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Most companies currently have offices outside their town or country or origin. Therefore they are primarily dealing with cross-border teams. Lots of others outsource most of their non-core functions meaning they also have to handle cross-border staffers. Leading such teams carries with it a fair share of challenges and opportunities. Most often cross-border groups bring with it different cultural cues, languages, and even motivations. The internet has made it possible to manage workers in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East while you are seated in an office high up in New York.
I. Divide the work: You have to break down the job so that you create a sense of ownership among the little teams spread out across the globe. This feeling of ownership is very critical in motivating the employees to pursue the highest possible output. Given the issue of time and distance, it’s easier for each group to manage a specific piece and carry it to completion. Make sure you assign the job based on the strengths of each particular team around the world.
II. Provide Multiple Communication Channels: Intensive jobs that require close collaboration between the teams needs real-time forms of communication. The ability to relay concerns, clarifications, and instructions and receive feedback instantly is such a critical part of completing the job. Luckily there are lots of media platforms especially in the digital scene that provides the features needed for such communication. The other critical issue is to ensure that you create cloud-based platforms in which each team can monitor the progress of the project and input their own insight and feedbacks.
III. The Need for Hierarchy: While it is possible for you to manage the teams quite successfully, it is often easier to appoint a local team leader to help you manage the processes. A local team leader is able to give you proper feedback and to supervise the persons performing specific tasks. They are able to make changes and monitor progress with much closer scrutiny than you can. That’s why you need a few coal leaders. They are able to understand and customize the productivity to suit the local conditions and available tools of production.
IV. Understand Cultural Cues: The culture’s approach to work, productivity, efficiency and output varies considerably across the world. The work ethic in Nigeria is far different from New York or even Doha. You have to understand how the local cultures interpret leadership, expectation, time use, and compensation. Some cultures are fast, while others tend to be slow and leisurely. There are those that worship work and others that treat work like a necessary evil. Understanding cultural cues will help you to interpret how the team produces their results correctly.