Team Building Globally : A Special Guide for Virtual Managers

Team Building Globally, Ashton & Associates Recruiting Inc. Globalized workplaces are fast becoming the norm. This means today’s managers are faced with a whole new landscape of people challenges.

Companies are engaging teams from a wider variety of cultures. Employees and contractors may be working across oceans in other countries, or telecommuting right in the same city.

As Greg Savage puts it, candidates are not an online commodity. Learning to identify and maximize on peoples’ talents while respecting and honoring cultural differences is a non-negotiable essential to team building.

Let’s look at some of the most important issues for managers building teamwork in today’s globalised workplace.

1. Get the best people on your team.

Pay peanuts and you will get peanuts.  The productivity between average performers and those who consistently perform well is considerable. If you need to meet deadlines or you need quality work, be prepared to pay market rate. Having people you can rely on, and who are committed to delivering the results you need, is easily worth at least five times their cost.

At the same time recruiting great people is certainly not just about paying more. It’s first about having strong relationships with them, and with the people they know and respect in your industry. Think about getting help from HR professionals with experience.

2. Give people the tasks they like.

Tasks management is a big part of a project manager’s job in a globalized workplace. Observe communications and understand what motivates your people.

Then manage to your peoples’ strengths.  This may sound like you are letting them off lightly but know this, a team building best practice is knowing people perform better in the jobs they most enjoy.  And when they perform better so do you, with task and performance management to deal with.

3. Avoid wars among your mixed nuts.

Conflict is always always always about failure to communicate. Failure to communicate allows assumptions to be made. Assumptions creates expectations, and when expectations aren’t met you know what happens next.

Communication requires right skill and right tools.  Keep in mind when team building that your virtual team members will be working alone most of the time.  Social media advocacy lends authenticity, trustworthiness, and reach. Enabling open dialog through social media tools will get your team sharing more opinions, values and ideas with one another and feeling more collectively ‘part of’. By encouraging them to get to know each other as people first, and work colleagues second, they learn, on their terms, who does what best and why.

Looking for Collaborative Project Management Software: Basecamp allows you to manage people and their tasks on any type of project while encouraging open dialog throughout the team.

4. Keep the balance of skills and personality.

This may seem like team building 101 but many managers align people purely by skill sets, and this is especially true in technical fields like IT or engineering. But what happens to the rest of the person?

When you are looking for teamwork, it’s better to align workers based on their personality types. You will get more out of people with different skill sets and personalities that are not so much the same as, but that are complementary.

People who get on well with one another do so not because they have same skills or personality types , but because they share similar values. Differing skills, competencies and personality types are then seen individually as complements to the team in its entirety.

5. Constantly monitor your people.

In many ways, working at a distance in the globalized office place is about learning the subtle language of online communications.

Social communication style software, where everyone can see what everyone else is saying, is a great way to manage how well people are working together. With the proliferation of cloud-based collaboration software there are many excellent tools to build intimate work relationships between people virtually anywhere in the world.

Barbara Ashton is the President and Founder of Ashton & Associates Recruiting.

Ashton & Associates Recruiting… Placing Powerful People. Every Time.

Your investment with Ashton & Associates is backed and guaranteed by the clients we serve. Ashton & Associates Recruiting is constantly adding new and relevant advice to our stock of resources for both job seekers and those looking to hire. Here are some suggestions to get you started. Make sure you bookmark us for next time!

On Hiring Right for Employers

Free E-Book Download

Tips & Advice for Jobseekers

Add your comments to this post on social media. Like us on Facebook & follow us on Linkedin

This post has been approved for public release by Barbara Ashton. All certified posts carry this Google Authorship link to Google.