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Creating a Resilient Global Workforce: Strategies for Managing Change

Looking to take the next step in developing your workforce? Discover key strategies to build a resilient global workforce.

Gabriele Culot
Written by Gabriele Culot
March 26, 2024
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Key takeaways

  1. Investing in continuous learning and development helps employees adapt to changing environments, closing skill gaps and enhancing problem-solving capabilities.
  2. Prioritizing employee well-being and mental health helps improve resilience and ensures business continuity
  3. Leveraging technology for HR initiatives streamlines processes, making organizations more adaptable and better prepared for future challenges

Resilience is a crucial asset for business success, especially in the context of global expansion, where unpredictability and rapid change are widespread and should be expected. In the wake of disruptions like the recent pandemic and economic turmoil, a focus on building a resilient workforce has shifted from a desirable attribute to a necessity for any company wishing to expand globally.

Resilience in the workplace involves a focus on the well-being, mental health, and empowerment of employees, enabling them to thrive in challenging situations. Beyond improving the worker experience, this approach helps ensure business continuity. It prepares an organization to bounce back and adapt to new challenges, fostering a sustainable model of growth and innovation.

In this post, we look at strategies that can help organizations of any size shift their focus on resilience as a critical ingredient to their growth and success, so let’s dive right in.

1. Foster continuous learning and professional development

Companies must invest in learning and development initiatives to build resilience, focusing on upskilling and reskilling employees. As new skills become necessary for the shifting work environment, offering training programs and fostering a culture of continuous learning can help employees rapidly adapt to new challenges and close any skills gap. This equips your team members with diverse skill sets and enhances problem-solving capabilities and employee engagement.

Moreover, focusing on learning and development is also a successful way to ensure employees are stimulated and motivated to grow and develop within the organization, leading to higher morale. 

Actionable tips to implement this strategy

  • Identify critical areas for skills development within your organization and allocate a budget to support these initiatives
  • Partner with educational institutions or online learning platforms to provide employees access to upskilling and reskilling courses
  • Create an internal mentorship program to promote knowledge sharing and a culture of continuous learning
  • Set up regular training sessions and workshops designed around the specific needs of your team or industry trends
  • Encourage employees to set personal development goals and integrate these into their performance reviews
  • Celebrate and recognize achievements in learning and development to motivate others and highlight the value of continuous improvement
  • Provide time during work hours for employees to engage in learning activities, making it easier for them to participate

2. Promote well-being and mental health

Considering the growing awareness around the importance of mental health and its impact on all facets of life, prioritizing the well-being of employees is non-negotiable. Implementing programs focusing on healthcare, counseling services, emotional wellness, and stress management techniques can help employees manage stressors more effectively. 

Promoting work-life balance through flexible work arrangements can also contribute to a more resilient workforce, ensuring that the organization is prepared to handle future disruptions while still catering to the needs of its workforce

Actionable tips to implement this strategy

  • Implement an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that includes mental health support and counseling services
  • Introduce stress management workshops and mindfulness training sessions for employees to learn how to cope with stress effectively
  • Offer flexible working arrangements and the possibility for a four-day workweek to promote work-life balance
  • Emphasize the importance of mental health and well-being through internal newsletters, meetings, and dedicated awareness days or months
  • Establish a well-being committee or appoint mental health champions within the organization to advocate for mental health initiatives and provide peer support
  • Provide access to apps or online platforms that support mental health, such as meditation apps or virtual counseling services
  • Encourage regular breaks and physical activity throughout the workday by organizing group activities or providing gym memberships/discounts

3. Implement remote working and flexible work policies

The rapid rise of remote and hybrid approaches to work has proven that structural flexibility can significantly benefit an organization while adding little to no burden in the shift to these new ways of working. A flexible work environment helps employees balance their professional and personal lives better, empowering them to be more productive and engaged. 

By embracing flexible work arrangements, businesses can ensure access to top remote talent and employee safety in times of crisis, as well as improved employee satisfaction and retention. For example, effective work-life balance and the ability to quickly readjust schedules and priorities are becoming vital for employees in the face of increasing cost of living and lack of affordable housing in traditional business hubs. They are equally crucial for single parents, employees with caretaking responsibilities, and other similar needs.

Actionable tips to implement this strategy

  • Officially adopt flexible work policies that allow for remote or hybrid work setups to cater to the diverse needs of employees
  • Invest in the necessary technology and tools (like secure VPNs, collaboration software, etc.) to support effective remote or hybrid work
  • Teach managers how to manage and support remote or hybrid teams effectively, focusing on communication and performance assessment
  • Define clear guidelines for remote work, including availability hours, communication protocols, and productivity metrics
  • Regularly survey employees to gather feedback on flexible work arrangements and make adjustments as needed to improve satisfaction and effectiveness
  • Provide resources and support for home office setups, such as stipends for office furniture or reimbursements for internet costs
  • Promote a results-oriented culture where employees are evaluated based on their output and achievements rather than their physical presence in the office

Still unsure where to start? Set yourself up for success from the beginning with our founder’s guide to building and scaling a global, remote-first company. 

Download the guide

4. Cultivate a strong company culture and open communication

A resilient workforce is inherently tied to a strong company culture characterized by open communication, trust, and mutual respect. Creating channels for feedback, encouraging open dialogue, and ensuring that employees feel heard are vital for fostering resilience. 

Leadership should prioritize transparency in decision-making processes, making team members feel valued and integral to the organizational success. Such practices empower employees and strengthen their loyalty to the company, a critical asset in navigating disruptions successfully.

Actionable tips to implement this strategy

  • Implement regular, structured channels for feedback, such as quarterly surveys, suggestion boxes, and open forums, to encourage employee input
  • Organize regular town hall meetings where leadership can discuss company updates and future plans and answer employee questions transparently
  • Train managers and team leaders in effective communication skills and the importance of active listening and constructive feedback
  • Establish a mentorship program to pair less experienced employees with more seasoned colleagues, fostering a culture of mutual respect and learning
  • Create cross-functional teams for company projects to enhance interdepartmental communication and cooperation
  • Celebrate team successes publicly, recognizing individual and group contributions to foster a sense of value and belonging among employees
  • Ensure that the company’s mission, vision, and values are not just communicated but are visibly integrated into decision-making processes and day-to-day operations

5. Leverage technology for human resources initiatives

In the effort to build a more resilient workforce, technology plays a pivotal role for HR departments. Services like LinkedIn can be utilized for networking and recruitment, ensuring access to top talent globally, while online learning platforms can help keep workers keep their skills up-to-date. Additionally, digital tools can streamline human resources processes, from onboarding to professional development, aligning workforce management strategies with the evolving future of work

Implementing technological solutions is a crucial strategy to provide workers with the necessary services and tools to help organizations grow and respond to ever-changing needs.

Having Deel’s team handle compliance and statutory requirements frees up my time to focus on providing better workplace experiences, like onboarding to building the capabilities of our workforce

Isaiah James Peralta, Head of Distributed Services, Finder

✨Discover how Finder reduces HR admin by 20% and cuts onboarding time in half with Deel.

Actionable tips to implement this strategy

  • Leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn for talent acquisition, ensuring access to a diverse and skilled global talent pool
  • Implement modern HR management software to automate and streamline processes such as recruitment, onboarding, payroll, and performance reviews
  • Invest in cloud-based collaboration tools (e.g., Slack, Microsoft Teams) to facilitate effective communication and teamwork for remote and hybrid teams
  • Offer employees access to online learning platforms (e.g., Coursera, Udemy) for continuous professional development and upskilling
  • Utilize project management tools (e.g., Asana, Trello) to enhance visibility, accountability, and efficiency in remote work settings
  • Hold regular training sessions on new tech and digital tools to keep the workforce adept and comfortable with the evolving digital landscape
  • Ensure robust IT support and cybersecurity measures are in place to protect company data and maintain trust among remote employees

6. Build partnerships and encourage collaborations

Partnerships and collaborations can help businesses access external resources, knowledge, and networks, aiding in developing a resilient workforce. These collaborations can provide opportunities for employees to engage in cross-industry learning, broadening their perspectives, improving their adaptability, and avoiding company-wide silos or tunnel vision.

Engaging in partnerships can also pave the way for innovation and creative thinking, driving resilience within the workforce and the entire organizational ecosystem.

Actionable tips to implement this strategy

  • Identify potential partners in complementary industries or sectors that share mutual interests in workforce development and resilience
  • Establish joint training programs or workshops with partner organizations to facilitate cross-industry learning and skill development for employees
  • Create a platform for knowledge exchange between your organization and its partners, leveraging webinars, industry talks, and collaborative projects
  • Participate in industry consortia or networks to stay up to date on best practices and emerging trends in workforce resilience and management
  • Encourage employees to take part in external mentorship programs or professional networks to foster personal and professional growth
  • Explore opportunities for co-innovation with partners that can lead to new products, services, or workflows, thereby enhancing organizational resilience
  • Sign up for pilot programs of emerging technologies through partnerships, providing employees with early access to tools that can bolster resilience

7. Empower employees through engagement and recognition

Employee engagement is a vital element in building resilience. Without the support and buy-in of the workforce, any initiative is destined to deliver limited results, if any at all. 

Actively involving employees in decision-making, recognizing their achievements, and valuing their contributions can significantly boost their sense of ownership and commitment to the organization. Empowered employees are likely to take initiative, exhibit leadership qualities, and contribute positively to the company's resilience strategies.

Actionable tips to implement this strategy

  • Implement regular employee engagement surveys to understand employees' perspectives and involve them in decision-making processes based on their feedback
  • Establish a recognition program to celebrate employee milestones, achievements, and contributions, both publicly within the organization and through social media
  • Involve employees in strategic planning sessions, allowing them to contribute ideas for the company's future direction and resilience planning
  • Create opportunities for employees to lead projects or initiatives, empowering them to demonstrate and develop their leadership and problem-solving skills
  • Offer transparency into the company's objectives, challenges, and successes by sharing regular updates from the leadership team, fostering a culture of trust and inclusion
  • Encourage open forums or roundtable discussions where employees can share ideas, concerns, and solutions, emphasizing the importance of every voice in the organization
  • Provide mentorship and career development programs that align with employees' career goals and the organization's resilience objectives, supporting mutual growth and commitment

Are you looking to learn more about navigating global HR challenges and scaling your business successfully? Find all the information you need in our guide to scaling global HR.

Download the guide

8. Encourage diversity and inclusivity

A diverse and inclusive workforce brings a multitude of perspectives, experiences, and strategies to any organization, making it inherently more resilient and creative in the way it addresses challenges. By fostering an environment that welcomes diversity, businesses can enhance creativity, innovation, and adaptability, ultimately contributing to organizational success and resilience in the face of new challenges while also providing an environment where anyone has the opportunity to contribute, learn, and grow.

Actionable tips to implement this strategy

  • Craft and implement a comprehensive diversity and inclusion (D&I) policy that clearly outlines the organization's commitment to an inclusive workplace
  • Organize regular diversity and inclusion training sessions for all employees to build awareness, understanding, and appreciation for diverse perspectives and backgrounds
  • Encourage affinity groups or employee resource groups that offer support and advocacy for various demographics within the organization
  • Facilitate diverse representation in leadership positions and decision-making roles to reflect the organization's commitment to inclusivity at all levels
  • Actively recruit candidates from a broad range of backgrounds by partnering with diverse professional organizations, leveraging employee referrals, and attending job fairs targeting underrepresented groups
  • Foster an open and inclusive company culture that encourages employees to share their thoughts, valuing the unique contributions of each individual
  • Continuously assess and adjust hiring, promotion, and evaluation processes to eliminate biases and ensure fairness and equity throughout the organization

Supercharge your organization’s resilience and adaptability with Deel

Creating a resilient global workforce can be a complex project that requires deliberate and continuous effort from leadership and human resources. However, it promises great benefits for organizations that take these steps. 

By implementing these strategies, businesses can not only navigate the complexities of the present but also position themselves to thrive in the unpredictable landscape of the future. Remember, resilience isn’t only about bouncing back from disruptions but also about leveraging those experiences to emerge stronger, more agile, and better equipped for whatever lies ahead.

Luckily, building a resilient company doesn’t have to be complicated. Deel offers a range of scalable solutions that can help address many of the challenges a resilient and sustainable global expansion can pose while freeing up resources to work on your future strategies in even more detail. From the streamlined onboarding of new hires to compliant contracts and payments in tens of different countries (for contractors, too) to a full suite of HR tools designed for remote and flexible workplaces, Deel has the solutions for your workforce needs. 

Learn more about Deel’s products and services, and check out our blog for more information on workforce management, the future of work, and global mobility topics. 

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