The COVID-19 pandemic certainly didn’t do the world many favors, and the business sector was certainly not spared. With many companies being forced to close their doors, at least physically, there were advancements aplenty in remote work technology. Many studies show that employees working from home have performed, at least, comparably to when they were in a brick-and-mortar scenario, and the expected trend is that remote work will continue long after the pandemic has subsided.
For companies who embrace this trend, there is not only money to be saved in the short-term (on office/work space and the related bills), but also potential for growth on a global level. The digital office space allows for greater reaches with both potential customers/clients, and potential employees. International business ethics follow the same lines as their domestic counterparts, but there needs to be a heaver focus on things like cultural awareness as the employee and customer pools grow.
Here are there types of corporate codes of conduct that should be molded to fit the increased demand for leadership and communications revolving around diversity, inclusion, and cultural respect.
Generally, credos are something that entrepreneurs create before making their first ever hire. They tend to include a list of beliefs and values that the company culture should reflect, and respect and honesty are often the backbone of these credos. Methodologies in modern management encourage leadership surrounding these moral guidelines, and as companies grow, focuses on cultural awareness are more important, and proven to be as good for the bottom line as they are for morale.
On the global market, you and your client-facing team members should be prepared to run into people who do not have the same perceived business etiquettes as U.S. companies. An ability to look inward and say, “Our way isn’t the only way” is exponentially important in international business, as acceptance needs to be a two-way street. As a good business move on the contrary, however, educating yourself team on customs and cultures of a given locale where you’ll be doing business can help avoid accidental disrespect.
Piggy-backing on educating your team on foreign etiquette, being a staple for inclusion and cultural tolerance is doubly important when dealing with international clients, customers, and co-workers. Each and every culture should be respected, appreciated, and equally praised if celebrations are something your company likes to do.
These codes of conduct at the global level should lay out expectations for management, and ethical and moral guidelines to follow and enforce. Enforcement practices should also be discussed in the management philosophy portions of your team’s codes of conduct, with a caveat for international employees, as what some perceive as strict may be perceived as offensive by others.
A focus on unity is always important, in any business management philosophy, but like most parts of your code of conduct, this too is more important on the global level. Remote work has its advantages, but difficulties in communication are many, and management philosophies should have defined guidelines with how to be inclusive in international communication.