Global teams bring a wide range of skills and perspectives to the workplace. They can also present a unique set of challenges for teams to overcome.

When working with a global team, everyone must understand how their colleagues are experiencing the work environment. This includes understanding cultural differences that can influence communication styles and expectations.

Know Your Audience

International teams are workplace collectives collaborating and operating remotely, spanning time zones, geographical regions, and language barriers. When equipped with suitable tools, these teams provide numerous advantages to companies, such as heightened productivity and a broader spectrum of market expertise. Nevertheless, cultivating relationships across cultures within international teams presents challenges. Without appropriate communication tools, colleagues may experience elevated levels of social distance. For example, if one team member from Marseille checks emails only first thing in the morning, she may message that her American colleagues aren’t crucial to her. This can quickly lead to miscommunication and distrust. Understanding your audience is essential to overcoming these challenges. This can be done by segmenting your audience into different groups based on their unique experiences, such as subcultures related to entertainment or hobbies.

Know Your Talent

Global teams work best when members understand where each other is coming from. However, this requires a level of sensitivity that can be challenging to foster when working remotely. For example, direct eye contact may convey confidence and honesty in North America, but it can be perceived as rude or threatening in other parts of the world.

To help bridge gaps, many companies use regular online team meetings to communicate company developments in real time and clarify employee doubts. They can also host cultural awareness sessions to encourage interaction and respect. As such, these programs can increase productivity by fostering a sense of unity and engagement that overcomes physical distance and linguistic barriers. Moreover, they allow businesses to tap into a wider talent pool, gain specialized expertise, and expand their market reach.

Know Your Culture

When your company goes global, your team will include members from different locations, countries, and cultures. To make this work, you need to understand the various professional work styles and practices that your team members will have.

Identifying what these differences are can help you prepare for any issues that may arise. For instance, someone in North America who looks you straight in the eye when speaking can be considered confident and honest. But, in some cultures, this could mean the person is threatening or assertive.

Knowing your culture can also help you choose your team’s most useful communication tools. This can reduce miscommunication and make the team feel more connected. Language training classes, regular meetings, and distinct goals and duties are all great ways to keep your global team engaged.

Know Your Technology

Because global teams are dispersed across time zones and regions, it can take time to ensure effective communication. Choosing tools that are accessible to all team members is essential. Then ensuring that employees use these tools daily is also vital for keeping the communication flowing.

Teams from different cultures bring unique insights to a project and the ability to think differently about many topics. This can lead to breakthrough ideas that a company wouldn’t have come up with otherwise.

A global team also allows a company to cast a wider recruitment net, saving money on hiring expenses and improving the quality of candidates for a position. This widening of the talent pool can increase revenue as well.

Know Your Policies

Global teams bring many benefits, from a larger talent pool to more diverse perspectives and market insights. But they can also create a learning curve for companies that haven’t previously worked with remote team members.

When working with a global team, everyone must understand your policies, including the laws and cultures of other countries. A transparent process and standardized onboarding are critical to ensure employees have the knowledge they need to succeed.

Additionally, everyone on the global team must communicate effectively. This means checking and responding to emails regularly rather than letting them pile up or waiting for responses. Communicating in person or through virtual talks is also essential, as it helps people connect and makes them feel like a part of the team.