Employee engagement can be challenging when you are leading teams in the same region, let alone globally.
Here are some tips I have gained from my experience of leading global teams.
1. Time Zone Friendly
People unconsciously set up meetings outside of regular working hours for colleagues in other regions, especially ASIA PAC. It is one of my friend’s pet hates when she worked in Singapore.
Ensure that your global teams are aware of other time zones when they set up meetings.
If the meetings have to span time unfriendly timezones, then ensure people take it in turns to stay up late or get up early to attend. Lead by example and get up early or stay late to ensure your meetings are time-zone friendly for others.
2. Inclusive Decisions
Teams in other regions can feel isolated from global decisions when they are in a different region from you. They may think that only people in your region get to influence your decisions. Include global teams in your decision making and ensure they feel part of these important global decisions.
3. Face to Face
I always found that face to face meetings are far more effective than any electronic medium. I, therefore, made sure I would meet my global teams face to face at least once a year.
When you travel to another office, your teams will want to see you and spend time with you. So, make sure you plan and spend as much time as you can with each of them.
- Question and answer sessions allow you to outline what is happening globally and answer any questions and concerns people have.
- One to one sessions with each team member will allow them to raise private questions and provide valuable feedback. Make sure you provide a safe environment for them to do so.
- A social event will allow you to spend time with your teams outside the office and get to know more about them.
Make sure you keep a list of commitments you have made and ensure you close these out as soon as possible.
4. Create Local Opportunities
Finding opportunities for your global teams can be difficult from afar. Finding senior champions & mentors for your teams in their region can expose them to opportunities you as a global leader will not be aware of.
5. Remove Local Impediments
On occasions, your global strategy and vision may clash with a strategy put in place by local management or stakeholders. By partnering with local leaders and finding a way forward together can remove any local impediments that your teams may face in the region.
Bonus – Cultural Awareness
As a global leader, it is essential to understand and embrace the cultural differences of people working in your global teams. Taking time to understand cultures and change your style accordingly will be recognised by others you interact with.
An excellent free source of cultural awareness for many regions can be found at http://www.commisceo-global.com/country-guides
Your Next Step
Which one of these proven strategies will you implement over the next two weeks?
Your Virtual Coach