Before the days of the Internet, it was much more difficult for teams to be in different geographic locations and function efficiently. Those days are long gone thanks to technological advances in communication. Today, it is almost the norm for companies to have a global presence, but with it comes a whole set of different issues with employees and customers. Some of the most common pitfalls for many companies include:
- Time zones – If you’re spread across different countries, it can be difficult to find a time that works for everyone. The best way to combat this is knowing where each of your team members live and making sure everyone is aware of the different time variances. This carries over to your global customers as well. If you intend on providing excellent customer service you will need to provide support when they are available.
- Cultural differences – Every culture has their own set of customs and it’s important that you understand and respect them. If you’re just getting your feet wet in the global market, it’s important to do your research by reading articles, books or even talking to people willing to share their own experiences. This can go a long way in improving your internal and external relationships.
- Language barrier – There will naturally be some language barriers when dealing with international clients and employees. While it might not be feasible to learn every language, it is probably a good idea to have a couple points of contact that can speak your language and the second language fluently.
- Miscommunication – Even if you’re in the same room speaking to someone, there’s always a possibility for miscommunication. On a global scale, this problem is magnified. In order to combat this, make sure that you are as clear and concise as possible in your communication. Always have guidelines to which employees abide to. Make sure your emails and calls don’t stray and are as to-the-point as possible.
- Supervision – While you don’t need to micromanage your employees’ work schedules, you should encourage check-ins to ensure that everything is going smoothly. This includes making sure production is on track and that there aren’t any questions. It’s important you don’t come off as aggressive in your approach, otherwise they will find it harder to speak up if they are having problems.
You should also utilize the tools listed in the infographic to ensure your business runs smoother and more efficiently.