Guide to Successfully Managing International Teams

Guide to Successfully Managing International Teams

In the modern age of high-speed internet and mobile devices, it is becoming easier to employ remote workers. This gives companies an essentially limitless talent pool as you can find capable workers worldwide and establish international teams. But, there are specific difficulties in managing international teams. So, let’s take a closer look at how to handle them. This article of Guide to Successfully Managing International Teams will be helpful for the team working force to execute the activities properly.

Managing international teams

The following are the key aspects to consider while managing international teams. The Guide to Successfully Managing International Teams must follow the below key aspects:

It is worth noting that managing teams, especially international ones, is an ongoing process. You will constantly face new challenges, unforeseen circumstances, and time-sensitive issues. So, don’t expect that you can set up your team and be done with it. Instead, understand that you need to pay close attention to your teams and that you need to develop your team management skills as time goes on.

Work on your communication skills

As a team manager, it is paramount that you have good communication skills. This is especially emphasized when you manage international teams as your communication skills need to overcome the language barrier and the lack of physical presence. Therefore, if you haven’t so far, start actively working on improving your communication skills. Some people have a natural knack for efficiently communicating with others. But, no matter how gifted they are, talent can only take you so far. Honing your communication skills is a must. And it is something that you need to do regularly.

A team manager conducting a team meeting
Having decent communication skills is a must for managing international teams

Use the right software

The most significant part of managing international teams relies on using the right software. Whether you communicate with your employees, monitor their performance, or share vital info, you need the right tools for the job. So, don’t shy away from investing in top-notch tools.

Depending on your industry, you might need to utilize different tools. The smartest way to find them is to do ample research into which products are available and what their reviews are. You should also consult with your teams, as they might have first-hand experience and recommendations for various tools.

Read more: Team Building Skills

Build connections

A common mistake team managers make is to consider their remote teams as faceless entities. While they know they are people, it can be hard to perceive them as such, seeing that you might never see them in person. But, it is paramount that you perceive your workers as people and your employees, not as freelance workers who change their work for your money.

The crux of this is building a connection with your employees and helping them make connections with each other. Remember that team-building exercises are still a viable option, even though you are limited to online interactions. If possible, you should organize a team meeting where your teams can meet in person. But, you should nonetheless invest heavily in helping your team connect.

Workers working as a team, representing the goal of managing international teams
Motivate your workers to rely on each other as much as possible

Create a project management system

A top-notch project management system is one of the most critical aspects of ensuring that your international teams work well. Remember that your teams are far from you, often by thousands of miles, and you don’t have as much control. Therefore, it is paramount that you have a great project management system that will aid you.

Firstly, you need to outline the hierarchy in your company and make it crystal clear who is responsible for what. If there is an issue, you need to be able to identify it and address it quickly. Without a sound project management system, this will be difficult as identifying the problem will take a lot of time. And once you do recognize it, it might be too late to address it.

Secondly, you need to enable your workers to access all the essential data easily. In a standard company, workers can quickly contact their team leader to get the necessary data. But, in the case of international teams, this might not be the case. The team leader and the worker could be in different time zones. Therefore, it is paramount that sending, reviewing, and updating data is easy and efficient. Every member of every international team needs to be able to find what they need easily so they can do their job properly.

Thirdly, you must enable your team leaders to tackle local problems efficiently. For instance, if there is a need for corporate relocation, your managers must find and enlist specialists for this and organize their teams. This can only be possible if they can communicate with other teams and build a timeline, so they don’t fall behind.

Ream more: Building Your Global Dream Team

Address cultural differences

Last but not least, you must understand the cultural and linguistic differences between teams. Not only do different countries have different holidays. But, they might even have different work ethics and expectations of what their job should be like. As a manager of international teams, you need to be aware of the differences and how to overcome them. It is always a good idea to have a team leader from a particular culture managing the team from the same culture. That way, you will have an easier time ensuring everyone is respected.

Three women of different ethnicities walking together
Cultural differences can be challenging, especially if teams are from drastically different cultures

Final thoughts

While managing international teams is by no means easy, it doesn’t have to be a taxing ordeal. Set up a good project management system is important by following the Guide to Successfully Managing International Teams. Make people accountable for their work. Accommodate cultural differences. That way, you have a well-functioning company. Also, remember that to build a sense of loyalty within your workers, you need to work on team building and approach them personally. Finally, we will say again that working on your communication skills is a must and that it is something you need to start doing from the get-go. Managing international teams can be made easier by understanding the cultural differences and improving overall communication.

Guide to Successfully Managing International Teams

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