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9 Tips For Managing International Business Teams

The internet has enabled businesses of many sizes to grow substantially in a short amount of time and create a global marketplace. And while the digital realm continues to be the world’s fastest-growing marketing medium, digitalization and globalization have their downsides too. And one such challenge is how to communicate within cross-border teams effectively.

A highly skilled team is beneficial for any business, regardless of where each member is located. Still, different countries have different work ethics, standards of living, and ways of seeing things. So, if you’re managing an international team or project, it is crucial to understand the challenges you can expect and find ways to overcome them. Listed below are a few tips that may come in handy while doing so.

Embrace obstacles and setbacks

Embracing obstacles and using them to your advantage is a smart way to manage international business teams. These obstacles can vary from communication barriers to technology barriers. Work with your teams to develop solutions you can implement together. Trying to stop the inevitable is a waste of energy and will slow you down. Instead, you should use it as a learning experience and recognize that setbacks, obstacles, and challenges are all growth opportunities.

Hone your managerial expertise

A simple way to enhance your ability to manage international teams is by acquiring relevant qualifications. So, if you already have an undergrad and are considering pursuing higher education, consider enrolling in anMBA in Global Management Program Online to fast-track the learning process. Such a qualification will help you develop essential skills for working in today’s global business environment. You will learn about the importance of cultural issues and communication styles in different countries and how to make decisions on a worldwide scale.

Communicate effectively

Communication barriers are eminent when working with people from different countries. Failure to communicate effectively can lead to poor decision-making, costly mistakes, and missed opportunities. When you hire and manage team members from abroad, it is essential to know how to communicate with them. Try developing a method that is easy for everyone. The higher the learning curve, the more likely is miscommunication to occur.

Consider the time zone

It is easy to become frustrated when your team members are not all in the same time zone or work different hours than you do. But you must find a middle ground to ensure proper collaboration.Not everyone will be able to sit at a desk from 9-5 in your time zone every day. So, if someone is doing their job on time, do not hold their schedule against them. Reward performance and avoid penalizing the number of hours an employee logs in. Have a conversation ahead of time to discuss their time zone and hours of availability. Schedule meetings at a time that’s feasible for everyone.

Use collaboration groups and tools

Because businesses need to communicate and share important information, collaboration tools are essential, especially when managing international teams.Instead of sending emails back and forth in different time zones, start relying on instant messaging apps. Use apps like ZOOM and VoIP services for meetings. This way, you can collaborate with others easily.

Ensure everyone has tech support

Not every geographic location may be as developed as the parent company of your operations. Hence, it is essential to ensure all team members have access to the proper techniques needed to be a part of a global team. Provide employees with smartphones, laptops, and other relevant devices. Ensure they have stable internet connections so that they are reachable 24/7. You may even have to provide them with a VPN in case the nature of your work is sensitive.

Understand cultural differences

When you do business with people in different countries, you must understand the cultural differences among your team members and the customers they represent. Asking the wrong questions in a meeting or expecting people to follow through on standard practices in your country can confuse people. When working with people who do not speak your language well or view the world differently, it is easy to offend them. So, increase your and your team’s cultural sensitivity. You can encourage members to take short courses, read, or watch videos to explain how to interact with people from different cultures and religions. It will help to create a more inclusive and tolerant working environment.

Define the company’s core values

Core values help shape company culture and guide decision-making, especially when managing teams across borders.By giving your employees a clear sense of who they are working for and what they represent, you will motivate them and instill a sense of loyalty in their work ethic. Doing so will help you form a trustworthy relationship with your employees, enabling them to focus on their goals and yours.

Address the team’s needs and limitations

Many managers find it challenging to address differences of opinion, misunderstandings, and expectations between remote employees. A frequent cause of stress is managers assuming everyone will work in the same way. However, this isn’t always the case. To overcome this challenge, collect feedback via one-on-one meetings, group sessions, or surveys. Feedback will help you identify the problems your team members are facing. Use this information to address their needs and limitations and help them become more productive.

Conclusion

When it comes to effectively managing a global team, culture and communication are two crucial factors that determine success. And they may also be two of the biggest challenges you might face. The tips mentioned above will help you overcome such challenges and create a more coherent and engaged team. An engaged team is more productive and will help you achieve business outcomes.

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