Managing a global team is extremely hard and challenging. We have to balance time schedules, languages, cultures, challenging communication, technology, plus the classical work problems we would find in a typical office.
Because if it is already hard to manage a team that are sitting right next to each other, the difficulties and problems multiply when you break that team into the map and spread it around the world.
As much as it is complex, it is our job as managers to identify the problems, deal with them and find the solutions. Also, global teams will only make your company richer and more resourceful, so stick with the positive side and take these best tips to create an international team that works together smoothly.
This is a given, we can’t manage an international team if we have never leave our house. It is important to become familiar with the cultural particularities. People the world communicates differently, and you want to make sure to know those differences to foresee possible issues that might come up in the future amongst your team.
Also, we highly recommend to take the time to get to actually know your team member’s personalities, and see how they can work together better to avoid crashing characters issues.
Nothing creates stronger bonding feelings than common goals. When you want the same thing someone else’s wants, and you need each other to get it, then you are automatically connected.
Also, it is important to remember to design those goals in a way that it is not competition oriented (meaning it is not relevant who did what) but collaboration and communication oriented.
It is easy to lose almost all sense of humanity and closeness, so it is always a good idea to try to create some bonding on a personal level. Maybe introducing some time to share personal updates at the beginning of every meeting, using technology to create channels to connect on a personal level, and if possible organizing annually meetings where everyone can get to really meet each other and bond over some fun team oriented activities or simply just spending some good time together.
Because normal behaviors can be very different across the globe, we highly recommend to create some basic norms that everyone is aware of and respect when it comes to problem approaching and communication.
Also please keep in mind everyone’s culture when defining those rules, try to not impose things that come too unnatural to some and too familiar to others, try to mix and match picking the best from each part of the world.
This tip comes along with the fact that it is important to have an open door policy, make your team know that they should feel comfortable raising their hand to point out a problem (not a colleague). They must be aware of the importance of their feed back, and know that something will be done about it.
On the same line, make sure to not just wait for the problem to become so big that they have to actually knock on your virtual door and complain, but pay attention to the team dynamics, the communication system and the actual vibe and identify those moments that you have to call out a situation or readjust something amongst your team.