Working with global teams
Technology and the internet have allowed the business world to break the border and explore the global market for hiring purposes. Working with remote employees from different countries is no longer unusual. The concept of the global team has opened various new avenues for both the employees and the company hiring them. The virtual team has many benefits to offer to companies, whether it is for money or talent.
While it is advantageous, working with a global team can be challenging too. Cultural and time differences can become issues if they are not appropriately handled. Every country has its own values, beliefs, and work ethic. It is essential to be mindful of these differences if you intend to assimilate your company’s employees. We offer you a few helpful tips to assist you if you are working with a global team.
Be aware of cultural differences
It is perhaps the most important point to keep in mind when working with a global team. Every country has its own culture and sets of values that can reflect in an individual’s personality and working style. But just because they might approach work differently doesn’t mean that their way is wrong. So there is a need to observe and adapt. Not everyone might be outgoing, not everyone might consider it alright to put up questions, not everyone might feel it right to contradict a superior’s opinion, and so on. The differences can manifest in any number of ways. So when working with a global team, be mindful of them. If possible, learn about your global teammate’s countries and cultures when you start working with them. Understand that they might not be aware of your cultural nuances as well, so your correspondence with them should be language neutral.
Respect the time differences
Different countries mean different time zones. That means your working hours will be different than those of your global teammates. So while scheduling any meetings or assigning any task, consider the time differences. No one likes to work outside of the working hours unless it can’t be helped. Calling them during their personal time can even lead to resentment. If it absolutely is necessary, clear it with them before, so they are prepared. It also lets them know that you value all the employees and respect their boundaries.
Setup video meetings
Working with global teams means unable to get together for meetings in one room. So, those meetings are now held over calls. While audio conference calls are great, whenever possible, try to schedule video conferences. Video calls are more personal and the closest substitute to real meetings. It gives a better idea about the other person and their understanding as you can see their faces and notice their expressions. Furthermore, it allows the whole team to put a face to their teammates’ names and get to know them. The more the employees understand each other and their style of work, the better the chances are of the project turning out excellent. Video calls allow the team to connect and bond more effectively.
Appreciate the good
We all like a pat on the back for work well done, don’t we? It shouldn’t be any different with a global team. Only now it will be a virtual pat on the back. Don’t let the hard work of your employees go unappreciated. We have a habit of saying it to people in person when you are reviewing some work, and they are there. But when working globally, it can be overlooked as it requires a little extra effort. Send them an email or congratulate them over a phone call, but always let your employees know that their work efforts and dedication are valued. It makes them feel a part of your company.
Get to know your teammates
We briefly touched upon the importance of connecting with your global teammates, but that was in terms of professional life. To build a successful working relationship, knowing a person personally is also important. When we work together in the same office daily for hours on end, we end up bonding with them over small talk and encounters in the halls and lunch breaks. As these possibilities are eliminated in a virtual work environment, what is advised is to take out some time that is only dedicated to non-work talks. It may be when you begin a working day or a few minutes before or after a meeting, but allotting some time for personal discussions allow the global teammates to open up to each other eventually. It can reflect positively later on the work being done.
A few steps and little efforts from your side can go a long way in making a global team successful. A global team with strained relationships can be harmful to a company’s productivity. So, try these few steps when working with global teams if you aim for success.