Some of the main challenges include not enough overlapping time during the day due to time zone differences, leading to weaker relationships and more miscommunication; lack of trust resulting from minimal face-time (in-person or virtual); and misunderstood communication styles stemming from cultural differences.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are three best practices that can be implemented immediately to address these challenges:
- 1. Set expectations: Setting expectations sets you up for success. When a manager is clear with their team about what they expect (be it work hours, what a work product should look like, or how they like to be communicated with) it’s much easier to hold people accountable, address missed expectations and be aligned. While it’s most natural to set expectations with a new employee, it’s encouraged to set and re-set expectations on the regular to make sure you’re on the same page.
- 2. Have your 1:1: Your 1:1 is your most important tools as a manager. Yet, so often 1:1s get cancelled, de-prioritized or overrun by other meetings. The 1:1 meeting is the manager’s opportunity to check-in with their team member – and not just about tasks. It’s a place to raise challenges, celebrate successes, discuss career development, and develop that trust that is foundational to a good relationship. Encourage your team member to come to you with the agenda (this way you don’t have to guess what’s on their mind), and even if you have “nothing to talk about” don’t cancel the meeting. You can always chat about things outside of work, which is important to building your relationship.
- 3. Ask for feedback: Feedback is an opportunity to understand how things are going. There’s much talk about giving our team members ongoing feedback (which is important!) and we also want to be asking for ongoing feedback. This always lets you to get a pulse check about how things are going, keep doing what’s working well and adjust course if necessary.
The three practices above are routed in communication. When it comes to virtual and global management, there is not such thing as too much communication. Make it a priority to do these things with your team, and you are guaranteed to notice a difference.
Do you want to raise the level of effective global management? Click here to Book a consultation meeting with Aya Lahmi, CEO of AL Consultants, For tailor-made management training solutions.