3 expert advices about building the best multicultural remote team
22 November 2021
An American, a German, a Chinese, a Ghanaian and a Chilean walk into a remote developers’ team, which is a part of an Australian company. How do you manage all these different people? All of them come from vastly different cultures. All of them are used to different work ethics. All of them are used to doing the same job but differently. The variety of cultures at the workplace can be enriching but it can also be challenging to deal with. Pair this with the almost certain difference in time zones and problems start to loom threateningly. We at RemoteMore receive questions from managers and HR specialists about how to address this issue. Here is what we usually advise, so you get your multicultural remote team to function like clockwork.
1. Cross-cultural training
Yes, discuss with the whole team the importance of the cultural amalgam and teach each member about the cultures of the rest of the team. We’ll give an example of how we do it in RemoteMore. Every week we conduct the so-called “Culture Shock”. Shocking, isn’t it? There we meet in our trusty Slack virtual co-working space and we share cool facts about our cultures. We’ve learned a lot about, e.g. The Philippines, Iran, Denmark, etc. And each and every week we learn something new about our coworkers around the globe. We do this in an informal and friendly way but you can tailor it as you see fit for your company and your field of business. The advantages of such an endeavor are various. This has served us well not only to know each other’s cultures better but also as a bonding experience. Consequently, our team is stronger than ever, despite the fact that many of us come from different parts of the globe.
2. Different cultures – different responses to procedure and work ethics
People act differently in different situations and their response is usually dictated by their respective cultures. For example, when a train in Japan is 20 seconds late, the public receives an official excuse from the transportation company. In many parts of Latin American schedules and deadlines are often seen as recommendations, rather than something to abide by. And not only that. The attitudes towards relationships with the management and team members also vary wildly depending on the place of origin of a given person. How to deal with this pickle? Educate the team leaders about what expectations they should have towards the various members of their teams. An interesting and very practical tool is for example this online assessment of the predominant cultural traits in a given country. The methodology behind it is based on Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory. It can help you not only with managing your team but also with hiring remotely. You can find the best cultural fit for your team, in order for it to grow and function as intended.
3. Internal communication
Salesforce bought Slack a while ago and we covered the merger a while ago because we at RemoteMore love that platform. It gives us all that a remote team needs: video and audio calls, instant chat, cloud storage, virtual departments, CRM tool and many more. If you think this is a Slack commercial, you cannot be further from the truth. We are just sharing that we use an intranet in order to keep our internal communication alive. And that’s what we advise you to do too. Adopt a similar platform for your remote team. It works far better than, say constantly writing emails, due to the versatility of these kinds of software. You can even get a cup of coffee with a colleague during a break, via a video call. How will this help you ace your remote team game? Implementing a similar communication platform will not only help your team bond together but also does not require for everyone to be present at the same time. Everyone can work at their own pace, while sharing resources and know-how. On the hunt for the perfect cultural and professional fit for your company? We at RemoteMore are here to help you. Simply browse among the almost 7000 prescreened remote developers' profiles and find what’s best for your team. We are also eager to add your candidature to our marketplace, so we can help you land your dream job as a remote IT specialist.
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