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5 Ways to Respect Cultural Differences While Leading a Global Team

Global teams provide rich talent due to the wide range of experiences, skill sets and ideas that your employees are able to share. As a leader with a diverse and global team, it's vital to focus on respecting the cultural differences of your employees to ensure management runs smoothly.

Hiring globally also helps your organisation become a more sought-after place to work. But don’t worry, we are well aware of the huge responsibilities that come with running a global team. You need to be prepared to have many different opinions that could potentially clash. Not to mention the responsibility you have to resolve conflicts and issues that arise.

This is why we have listed our top 5 ways to respect cultural differences as you lead your global team.

1. Allow flexibility around traditions

It’s important to focus on the universal values your employees hold. Be flexible with time zones, holidays and deadlines that fit around everyone's culture. Ensure you have the means to be considerate of your employees' requirements. For example, offering paid time off for your employees that celebrate religious holidays. Consider including prayer/meditation facilities in the workplace. You can even include the wider organisation to join company-wide celebrations of peoples cultures. This will provide a feeling of respect and inclusion, creating a more positive work culture.

2. Ensure your work culture is transparent

The truth is, leading a global team will always come with its challenges. This is where transparency comes into play. Be clear when speaking to your employees. When sending communications, ensure you’re using the correct wording, and sharing the right information with the wider organisation. Always work with a diverse team so you understand more about how to approach this. You should also allow your employees to voice their opinions and speak up about anything that may concern them. Follow up on any feedback you receive.

3. Encourage networking

Provide the opportunity to learn from each other. You can host company events, webinars and discussion panels based on celebrating the different cultures in your organisation. Another idea is having smaller in-office monthly networking meetings that encourage each other to meet and share experiences, and cultural values and discuss this in a safe, inclusive environment.

4. Lead with humility, care & thought

As a leader when you actively listen and then speak, you will be able to identify the context surrounding what an employee is sharing. Becoming an excellent listener in conversations about culture will prove you are a respectful, courteous and professional leader. Diverse and inclusive teams perform better with the right leadership. The best way to support this is by allowing your team to inspire you too!

5. Never stop asking questions!

Lead with curiosity. When you ask questions, show interest and get involved in conversations about culture and diversity. By doing this, you will be known as a compassionate leader. In our humble opinion, the more you know about your employees the better. Carve out time to understand them in work, and even their hobbies, family and passions outside of work. This will make your management approach easier as you will have a better understanding of who is working with you and how you can adhere to their needs.

We know the challenges leaders can face while managing a global team. Even if you have plenty of experience, you can still face challenges that require help to resolve.

We offer mentoring services, 1:1 consulting sessions and even group sessions to help you strengthen your leadership skills in this area.

Contact us for a no-obligation discussion today.


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