10 Working Ways To Lead A Global Team Effectively
As the contemporary world becomes more and more interconnected rapidly, many businesses choose to operate internationally by expanding their target markets and hiring global teams. Such a type of running a company is indeed advantageous and effective. Still, in this case, management appears to be pretty complex and requires a high level of involvement and dedication to each step of the teambuilding. This article will guide you in how to manage a team successfully and help you develop an effective strategy for interacting with your global staff.
1. Create a quality schedule
The first step of managing in a global environment is putting effort into time management as the staff members are based in different time zones. You should be aware of the time differences to set convenient working hours, ensure overlapping time spots for meetings and establish regular communication between coworkers. To make everything work, communicate acceptable working hours for everyone (sometimes they will have to check in early in the morning or late in the evening, depending on their location, so you want to figure out if they can make it), and set well-planned deadlines to complete tasks in time.
2. Set time for meetings
An essential part of leading a global team is making sure that the means of communication and understanding within the team work well, and for this purpose, you should schedule group calls and one-to-one meetings. Following tip #1, you should have regular time spots when the team can meet and discuss the workflow, achievements, and challenges. Also, each member should have an opportunity to arrange personal meetings with you (or their team leader if the staff is numerous) to talk about their performance and concerns.
3. Build an emotional connection
A fundamental rule in how to manage a team is acknowledging that every team member needs to feel involved and included to be more effective and motivated. That is why it is necessary to establish a friendly and supportive environment for the team. You can achieve this by creating informal chats and meetings, encouraging supportive relationships, and ensuring a safe space within the group. Also, promote the team culture to facilitate getting to know each other and the company.
4. Clarify the purpose
A team should have shared values and long-term goals to successfully operate on the global level. Articulate your company's purpose, vision of the future, and plans to remind staff members that they are part of something bigger than just a routine workflow. Also, thinking beyond the small tasks gives a second wind to the motivation to grow professionally.
5. Celebrate cultural diversity
A vast majority of global teams that work warmly respect their members' different roots and cultural backgrounds, accepting this as an important part of their personalities and expertise. To avoid obstacles, try to find out if such differences affect communication and the working process, and if so, come up with solutions that minimize intercultural conflicts. Also, respect the traditions of nations and religions represented in your company and show understanding when the team members try to balance that for effective work.
6. Ensure equal participation
The language barrier and the complexities of working in an international cross-cultural team may affect the performance of some team members, even if they possess a high level of expertise. Therefore, make sure that all voices are heard by asking for the opinions of people who seem to be less involved and try to develop a flexible language policy. For this, ask native speakers to use universal vocabulary with less slang and provide an opportunity for additional language training for those who may need this.
7. Be up to date
In order to manage global teams flexibly and adjust the workflow to current needs with no significant shortcomings, you need to be highly involved in all updates and news from your team. Many studies show that team members feel more motivated and encouraged if they are sure their leader is aware of the workflow and demonstrate a willingness to be involved in team operations. Decide how the team members can reach out to you in case of urgent questions and check your communication channels regularly. Also, track the progress of projects and explore the ways to support processes if the team needs assistance.
8. Use online resources
Managing global teams has become possible because of the development of IT and communication means, so use this to your full advantage. For example, many companies include Slack, Microsoft Teams, various messengers, and other tools for comfortable planning and exchanging opinions within the team. So, explore apps and resources to organize the work in the most convenient way: this helps to create a favorable environment for completing tasks and makes team members feel that they work not alone but with a supportive community that is easy to reach out to.
9. Work on flexibility
Even if the working plan is well-composed and comprehensive, there is always space for some unexpected shifts or issues arising from the international nature of the team. Therefore, learning how to be adaptive and stress-resistant is a worthy investment in the professional development of each team member and you personally. Besides, promoting a culture of flexibility and readiness to tackle challenges helps to smooth potential conflicts and increase the level of understanding.
10. Ask for feedback
Giving and receiving feedback is one of the most powerful instruments to ensure productive communication and establish common ground for everyone in the company. Anonymous surveys or one-to-one communication will help you find out how you are doing in managing a global team and what can be done for further advancement. However, only an established feeling of safe space will guarantee honest responses and suggestions.
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