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10 Ways to Manage a Global Team Successfully

More and more businesses are relying on a geographically diverse workforce to flourish in today’s global economy. They assemble and manage a global team that combines the greatest global functional experience with in-depth, local knowledge of the most promising markets. Consequently, they benefit from international diversity by bringing together people from many cultures with a wide range of work experiences and viewpoints on strategic and organizational issues. All of this helps multinational corporations compete in today’s global economic market.

When everyone is locally working and everyone shares the same office space, it is hard enough to form a successful work group. However, when team members come from various nations and functional backgrounds and operate in separate places, communication can quickly degrade, misunderstandings can arise, and collaboration may quickly devolve into distrust. Remote employees and coworkers from various backgrounds have grown increasingly common in the recent years and has only surged since the pandemic began.

This implies that managers need to manage a global team and be in charge of leading teams of people with a variety of professional as well as cultural backgrounds, locations, and work ethics. Managing a global workforce effectively needs exceptional leadership and communication abilities, as well as a keen understanding of cultural differences. Effectively communicating, motivating, and celebrating your team requires time, understanding, and effort. Great things happen when you welcome diversity and empower people throughout your global workforce.

Understanding and adopting the professional work techniques of different cultures is a necessity in order to build and manage a global team. But that is a challenging task to take on.

Global teams are nothing new, but the obstacles of working with a widely spread geographical team are constantly changing and increasing. Here are 10 suggestions that can help in bridging the gaps that come with working on a team that is geographically and culturally diverse.

1. Increase communication

Regular and frequent communication is a salient step to manage a global team. Regularly scheduled online team meetings are a way to stay connected and clearly communicate information across to all team members. Meetings also provide valuable opportunity for team members to exchange information in real time, keep employees informed about organizational developments, track progress, clarify doubts, identify areas that are experiencing issues and more.

It is also important to recognize the variation in time zones. Set up a process or a system that allows for people in different time zones to get on the same page. This will also help avoid feelings of disconnection among team members. For eg. You can schedule your emails to be received when your team member starts work or you can fix a time in the day or week for a video call that includes the whole team. When it comes to maximizing team’s productivity and cooperation, choosing the right communication channels and establishing a routine and a culture is critical.

2. Make use of common platforms

Effective cooperation is critical to the success or failure of global initiatives; therefore, teams must be able to communicate and interact quickly and effectively. Working on the same platforms and making use of the same tools, using the same calendars and timetables, and communicating through the same channels are all part of this.

You can also use platforms like Slack to help the team collaborate better and stay connected no matter where they are and what the time is. When it comes to project management and tracking, it is important that everyone is on the same page and can see everything in real time.

3. Establish a schedule to talk with the entire team

Meetings should be considered as critical chances for collaboration. Because your common time will be limited, make the most of it by working on a collective project or analyzing concepts or ideas. To make the most of these time frames, create a framework and distribute an agenda so that personnel may arrive prepared. Make use of applications such as Zoom, Google Meet or similar online conference platforms. Encourage everyone to turn on their video cameras so that you can see each other. Virtual face-to-face interaction can boost team bonding.

4. Build connections

Create a virtual community that encourages cross-cultural collaboration and communication. Team empowerment should be nurtured and expanded, by including yourself in whatever you and your team decide to do. Multiple connections with the company can powerfully influence behaviors. Then, to keep your team members organized, engaged, and productive, leverage technology and collaboration tools.

Employees who work in an office often have a different experience than those who work at remote locations. While you want employees to connect with the company’s overall culture, you also want to provide each area the opportunity to establish connections and communicate its own team culture. Internationality is an important component of the employment experience. It is thrilling, and it is representative of your group, celebrate the unique culture of each region.

5. Make resources available to all members

Provide support to global colleagues by sharing the resources they require to succeed. If needed, provide language training classes that can bridge the communication gap, or a social intranet where multinational coworkers may access learning modules and exchange expertise.

6. Create a project management system

Create a project management system and make full use of it. You might be tempted to wing it and manage everything via email if you are working with a small team, but this is quite risky. Project management systems are useful for managing global teams because they help organize documents and communication information into projects, making it easier to locate them afterwards. They also assist with the organization and storage of shared data. If you only use email to operate your business, communication might get lost in the emails.

7. Build trust

When your team members are able to speak honestly and understand the reasoning of another person, global teams perform well. As a team leader, establish a workplace culture where employees feel free to be open and honest with their managers and team members. Spontaneous, unstructured communication is a terrific technique to encourage natural dialogue.

Ask questions about topics that are important to your team and use this as a chance to understand your team better. Create a trusting environment when individuals feel comfortable speaking honestly. This fosters an environment in which individuals are more comfortable giving feedback, accepting constructive criticism, and sharing information and ideas.

8. Address and work with cultural differences

Begin by conversing with your team members to get a better understanding of the many cultural backgrounds that are represented by your team. Determine how these differences might affect everyone engaged and how they might inform alternative ways to work. Creating a positive environment for these discussions can help you gain a deeper understanding of various cultural requirements.

9. Embrace obstacles

Distractions, such as a barking dog, or a noisy neighbor or the washing machine, can substantially impair a remote team member’s ability to concentrate and generate high-quality work when working from home. Consider giving an alternate workplace option, such as a co-working space in their area, to stimulate efficiency. This will provide them with a professional work setting even though they are not in the same city as the rest of the team. This may also encourage spontaneous networking, which may boost productivity significantly.

10. Stay on top of things

Especially in the case of a global team, try to stay on top of things that require your personal attention, like feedback. This will ensure that other team member’s aren’t wasting time waiting for your response. So be sure to stay on top of your emails rather than let messages pile up in your inbox. This will only improve efficiency and avoid frustrations among team members.

If you are managing a global team in today’s economy, occasionally it may seem a little overwhelming, but the rewards far exceed the problems. Focus on encouraging cooperation, innovation, and, ultimately, productivity. That is the way to manage a global team successfully. You can effectively lead your global team to success with regular and meaningful communication and the proper resources.

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