Google, Amazon, and Apple are just a few of the most well-known companies around the world. While these companies have very distinctive brands and products, they all share one simple thing. They are capable of managing their teams on a global scale. Today, global teams are now commonplace. With the help of technological advancements and communities becoming more open towards one another, the world is now a much smaller place. Managing a global team can be tricky but also extremely beneficial to your business if executed well. Here are a few tips to consider when managing a team around the world.
Communication is very important for any team, especially an international team. Managing a global team can make communication extremely difficult as they are not readily available in certain times of the day. An email may be answered a few days later or an internal message won’t get a reply for several hours.
If your team in San Francisco is trying to have a 11am meeting with your team in Seoul, Korea, either no one would be able to make it or they would have to pick up a call at four in the morning. Do take the time to plan team meetings and the flow of communication well in advance so that everyone involved is able to attend and touch base. Don’t let time zones kill productivity.
It goes without being said that a global team would mean you are managing people of different backgrounds, belief systems, and walks of life. It is inevitable that an individual or a team could feel out of place or isolated from the rest of the group. This can negatively affect productivity and the work culture of your company.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to cultivate those differences and bridge the gap between your employees so that they are able to coexist and work harmoniously together.
Based on a diversity and inclusion survey of more than 300 senior executives undertaken by Forbes Insights, 77% said diversity and inclusion initiatives led to improved employee productivity, 65% said it improved company morale, and 58% said it improved employee turnover rates. Be sure to have a plan in place to make your employees feel like part of the team no matter where they are.
Taking the time to understand what circumstances and cultures your employees around the world are living in can positively impact the way your team works. For example, maybe some of your employees are fasting for a holiday, or maybe a team member has a dietary restriction. This may affect the way they work during that time. Perhaps you are celebrating a huge milestone for your company and want to include your team in Vietnam, but because of Lunar New Year everyone is at home with their families. Plan ahead and be cognizant of different cultures norms and holidays.
Don’t be afraid to check in with your employees to see how they are coping with work. Different team members are likely to have different work styles and sometimes this may be influenced by cultural norms. Understand your employees and plan ahead so that your work isn’t compromised.
Tools like Slack or Google Hangouts are a few examples of communication platforms teams can use to keep in touch with each other at any time of the day. Collaborating on a project and tracking your progress in these kinds of tools will allow your team to always be on the same page and reduce instances of miscommunication.
Team meetings are also much more productive when you are able to both see and hear your team members, wherever in the world they may be. Consider investing in a shared video-conference tool for team meetings.
Going global means hiring people overseas whom you may never meet face to face. Because of this, your foreign employees may not fully understand what motivates you or the company. Some may think salary alone is motivation enough, but not everyone thinks that way. Why should someone living overseas work for you?
Finding common ground, building trust, and using best HR practices with your employees will remove barriers between parties and lead to a beautiful professional relationship.
Partner with a Global PEO like NNRoad to hire the best foreign talent without having to open an entity in foreign markets. Consider taking a trip to visit the country you plan to expand in and meet your prospective employees. Familiarize yourself with the native language. A little bit of work on your side can go a long way with overseas employees.