5 Ways to Help You Manage Multicultural Teams Remotely
STORY INLINE POST
As a serial tech entrepreneur, I am well versed in the lifestyle and difficult demands that startups bring. In my life, I have personally been to nearly 50 countries, which has shaped my worldview to value geographic and cultural diversity in the workplace.
Today, I am co-founder and CEO of Pacto, a Mexico City-based restaurant software and payments company. We are a tight-knit team of 20 across three countries, eight cities, and four time zones. Being hybrid-remote presents companies like ours with a series of challenges and opportunities.
As someone who values diversity and inclusion in the workplace, I firmly believe that having a multicultural and diverse team is crucial for building a successful company in today's global market. Diverse teams can bring a lot of benefits to a company, including the ability to better serve a diverse customer base, foster a creative and innovative environment, and improve overall company culture.
For any founder or team leader, people are your greatest asset. Having a diverse work environment can improve talent retention, while also providing a wider range of perspectives and ideas. Since COVID 19, the shift to remote work and the rise of tech in emerging markets like Mexico and Latin America has forced us all to rethink who we hire, and where they are. That’s not to say it’s all perfect. Managing a remote and multicultural team can have challenges, as you balance team members located in different parts of the world.
As a leader of a multicultural team, here are five recommendations for managing diverse teams:
1) Communicate clearly, openly, and regularly
Communicating with your team is crucial for the success of a multicultural and diverse team. It is important to note that effective communication does not mean micromanaging team members. Instead, it involves providing clear guidance and support, while also giving team members the autonomy and trust they need to do their jobs effectively.
To avoid micromanaging, it is important to clearly communicate your goals and expectations to your team. This can include holding regular meetings to discuss progress, providing constructive feedback on completed tasks, and offering help and guidance when needed. By providing regular feedback, you can help team members stay on track and ensure that their work aligns with the team's goals and expectations.
2) Lean on technology to help
Working remotely requires different skills than managing direct reports in an office, but technology has made it easier than ever to collaborate and communicate with team members in different locations. By investing in the right technology and tools, such as collaboration and communication software, you can effectively manage your remote and multicultural teams.
Using project management tools like Trello and Asana can help you and your team stay organized and on trac. These tools will allow leaders to assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress. Communication and collaboration platforms like Slack and Google Spaces provide a solution for team members to communicate, share files, and integrate with other tools and services, which can make it easier for teams to work together and stay coordinated.
3) Encourage everyone to share their ideas
Encouraging everyone on your team to share their ideas and perspectives is crucial for creating a successful and cohesive multicultural team. Different experiences can inspire new approaches and solutions, helping the team stay ahead of the competition. When associates feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, you will develop a creative and innovative environment.
By having employees who understand and relate to different cultures, a company can market its products and services more effectively, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction. By providing opportunities for team members to share, such as regular meetings or brainstorming sessions, you can encourage collaboration and open communication.
4) Trust and train
Trust in employees' skills and abilities is crucial for successfully managing a remote and multicultural team. This means making sure that all team members feel valued and respected, regardless of their culture, background, or experience.
By providing training and support and creating a positive and inclusive work environment, companies can create trust and build a successful and cohesive multicultural team. Try constant training through workshops, education, mentors or coaches to improve their knowledge.
5) Create a sense of community
Working remotely can sometimes feel isolating, especially for team members who are working in a different country or time zone. To foster a sense of community and connection, consider organizing virtual team-building activities, such as virtual coffee breaks or team outings.
Be flexible and adaptable. In a remote work environment, it is important to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of your team. This may mean adjusting your communication style, scheduling meetings at different times to accommodate different time zones, or being open to new ways of working.
Managing a remote and multicultural team can be challenging, but with the right tools and strategies, it is possible to overcome these challenges and reap the rewards. By investing in communication and collaboration technology, providing training and support, and creating a positive and inclusive work environment, your company can successfully manage your talent and benefit from the unique perspectives and experiences they bring. Good luck on your journey!