In today’s’ competitive marketplace, global teams are fast becoming a necessity rather than choice for businesses that want to stick by their promise to provide 24/7 services to their customers around the globe. For global organizations, these virtually connected teams are practically its backbone as they are responsible for dealing with all complex issues that come up, working to make the company more efficient and responsive. However, the inside story of these global teams is not that glorious.
Multiple time zones, cultural diversity, communication issues and office politics – these are but a few of a million things that can turn these teams into a failure rather than a success, making it a challenge for managers to keep these teams in line. If you are faced with the responsibility of managing global teams, here are some useful tips.
Managing Time Zone Differences
Communicating with employees who have different time zones can be a huge challenge. First off, you will have to determine the headquarters of your business to inform your customers where your roots are. This location will also act as a strategic center point for your virtual team.
After a head office has been established, try to determine the relative time zone differences between it and the countries where your team members are. You should also ask all your team members to be considerate about the time zones of other members in order to be more cooperative.
Having a time schedules is extremely important when it comes to planning the service responsibilities and meeting timings for the team. Also, you should schedule your communication in a way that every member of your team receives it during working hours.
Most importantly, when it comes to arranging meetings, never put the same employee through the torture of waking up at an ungodly hour. While it is an accepted fact for global team members to be working through odd hours, they would feel better about it if everyone in the team is treated with equal consideration.
Managing the Cultural Diversity of Your Global Team
More than the time differences, it’s the cultural diversity within a global team that can present a challenge to its management. Therefore, right from the start, when you start hiring people for global teams, make sure they have the inherent ability to respect the culture of others.
Throughout the hiring procedure and after that, it is the responsibility of managers to determine the communication style of every individual who is part of the global team. Only when they understand their members, managers would be able to bridge the communication gap between the team members.
Establish a single language of communication that would be used throughout the team for every communication held. It is also important to understand that not all members of a global team can be equally fluent in a language as others might be.
Most importantly, try to make a note of significant cultural, religious and public holidays observed in the countries where your team members reside and try to work around them. If you are asking someone to work when they should not be, make sure everyone in the team realize this fact and accept their dedication.
If you offer your team the right support, guidance and resources and successfully manage the cultural disputes that are a common occurrence in global teams, these teams can turn out to be an asset for your business.