The global political, social, and economic landscape has experienced dramatic shifts in the past decade. For instance, the dot-com crash, the 2007 recession, countless cyber issues, and the novel Corona Virus are a few examples. And besides having a lasting impact on the global markets, these shifts have also affected the way organizations work. At this critical juncture of history, organizations now realize the importance of investing in diverse and multifaceted workforces. This realization has, in turn, changed how managers command and interact with their subordinates.
According to a recent Mckinsey survey, almost 90% of the US corporate workforce has worked with some international teams. And more than 60% confirm knowing colleagues from 2-3 diverse cultures. Yet, less than 20% of multinational companies feel confident in their leadership structure to meet oncoming business challenges.
Therefore, this article will discuss some practical strategies to help you tackle the responsibility of supervising diverse employees for your international enterprise. Let’s begin.
Make use of technology
The biggest challenge facing managers today is finding ways to communicate and collaborate with remote employees. However, there’s no shortage of tools and technologies that allow managers to command global teams.
Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, collaboration tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom are becoming increasingly popular among companies worldwide. Last year, 19% of the US workforce used Microsoft teams, while 36% used Zoom for remote communications. And if you’re overwhelmed by the wide range of available options, using GetVoIP might help you find a suitable solution for your business. You can avail of their services to get the best communication networks for your business.
Besides leveraging videoconferencing tools, companies can also turn to tools that promote document collaboration and project management. By doing so, international teams can communicate and come together to facilitate business growth despite geographical hindrances.
Maintain frequent communication
Although consistent communication is necessary for all kinds of teams, it’s vital for international and remote teams. So, ensure to schedule routine meetings so your team members can decide the time and space to share information and expand their knowledge. Frequent communication lets employees learn from their peer’s experiences, gain outside perspective, and sync with the current team progress and business developments.
Perhaps the most significant challenge while overseeing international businesses is determining how to promote interactions and participation among multilingual employees. Start by establishing a suitable means of communication between the members using a common language.
However, doing so can be a little tricky. For instance, employees lacking familiarity with or proficiency in the selected language might not be encouraged to participate in team meetings, giving the proficient ones more power and influence over the ongoing discussion.
Therefore, managers must be careful of such power imbalances and take charge when the situation calls for it. For instance, ask native speakers to slow down so everybody on the team feels included. Similarly, try to ensure that the less fluent members can comfortably voice their opinions.
There’s no better way to enhance team collaboration and communication than by empowering your team and appreciating their contributions.
Define core team values and establish trust
Another practical approach is deciding how the team will accomplish its milestones and project deadlines from the outset. Besides establishing a solid leadership structure, you must also set aside some unstructured hours to promote positive team dynamics. Small talk about informal matters adds a human element to one’s work. It also helps employees be comfortable around one another.
Moreover, managers need to build trust between themselves and their teams. An excellent step for establishing trust is using ice-breaking techniques to help the team know each other and their manager. Determine and communicate your management/leadership style to them. That way, employees will be more at ease when discussing matters like feedback or participating in team discussions.
Acknowledge and address cultural differences
Recognizing and addressing the cultural diversity among your employees is the first step to fostering an inclusive work environment. For example, suppose your team members celebrate varying religious and cultural holidays, such as Dia de Los Muertos. In that case, you can invite them to share these experiences with unfamiliar members. This strategy can help educate other members and increase empathy.
Managers must acknowledge how different cultures operate. The key here is being adaptable to new ways of working if they serve the team’s purpose. And narrow-mindedness definitely will not work. Sure, managing different time zones can be hectic. Therefore, you have to put your faith in your employees and allow them to work independently at their preferred times.
Increase awareness of available resources
And finally, you must ensure your employees have professional and personal help resources in their reach. For example, Employee Assistance Programs or EAPs can offer employees resources for child care or terminal care for elders. It allows them to balance their domestic responsibilities with professional ones. It can also help them cope with stress, culture shock, and emotional fatigue, among other issues.
Is there anything more phenomenal than running a business with team members across different parts of the world, united by one mission? Probably not. Despite the demographic dissimilarities, this team is striving towards the same business goal. And you have to lead them there. So, this article discussed some tips to guide you on that journey. These comprise maintaining frequent communication, defining core team values, and balancing participation.
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