Leaders 'struggling' to connect with teams overseas

Stronger communication practices are essential as remote working becomes the new normal

Leaders 'struggling' to connect with teams overseas

Two-thirds of global companies are finding it challenging to align with local cultures and communication styles, especially when a company spans multiple geographies.

The new study found that global teams are struggling to make communications work for them with 46% of employees still relying most frequently on email – but only 31% find it effective.

This may be especially concerning as companies worldwide put in place remote working policies for the foreseeable future.

Globalization Partners Inc. found that more than 90% of employees who work for a global organisation describe their companies as diverse.

However, a lack of understanding by the organisations themselves around how to manage this growing disparate and diverse workforce means that three out of 10 employees don’t feel a sense of inclusion or belonging.

This negatively impacts employee engagement, trust, happiness, as well as staff turnover.

On the flipside, findings showed that organisations that embrace multilingualism see better team results across the board.

READ MORE: Leaders 'unprepared' to manage remote teams

How can leaders bridge the gap if teams struggle to feel connected to HQ? In a past interview, Karan Grewal, senior HR professional, shared tips from his experience managing multicultural, regional teams.

“You really need to adjust the way you deal with each individual market,” Grewal said. “We consider the local challenges that each market faces and we customise [our strategy]. We take a very contextualised approach.”

But above all, he said the key to navigating the vast differences in a multicultural organisation is this: having a diverse leadership team.

“The team that manages the entire region has to be very diverse,” he said.

He explained it in the context of his team in talent development.

“If everyone on my team is exactly like me, then it’s going to be a challenge,” he said. “As much as I can, I try to build a very diverse team around me, so that when we face a key challenge in a market, we’ll have several different points of views

“When every point of view is taken into consideration, we can make a better decision on how to address the challenge.

“It’s about building a diverse team – different races, genders, ages – so you’ll have a full 360 input.”

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