Team leads are the people in the companies who know how to manage remote teams. Some of them work with multilingual teams, some of them do not do it. This article will be a step-by-step guide for a team leader on managing multilingual remote teams.
The tendency of hiring remote multilingual teams did not just appear in 2020. It has been growing since the early 2000th when the massive spread of Internet connection began.
The survey of the PwC shows the more and more people would love to work remotely with a team from all over the world. The COVID-19 also exposed the business issues, problems of the companies:
- People who work in the offices spend more time chatting than bringing value to the company;
- The schedule where the workers have to be at the office five days per week is not that effective;
- The digitalization and automation of business processes are the way to a bright future.
We analyzed for you the tendencies of remote work. That is why we would like to share with you the best practices for managing multilingual teams.
Top Skills for Multilingual Remote Teams Successful Management
There are thousands of soft skills that you need to work with people. It is not always easy to learn them all. We picked for you the crucial ones to boost the productivity of your team.
Communication is The Key
Communication seems to be the easiest thing to learn for managing remote teams. The trick is that it is not always as simple as you may think. Team leads who work with multiple cultures and countries have to learn how to assign tasks effectively.
There are many courses on the Internet on how to improve your communication skills, but the core rules are here:
- Politeness and cultural awareness is a must;
- Listen to the members of your team and acknowledge their needs;
- Do not ghost your team members: it is the worst that a team leader can do.
Rules of communication are changing from time to time as long as the tools change more often. Let us take a look at some of them.
We all know that video calls are a must for successful online collaboration. Zoom is the most popular tool for such purposes. You can not overestimate the backgrounds for Zoom.
Whereby is a video calls tool that does not require installing anything. There you can share screens, have a video or audio chat. There are personal rooms for four free people. It makes the tools a handy choice for small teams.
Learn the Cultural Background and the Language of Your Team Members
It is easier to communicate with a person if you know the little things on how they accept and process the data. You can learn some basic Spanish words and phrases if you work with a Spanish-speaking team. It will make things simpler and more pleasant.
It is always nice to know that your team leads want to speak your language. We will show you some of the tools for quick language learning.
Duolingo is an application that helps to learn from one to fifty new words per day. It is perfect for your purpose: you repeat the vocabulary and use it at work. The promotion of your communication skills is guaranteed!
Tutors might help you more if you have a multilingual team. The productivity of your remote team depends on your ability to deliver values. Allow an online tutor to show you how to do it properly within one or another cultural context.
Time Management is a Must
We have to realize that when we work with a multilingual crew, we work with an international group of people. The remote workers from India have a slightly different time management system than the workers from the Netherlands.
You should get how to deal with that.
- Team members need to know about the deadlines;
- They need to have all the tools to follow the deadlines;
There are some cool tools for time management on the market. Come on and look through some of them:
Toggle is the best tool to track your time within a team. It has a pleasant and native interface, web version, and application. You can divide the time spent on different projects there, which is very handy.
Scoro is also a time management tool, but it has a broader scope of options. It is a whole universe of tools that will not help you manage your time but work as well.
These were the most efficient and crucial soft skills for the successful management of a multilingual remote team. We are halfway towards your success. That is why we will not stop.
Let us look at the rest of the skills that will help you and your team reach your goals.
Set Clear Goals
The team consists of different people from various cultural backgrounds who might have different views on the meanings of “quality” and “quantity.” That is why setting clear goals is a number one task for a team lead.
Many tools will help you with this challenge. Here are some of them.
Asana helps teams to get better results due to its whiteboards and kanbans. The application provides a free plan for five collaborators. It is an efficient way to start managing your multilingual remote team.
This tool is an old and proven way to manage a remote team. It was a popular instrument even in the pre-COVID-10 epoch. There you will find kanbans, time tracking tools. The overall impression of Trello is positive, and the reviews confirm that.
Make Your Team Feel Present
Make sure your team members feel like they are working on-site. It means that sometimes in remote work, there is a lack of informal communication. Water coolers used to be the place for chit-chatting, now there is a lack of it.
The rooms in your task management systems can have different purposes: create a space for chatting about anything. Make your team feel they have an opportunity to discuss the things they are interested in: from movies to work.
You can create a room for chit-chatting in Slack. The emojis, stickers – you can find all of that here. Communication has never been so easy with Slack.
Focus on the Goals
Staying focused on the big picture of the project is crucial for efficient work. Each team member has to understand why they are working.
Some members of your team concentrate on the micro-processes of the daily routine. You, as a team leader, have to understand what is going on in the big picture.
Make sure everyone on your remote multilingual team knows the others have accomplished. The team members also have to know what is the next big goal. The team has to reach the goals you set, not to fuzz about productivity. Some team members can not cope with the pace of the product development. Give them time and talk to them.
The dialogue can help solve communication issues. Reach your soft skill goals first and established the communication process.
The reward is an underestimated thing in modern companies and teams. It does not matter if you work with kind or adults – everyone loves to get rewarded.
Find a way to acknowledge the result of your team members works:
- Make a team call and discuss the achievements of your team. Stress on the tasks that boosted the overall state of the project;
- Create a monthly newsletter for the members of your team. Explain why the team managed to achieve so much in a friendly form;
- Celebrate the achievements together! Remote work doesn’t mean a lack of communication and shared activities.
The ways that you reward your team can be different. The sole and constant thing about it should be the friendly atmosphere. Make sure every member of your team feels welcomed.
Go to a Retreat
We know that it is a heavy part of managing teams now. There are still places you can go with your team! One time per six months or a year, choose a destination to visit with your team.
Rent several houses next to the seashore or get a car and go to the nearest lake. The stronger spirit of your team is, the better for the project and goals.
Bonus Tip: Build a Strong Work Culture
You can create a remote team culture from scratch. The culture is about the team of people who work together, not about the individuals.
Teamwork is the work of a whole mechanism culture is the glue that gets it all together.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer that will boost the cultural norms of every team in the world. Here are some core tricks that team leaders can use for improving the remote teamwork culture.
- Dialogue is a tool that solves many problems.Communication can not be underestimated in any way. It is crucial for every team to communicate because, without it, everything will fall apart.
Tips for Team Leads
Team leaders sometimes underestimate it. Make sure that the channels of communication and the frequency of calls are relevant to the tasks and the team you are managing.
Tet-a-tet calls are also needed when solving a problem or misunderstanding with your team member.
A comfortable time for the video call is issue number two in remote multilingual teams. Discuss the problem with the team, decide when they are ready to discuss the project with owners.
It is also crucial to set a scope of rules during these calls: no rudeness, no vulgar speech.
- You can not achieve a productive performance without the engagement of your team members. Presenting a project without visuals is a sign of poor engagement. Team leaders have to make sure their team members understand and enjoy what they see.
- Traditions are what make the crew stronger. It doesn’t matter the tradition of what country you choose. You can celebrate each culture! Pick some holidays that are celebrated in various parts of the world and do something about them!
- The personal space of every team member is the main component of keeping inner balance. You can not overdo it with the video and conference calls!
Respect the time that your team members spend with their families. The achievements of your team will reward your patience.
Remote work has been in favor of big and small teams for many years before the pandemic. The amount of time that team members spend online is increasing.
Choosing a comfortable place to work remotely is also a matter of great concern for the team members and leads. It should not matter which location you come from. The sense of belonging to a greater goal matters more than anything.
That is why we wanted to give you the last advice on how to manage the remote multilingual team.
Make a warm welcome to the new member of your team or a company. A cozy welcome and an adequate onboarding process is a crucial step for shifting to an excellent team member.
It is also hard to get used to a different firm and practices. Support your new remote and foreign hire: make a conference call and get all the team members and the bosses.
You also have to provide all the necessary tools and info for the newcomer. Give answers to all of their questions and be available. That is how the person will get on well with you and the other team members.
Make sure that the others treat each other with the same respect as you treat your team. You can solve any issue through dialogue and discussion. It is hard to acknowledge that the more you work on your personal development, the more you can give to your team.
Recognize and perform the following tips to get better results with your multilingual remote team. This way, you can easily create a friendly work atmosphere and boost the productivity of your team.