Management of Cross-Culture Teams
Trust is a crucial characteristic for any high-functioning, effective team. If you have ever worked on a team, you know you have to trust others to ensure the job is done. You also have to have team members who are dedicated and committed to the welfare of the entire group. Trust in any situation is difficult to create and even harder to sustain. However, if you have a multicultural team, it is particularly challenging for several reasons.
A key reason for this is because communication styles vary from one culture to another. While a universal employee messaging system may help, this is not the end-all solution in most cases. There are other factors that the cross cultural management team has to keep in mind. Because of these different beliefs and styles of communication, many multicultural teams are prone to friction. The good news is, there are ways to minimize this friction and ensure any team is successful.
Number 1: Get to Know Each Team Member
It is essential that the management of a company, or even the team leader, takes the time to get to know team members. Learn about their story and journey. Encourage them to use the skills and knowledge they have to help the group. Many multicultural teams have individuals with unique skills that are beneficial to everyone when uncovered. Don’t ignore these specialized skills. Doing so may lead to team members feeling unappreciated.
Number 2: Take Steps to Retain a Culturally Diverse Staff
Some global cosmopolitans feel poorly managed and misunderstood. As a result, they may not remain loyal to a certain organization. However, if the management provides opportunities for the individual to receive recognition for their multicultural skills, or even recognize them, they can avoid this outcome. Take some time to give the individual that lets them feel appreciated and intellectually stimulated.
Number 3: The Cross-Cultural Management Team Needs to Create a Structure for Success
The absolute best way to ensure a successful team is to create conditions that set the members up for this. For multicultural teams, this means ensuring they have a compelling and clear direction. Members of the team need access to resources and information to complete the tasks given efficiently. If a structure isn’t established right away, chaos may ensue. Don’t let this happen. When everyone understands the structure, productivity and success are going to follow.
Number 4: Get to Know the Team’s Cultural Differences
As mentioned before, getting to know the team members is important. However, it is also essential to take some time to get to know any other differences present. This includes different languages, as well as “fault lines.” Also, get to know how possible miscommunication and misconception is. A great way to counteract miscommunication is by implementing employee self-service software. With this, your team members can easily know what is going on with each person. The software can manage several aspects of the team, including scheduled time off, questions with the work being done, and more.
Number 5: Create Clear Norms and Maintain Them
When you have a multicultural team, you also have several different work styles in play. As a result, it is up to the team leader to establish norms. Once created, everyone needs to stick with these established standards, regardless of what their personal default is. It is not a good idea to impose a style, but take into consideration what works best for the entire team. Implementing practices from other cultures are often useful.
Number 6: Work to Build Personal Bonds
A great way to ease potential disagreements or conflict is to establish personal connections. While deep personal friendships may be impossible, there are methods to use that can foster individual connections and rapport. Take some time to encourage these personal relationships, which is going to help the entire team in the long run.
Number 7: Address Conflict Immediately
Regardless of the team or members, conflict is inevitable. This is even truer with a multicultural team. If tension does come up, make sure to address it right away. This can help ensure a small, manageable conflict doesn’t turn into something that’s impossible to manage. Any leader needs to understand various cultural perspectives. When they do this, they can serve as a cultural bridge to minimize the effects of conflict.
Creating Successful Cross-Cultural Teams
There are countless benefits offered by cross-cultural teams in the workplace. While making these teams “work” may seem like an insurmountable challenge, this isn’t necessarily the case. There are countless ways to predict and prevent serious issues. One of the biggest, miscommunication, is simple to manage by using employee self-service software. This technology can help prevent issues between team members and ensure the team works together for the betterment of the company. In the long run, everyone is happier and more work is done.