5 Vital Tips for building your ultimate global team
It’s 2023 and we are in the work-from-anywhere revolution and globalisation is here to stay. There are many benefits to globalisation including accessing talent from anywhere around the globe, it’s now the new normal. For almost a decade, VBP has been a leader in helping our clients build global teams.
We work with hundreds of clients in this space and would like to share with you 5 vital tips for building your ultimate global team. Our clients who are doing this are getting it right, they’ve built the ultimate global team.
Establishing a POC
To ensure effective communication and support within your business, it is important to designate a Point of Contact (POC). This individual will serve as the primary liaison for your global team, managing relationships, setting expectations, and providing guidance as needed. The POC will also work closely with your global business partner, fostering collaboration and building your team’s skills and confidence through ongoing training and feedback.
Ultimately, the POC plays a crucial role in managing the workload and performance of your team, making them a go-to resource for all involved.
Building connection and a sense of belonging
Connection has the biggest impact on belonging.
In a physical workplace, that often comes from being in the same space as other people on a daily basis. However, in a remote environment, you need to be more conscious and deliberate in building that sense of belonging.
Simply holding a Monday morning team Zoom meeting is not enough to create a true sense of belonging. Instead, we must establish rituals and routines that foster a sense of connection in the remote environment.
Daily huddles are vital for creating that sense of belonging, they also set your team up for success. We recommend holding a 15-minute daily huddle with your team and focusing on the following key points:
- Wins from the day before
- Priorities for today
- Where are you stuck
It can be easy to stick with what you know and manage all people the same way as onshore teams. However, in this era of globalisation, you need to consider how culture plays a part in effectively engaging your global team. Cultural awareness has to become your most important communication tool. To build your ultimate global team, it is vital that you understand your team’s culture and the differences to strategise ways your global team can work better together.
For example, with our Filipino team members, we have found that YES can mean yes, no and maybe!
With the Filipino culture their biggest concern is offending you, so if you have explained or provided some training and you ask does that make sense? Filipinos may say yes, even if they don’t understand what you have said, in fear of offending you. The way to manage this is to use open-ended questions and think about how you frame these questions. “I’ve just explained xyz can you relay to me your understanding and the first 3 steps you’re going to focus on?” Very quickly you will get an understanding if you have been understood or not.
To better understand Filipino Teams, Mike Grogan has published a book titled Managing Filipino Teams. If you have Filipino Team Members, be sure to check out Mike’s book. For other cultures there are plenty of resources available, so be sure to invest some time into utilising these resources.
Get to know your global team, ask them questions to get to know more about their culture and what life is like outside of work. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Better yet if you are able, travel to meet your team members in real life! Walk the walk, experience their culture first-hand and enjoy getting to know one another.
Remember, everyone around the world has the common need to be respected and valued. No culture is right or wrong, better or worse. We are all just different and it is important to remember we remain one team, divided by geographical location, but working together and celebrating together.
Task Management Systems and Processes
Now let’s talk about a subject that we are very passionate about, Systems and Processes. These crucial aspects of team management can greatly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of any project or task at hand.
Establish a task management system in the virtual world, to ensure compliance and efficiency.
Sending task requests via email or tracking them through spreadsheets is outdated and ineffective. It lacks proper tracking and documentation, making it difficult to know the status of a request or task. It also fails to provide peace of mind during audits or to prove action was taken in case of any issues. Additionally, it can overwhelm team members and hinder their ability to track, organise, and prioritise their workload.
If you haven’t already, we highly suggest taking the time and effort to implement a task management system that allows you to automate your workflows. Automated workflows can significantly improve your business and team’s productivity, minimise conflicts and save both time and money.
Examples of automated workflows could include sending automatic emails to your clients at different stages of your advice process, automating text messages, confirming meetings, adding file notes, allocating tasks, getting compliance sign-offs, and many more!
Not only will the business reap the benefits of this streamlining effort, but your clients will also receive better service and your team will thrive with clearer direction and more efficient work. By running all your workflows through one system, you will ensure that all communication is in one place, maintain better reporting functionality, manage your team’s capacity and track progress.
In addition to workflows, processes are also essential. Be sure to have a process for each task assigned to your team member, and they must be:
- Clear and easy to follow;
- Cover all required steps and;
- Have an accountability matrix that clarifies who is responsible for what stage.
In addition to written processes, we recommend creating a video library for visual learners. Some people may better understand a process when it is demonstrated, rather than reading it from a process guide. However, keep the videos short and concise when creating a video library to save your team members’ time. Be sure to date the videos, so you can audit them when there are legislative or technology updates.
Don’t forget the fun!
Just because you’re in the virtual world does not mean you have to miss out on the fun! In fact, we recommend you regularly schedule fun team-building activities with your team. It will improve relationships and connections, and reinforce that sense of belonging. Here are some ideas for fun activities you can incorporate into conversations with your team members:
- Ice breaker spin-the-wheel
- Virtual coffee breaks
- Themed dress-up meetings
- Scavenger hunts
- Picture sharing
- Virtual Happy Hours
- Virtual Game Sessions
There are so many fun activities you can incorporate into the week, create those connections and your team will love you for it.
So we challenge you, if you have a global team and you’re not incorporating these 5 vital tips in your business, take a moment to assess where you may be lacking and make the necessary adjustments.
We promise that if you implement these tips you’ll find yourself with an irreplaceable global team.