The economic, social and political conditions that we witness in the various industries affect not only the activity in the local and international markets but also the dynamics and internal organizational activity. A study conducted by the CULTUREWIZARD company in 2021, which specializes in global diversity and maximizing cultural abilities, shows that almost 90% of all employees in international organizations belong to an international team or have worked on at least one international project, and more than 60% of employees have at least two equivalent colleagues in other countries.
From the managerial aspect, the picture is slightly different as only 18% of the managers in international organizations shared that they feel they have full control over the global team they manage and that they do feel that that team works in a purposeful, cohesive and efficient manner.There is no doubt that high-tech workers will no longer return to the format of working five days a week in the office and that we are witnessing a fundamental change that will be the main method of work in the near future – working in a hybrid format that will be possible from anywhere in the world. For this purpose, managers must learn how to refine the work in a global team and turn it into a cohesive team that works for the well-being and benefit of the organization.
6 Tips for managing global and international teams
Each manager has different management methods based on organizational theories and methods combined with practical knowledge acquired over the years. At the same time, we can name six general tips for managing an international team that every manager can use and implement in his organization.
1. Increase communication between team members:
Frequent communication is a critical part of managing an international team. A regular weekly meeting of all team members is the best way to stay in touch with all employees and track the progress of each of them individually and unite it into a joint activity. A meeting of all the team members or some of the team members divided by projects is a great opportunity for each of the employees to update in real time, and an opportunity for the manager to receive and provide important information for the continuation of the activity. An important emphasis in scheduling the weekly meeting is paying attention to the time differences between the different countries and coordinating the meeting at a reasonable time that is relevant to all employees.
- Use familiar platforms:
In order for the team members to be able to work simultaneously and for each team member to be updated in real time, it is important to use familiar platforms that all team members know how to use. The communication platforms can be different in different countries and you have to find the right way for everyone. For example, in India they prefer to conduct conversations through the “Tims” platform, but in Poland they mainly work with “Zoom”, it is necessary to coordinate between everyone and work with one agreed platform. It may sound trivial, but technological obstacles and working methods that are not the same often damage the dynamics and sequence of joint work.
- Build and encourage relationships between team members:
Although each member of the team lives and works in a different place, it is still a team that needs to work together and even create close friendships beyond work relationships. Create a virtual community where team members will feel a sense of belonging not only in work matters. Make sure to create connections between the employees who live geographically close and can connect with each other. A connection between the employees in a friendly way will also contribute a lot to the business side of the team, the feeling of belonging of the employees will contribute to their dedication to work.
4. Make sure team members receive technical support and resources:
In order for every employee in every country to be able to work in the best and most efficient way, he must be provided with available technical support and access to all company resources. If, for example, an employee’s work tool such as a computer requires repair or reboot, the right measures must be taken to provide him with an alternative work tool so that he can continue working at this time. If necessary, offer courses and language lessons or any other topic that is relevant to the promotion of that specific employee.
5. Track team work by using management software:
Even the best managers can’t remember what each employee should be doing at any given time. In order to effectively monitor the team’s work – both individually and as a team – use management software through which you can manage the progress of the work. In this way you can perform close and clear monitoring, pay attention to the challenges on the way, find data more easily and if you are not available – your replacement will be able to perform the monitoring and management through the software easily and efficiently.
.6. If necessary, offer an alternative work environment:
Working from home has many advantages but also quite a few disadvantages. If you have an employee whose working conditions at home do not allow him to work efficiently and meet the requirements, find an alternative work environment for him. The possibility to work in an open space, offices for rent or any other place will allow the employee to concentrate and perform the tasks assigned to him in a better way.
Managing a team in general is not a simple task all the more when it comes to a global team made up of people from different parts of the world. As managers, you must concentrate all your efforts on encouraging and supporting team members for cooperation, innovation, and of course efficient and effective work.