employment

In your enthusiasm to employ the best candidate in a tight labour market, do not assume the employment relationship will always be smoothly sailing.

If you will be providing the employee with a cash float for expenses, their own computing equipment or other tools necessary for their roles, you must put in place a formal mechanism to claim this back at the end of the employment term. Good intentions aside, if the relationship with the employee breaks down then you want to ensure you have an appropriate right of recourse to claim your property back!

Unrealistic expectations

Even for seasoned HR professionals, the salary negotiation process can present some unforeseen challenges.

It is not uncommon to match the employee expectations with their historical employment ones, but that doesn’t mean that the expectation was correct in the first place.

When it comes to performance management, keep your criteria consistent. Remote workers are usually able to work from any location, not just their home office, but as the employer you must set boundaries as to where and when they work and the output required.

Don’t be too keen to agree to everything the new employee requests until you are certain they understand your expectations of the role and the agreed milestones. Just because they received extra flexibility with their previous employer and were able to perform their role effectively doesn’t mean that it will work within your new expectations.

Clearly defined performance indicators provide business clarity whether your employee is working on a boat, at their favourite holiday retreat or with their family in another country. What may seem like a “treat” in the salary negotiation process can quickly turn into a sour “trick” if you have to apply a Performance Management Plan due to an underperforming employee.

Social Media and HR – a dangerous combination

In 2019, there are a myriad of communication platforms used for human interaction. Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Kicksta, FB Messenger and the rest. All great tools for getting your message out there but not necessarily if you want to track the workflow with your employee. Social Media messages are often informal, off the cuff and temporary. These are not platforms to manage your employee communication which often needs to be mutually recorded, clear and concise and most importantly, accountable.

Clear and concise communication is a skill, but when you are conducting it with a non-native language participant then it needs to be 100% understood to avoid any misunderstandings. Just because the message is clear to you doesn’t mean it has been clearly understood by your employee.

If your message regarding a salary review, performance issue or other employment related matter is important then use the appropriate workplace communication channels that give you full visibility, clarity and inclusivity with the other party. In the event of a dispute resolution your email trail will be important in a settlement.

Happy Halloween!


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