No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.H.E. Luccock
Many companies are discovering that working on a global scale is more fruitful for business in the modern market. It’s also more accessible than ever.
With online connectivity, your company can partner with people worldwide, seamlessly facilitating communication, project management, and payment transactions in seconds.
However, many businesses still have difficulty running their global teams effectively despite how easy it is. Some hurdles aren’t as immediately apparent as you’d think.
To help you move towards more effective global business relationships, here are five tips to bring global teamwork into your business model.
Understanding Cultural Differences
The keyword in “Global Team” is global. You’ll be working with people across various cultural backgrounds. As a result, there might be significant differences in expectations, speech patterns, beliefs, and other general ways of working.
It’s important to understand these differences, not in a standoffish way but in a celebratory way that makes everyone feel comfortable, accepted and, most crucially, part of a team.
For example, a “thumbs up” is considered offensive in some cultures. If you’re from the US, that’s a normal way to say “good job” or “everything’s okay”. If you’re speaking to someone from a culture where that’s not the case, they may get an entirely different message.
Learning a little about your team’s different cultures will create more understanding and a better bond.
Timing is Key
Being part of a global team means working with people across the globe. When you’re waking up to start your day with a cup of coffee, your teammate’s workday might be coming to an end, or it might even be the middle of the night for them.
Calling your international teammates at unreasonable hours can become an annoyance and create tension in the group. Try to keep their time zone in mind, and if you have something, they need to know, use a contact method that isn’t going to wake them up or disturb their off-time.
Respecting their time as you would want them to respect yours is key to running an effective global team.
Just like when you work with people from your local area, you can’t build a good global team unless you get to know each other. Set time aside to socialize and get to know your team.
Finding an informal way that works for everyone, be it video calls, chatrooms, online games, or any way that breaks down barriers and gets people engaged.
Use Visual Tools
Communicating via text only creates room for issues. Even phone calls leave out critical visual cues in communication. Don’t rely on those. Options such as Google Chat, Zoom, Skype, and various other free and affordable platforms make face-to-face conversations easy regardless of where your team members are.
Finally, regardless of culture, everyone likes to know their work is appreciated—however, different people like different things. If someone is from a quiet and humble culture, or if they don’t like having attention on them, don’t send out mass emails praising them to the whole company.
Take time to see what your specific team members are like, and honour that. Maybe they would prefer a more personal approach, or perhaps they love the attention of a large formal affair.
Acknowledging success in your team will help foster engagement, reduce tension and help increase group productivity.
Stay Ahead of the Curve and Succeed Globally
Staying ahead of the curve requires you to understand what is happening in the business landscape around you and implement strategies and innovations to keep you one step ahead of the competition
At Brieffin, we implemented these and other communication strategies to effectively run our global team long before Covid-19 made news headlines. As a result, we were better able to handle the challenges faced in our industry and thrive in a time of uncertainty.
Is your business using social media’s full potential?
At Brieffin, we use our expertise to unlock everything social media offers your business or personal brand. We use our experience in content creation, strategy and planning, and social media management to help build consistency and deliver marketing success. Let’s talk!
Our Moment of Bliss
Find your flow with “Country of the Mind” by Greg Gonzalez. More to listen to on our Spotify Playlist.