Global Teams That Work: Make Yours Work Now!

In today’s digital age, the work environment has changed a lot. Instead of a typical go-to office, teams are now global. After the Covid-19 pandemic, the global team phenomenon has become a necessary part of every organization.

But new things give rise to new challenges. Often teams are finding it challenging to make this global team culture work.

If you are looking for ways to improve your global team, you can read on. But first, let me explain this new global crew phenomenon.


What Exactly Is a “Global Team”?

A global team means a team that has professionals working remotely from different parts of the world.

There are a lot of factors involved in making this phenomenon work. There are geographically dispersed team members from multiple time zones, different cultures, using various communication channels. 

Making global teams work has its own level of effort. Let’s talk about a few examples.


5 Global Teams that Make Remote Working Seem Like a Piece of Cake

  1. HubSpot

    Hubspot

    Co-founded between two friends initially, HubSpot is now a global powerhouse with people working from almost all continents. With more than 50,000 clients who use HubSpot for their marketing, sales, and support services, HubSpot had to diversify early and set up global teams that work.

    With global offices in 25 cities, HubSpot makes sure to know the global crew members despite the distance and different time zones. They also hold lots of conferences and invite their teammates to talk to different teams and collaborate. This helps build confidence and better working relations.

  2. IBM

    IBM

    With more than 200,000 people working under the IBM umbrella, IBM is an excellent example of creating global teams that work.  IBM has created a time free zone for their offices, where teams can work on any timezone they find themselves the most productive.

    That’s why they have adopted a result-oriented work environment rather than a time-based work schedule i.e the performance is measured based on the result and not on how much someone spends in the office. 

    Using a collaborative platform to communicate with other team members also makes sure the company stays on track and works efficiently.

  3. Google

    Google

    Google needs no introduction. Google’s parent company “Alphabet” has dozens of projects their global teams are working on. 

    With over 118,899 full-time employees working from hundreds of offices worldwide, Google had to adapt this global team’s workflow, where employees have to communicate with each other from different time zones.

    To avoid any miscommunication, Google devised communication rules and protocols a person has to follow while talking to colleagues. 

  4. GE

    GE

    General Electric has been running global teams for about 100 years now. It has more than 90,000 employees around the globe, including technical people. GE believed a great way to increase productivity is to train team leaders and employees.

    That is why they heavily invested in training. GE showed the world that e-learning is a great way to increase global crew’s productivity and collaboration.

  5. SAP

    SAP

    SAP is one of the largest enterprise software solutions in the market. Their team works from 60 different countries for a common goal.

    SAP has divided its offices based on expertise and experience. Managers can build a team by picking up people from each office based on their expertise. That way, each task has a well-rounded team working for the common goal, with access to expert opinion on every required matter.

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7 Tips to Make Your Global Team Work

global teams that work
  1. Keep the teams united:

    Often employees tend to feel as a unit only with the other team members in the same office or a region. This adds me vs. you feel for other teams of the company.

    The team leader has to make sure all teams are connected and feel like the same unit, rather than different units working against each other.

    Keep the teams united for the same purpose, keep reminding all of the global teams of one shared goal. 

  2. Give them a Platform

    Give your team a platform to talk to you and share their concerns. It is more like a contact us where company employees can freely speak and share their problems without the need for small talk. This helps reduce grievances by any team member and increases employee engagement.

  3. Create a Knowledge Base

    The most common issue faced by global teams is sharing of knowledge and communication with everyone. As each team is working in their own time zone and expertise, often required business info needs communication with teams from other regions of the world. That adds delays, miscommunication, differences, and other complications.

    CloudTutorial is a perfect solution for this problem. Keeping internal knowledge base in mind, (CloudTutorial) helps create:

    • Articles for commonly asked questions.
    • Training material
    • Complete user guides

    With CloudTutorials advanced text editor, you can create helpful training articles without the need to switch between text editors.

    TCT’s AI-based search engine helps search and display the required information when needed. It even takes care of typos by understanding what the user was trying to search.

    Forms can also be added at the end of each article for team members to ask questions and add comments. A feedback system is also added where the workforce can share if the article was helpful or needs modification.

    You can also assign multiple roles to a single user, as a manager in a team can be a content creator in another project. This helps manage multiple projects using a single account.

    TCT analytics can help us see problems in the created content. You can analyze things like how many users have read a specific part of the article or skipped it. What are the most commonly asked questions by the staff, or what information is searched the most? 

    Unlike other knowledge bases, you can use this Knowledge base for multiple projects and websites.

    Using TCT will help increase teamwork and engage workers in a positive learning manner, giving them the feeling of a single workplace.

    Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.

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  4. Reduce the language barrier

    While working with multiple teams in multiple regions, you might feel the difference in their speaking skills. Some teams prefer to work and hold meetings in their own preferred language. Native speakers need to understand and talk slowly so everyone can catch what they are saying; this should be a part of company policy. 

    A small training session should also be held and guide native speakers on how to talk to other teams, use common words, and avoid using slang.

    Give the non-native team members special time to talk to in the meetings and encourage them to make comments. Be patient talking to that person, they might be speaking slowly, but being an expert in their field, their feedback is essential.

  5. Lead by example

    Lead everyone with your own example. Employees with different languages and challenges often get confused because of different cultures. Lead them by showing what is appropriate, How to deal with different languages, make small talk, share ideas about a product, give examples of other companies, and try to understand their culture.

    An emotional connection, and sharing the same goal, can make or break global teams. Make eye contact, share news, try to make the teamwork ideal for everyone.

  6. Use appropriate tools

    Technology has made working quite an easy task globally. Use tools to enhance communication, assign tasks, train new staff members, create virtual places for employees to hang out and talk freely. Studies show that 87% of high-performance companies use software tools for project management.

  7. Keep it lite

    Most importantly, keep your work environment fun and lite. 

    Fact: Happy employees are 12% more productive than the rest. (source)

    Let everyone express themselves and share their culture. Use gifs and avatars to make your day to day communication a little informal.


FAQs

Project management tools like JIRA, Trello, e.t.c help manage global teams with efficiency. Similarly, CloudTutorial helps manage the knowledge base and shares knowledge efficiently.
Studies have shown that if people have best friends at work, they are more likely to work hard and more. That is why personal connections are important as it helps teamwork more efficiently.
Arranging a one-to-one coffee meeting every month helps everyone get to know like minded people. This helps create friendships, hence a better environment.

Conclusion

In today’s day and age, when the world is like a global village, the importance of global teams has increased. With the Covid-19 pandemic news, more and more companies are trying to focus on global teams working remotely. If you want to become a success story like IBM, Google and SAP, you have to follow a few rules:

  • Keep your teams united and focused on a single goal.
  • Give them a platform to talk freely without any formal needs.
  • Create a knowledge base with tools like CloudTutorial to help reduce the communication gap.
  • Reduce the language barrier by training native speakers to speak slowly.
  • Lead by example.
  • Use appropriate tools to enhance the work efficiency.
  • Most importantly, keep the atmosphere lite as it is statistically proven that teams with a happy culture work better.

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