How international HRMs can build positive workplace culture

May 2023

Yet, Deloitte’s Human Capital survey reported that less than 20% of companies believe they have the ‘right culture’. How do you ensure you and your business are creating the foundations for a positive workplace for the future of work? 

As an international HR manager working with remote and hybrid employees, you can shape a positive global workplace culture by encouraging:

Managing employees across several countries with varying workplace legislation can complicate the situation. At a minimum, ensure workplace policy is in line with the local laws. Clear expectations around respect in the workplace should be set in the employees’ induction programme.

All employees should be encouraged to demonstrate respect  for others by:

  • Always communicating in a polite manner
  • Controlling anger
  • Not judging peers

Encouraging a positive work culture in this way will reduce workplace stress and increase productivity.


  • In many businesses, a diversity and inclusion policy will focus on the need for:
  • Equal opportunities
  • Recruitment
  • Employment legislation compliance

All of the above are important but inclusion can be managed more holistically, especially in the culture of a hybrid workplace. There is a need to ensure the environment people are being hired in is inclusive. To understand where your business currently sits when it comes to inclusion, conduct an Employee Engagement Survey and analyse existing processes. If you identify a problem, improve the situation by::

  • Establishing an inclusive mission 
  • Communicating it clearly to all employees
  • Ensuring leadership teams are role-modelling inclusive behaviour 

Knowing about operational performance and future plans is important for building teams of engaged employees. Yet, many companies rely on one-way communication in the form of newsletters, emails and social media posts. However, companies with great workplace environments ensure communication works both ways. 


Keep lines of communication open with regular team meetings and ‘town halls’. Employees at every level should be encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas or concerns. 

In order to create a positive workplace culture, it is important that employees feel at their best, physically and mentally. International HR managers are recommended to ensure health and wellbeing resources are readily available to employees, no matter where they are based. This may include access to an Employee Assistance Programme and possibly medical care. There are a number of Expat Assistance Programmes and international health insurance plans to help expats to stay well. 


In addition to putting policy and procedure in place, role modelling by business leaders is essential to creating a positive work environment. There is no point in asking team members to follow best practice if it is not being modelled from the top. Building a positive company culture benefits all employees and makes everyone feel heard, respected and safe.