Your designer is in Russia, most of your mobile developers are in Vietnam, and your web development or tech support team is in India.
How do you possibly train, manage, and retain globally diverse team like that? How do you account for differences in time zones, cultural nuances, and varying personality types?
Managing a single team, in one single location is hard enough. How does it feel like to manage a team where every member comes from a different set up?
Welcome to the world of virtual work, outsourcing, and remote team management. Here are a few tips to help manage global teams virtually and easily:
Let the word “remote” not fool you
Employers are often guilty of putting outsourcing teams into a silo. Much like the importance one kid gets over another in the same family, outsourced resources are often thought of (and also treated as) disposable assets. If you look at it objectively, outsourced resources should get all the importance, care, and support in a team.
Outsourced resources are experienced, most of them don’t need extensive training or hands-on support, If you manage to find the right people for your globally strewn team, you’ll realize that they put in more effort, dedication, time, and resources for you than full-time employees do.
Yet, they don’t get the importance they deserve. Just because they are remote and they aren’t in the same office as you do. They don’t get to have lunch with you. Do they?
This should change. You ought to give them the importance. If you don’t, they’ll find a better client or employer to work for.
It’s not about the hours, and it’s not about the pay
Say your business is based out of Copenhagen, and your remote team is all over the globe. You’d begin to think that if you paid $3.350 per month for an Indian .Net developer, you might be doing them a great favor (thanks to the differences in the cost of living). But you forget that they are people and not everyone is motivated by Money.
Dan Pink’s book Drive reveals that while it’s obvious to think that people are motivated by money, rewards, and bonuses, it’s not true. Dan dedicates an entire book to reveal that surprisingly, people aren’t motivated by money as much as we think they do.
It’s not about the pay packet. It’s not about the hourly price. It’s about “buy in”. It’s about intrinsic motivation.
It’s always your fault
Blame game is easy. We do it very often with colleagues, bosses, clients, and personal relationships. With remote teams too, the blame is almost always directed to the team member and not the client or the employer.
The fact is this: no one gets anywhere with the blame game. If your team isn’t getting together well, if differences crop up, or if work seems to have stuck at a wall.
It’s hard for you to accept this but you aren’t doing anyone a favor by hiring them to work on your projects. Like all relationships, this takes hard work too. There’s a constant cycle of training, handholding, and “selling” your vision to your team.
That’s why they call it leadership. It doesn’t come easy, and not everyone can do it.
Where’s that accountability?
Teams – whether on-site or remote – need accountability. Without that, you’d rather have a circus instead of anything that resembles a team.
To make teams accountable, however, you’d have to drive in a sense of responsibility into each member. Everyone working for you should “feel’ the vision, “know” how their work contributes to the whole picture, and actually feel important while doing it.
Whose job is it to make them feel that way? Yours. Whose job is it to make sure they feel “connected, important, wanted, and celebrated”? Yours.
Don’t you go blaming that outsourcing won’t work or that remote teams aren’t dependable.
How do you manage your globally diverse team?