How to manage a multicultural team

Set clear expectations and rules and communicate them — A clear sense of direction and purpose is important for every individual and improves the effectiveness any one group can achieve. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Cultural differences in teams

For these and other reasons, multicultural workforces are known to be more productive and, as this article in Fast Company says, more creative. Be curious, create safety and empower each team member to create alignment. Native speakers should be the mediator to ensure a mutual understanding. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Only when you are clear about your cultural profile and how it influences your work, your communication style, feelings and actions, can you direct your team. Research has previously shown however that as diversity increases, the coordination costs increase too. Companies with multicultural teams should proactively accommodate different work schedules e. One size does not fit all, so get to know the people you operate with. While the ideas that come out of global collaboration only increase our level of innovation, a multicultural atmosphere must be managed appropriately. Kristin Behfar, a professor at the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation , determined that in addition to the usual problems teams face — such as how to expend resources, how to solve problems, and confrontation — multicultural teams face a unique set of challenges. However, when it comes to a multicultural team spread across the globe, managing such a diverse squad can sometimes be difficult. You should also work to understand values and motivations. Leading a multicultural team successfully requires competencies that go well beyond the technical knowledge and the leadership qualities usually required.

For example, if the percentage of newly hired women has increased during the year, yet all newly hired women work in the same department, this increase only translates to growing department diversity, not company diversity.

Owen Gough A generation ago, most organisations employed a workforce that was representative of their geography. The right personalities With this study suggesting that multicultural teams are more creative and productive, perhaps the next question is what can organizations do to capitalize on this finding?

This trend towards increasingly multicultural teams not only benefits us as individuals, but the diversity brings innumerable benefits to us collectively.

managing a multicultural workforce

You should also work to understand values and motivations. Avoid creating artificial divisions. Create the norm that asking someone to repeat themselves is not offensive, especially when it comes to a heavy accent. To be effective, leaders of multicultural teams need: A high level of cultural flexibility Robust ambiguity tolerance Low levels of ethnocentrism These intercultural competencies are best learned through cross-cultural training combined with personal work experience e.

5 essentials to managing multicultural teams

Do I qualify? Consequently, managers are required to deal with challenges, friction, and misunderstandings stemming from intercultural communication differences. Face Time Try and communicate with your team face-to-face as much as you can. The marketplace for talent in business is global, even for small businesses. A McKinsey report found that those in the top 25 percent for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their industry average. Nothing replaces face-to-face communication, as it allows you to read body language, assess levels of understanding, and build relationships. Or, they're not sure how to broach a question related to diversity issues. Read More. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Kristin Behfar, a professor at the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation , determined that in addition to the usual problems teams face — such as how to expend resources, how to solve problems, and confrontation — multicultural teams face a unique set of challenges. Finally, be sensitive to the perceived "status" of a country — the U. Intervene only when necessary, get the team back on track, enable and empower them to deal with future challenges on their own. But weekly team video chats are. Multicultural workforces are how the very best ideas are born and solid executions are formed. You should also work to understand values and motivations.

Cross-cultural discussions offer an opportunity to combine strengths, build trust, and foster good working relationships with key teammates and stakeholders. J Chua, Harvard Business School To truly reap the benefits of a diverse workforce, we need to promote and evaluate diversity at the team level.

Managing multicultural teams ppt

Another challenge that can occur is reliance upon different communication codes and decision-making approaches. Expertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. The researchers cautioned against speaking a certain language in the office unless everyone is fluent in it. Instead, good team managers get to know the individual and his or her style and preferences. If they come from a culture where saving face is important, consider delivering feedback in private. It's easy to assume that cultural insiders would be much more effective brokers than outsiders, but the evidence didn't support that. Take time to get curious by doing some research around the areas of diversity that your team brings to the table, and start viewing the richness as an opportunity to generate new ideas, methods and tactics that give your company an edge. Native speakers should be the mediator to ensure a mutual understanding. The best managers, true leaders , know how to shape their message individually to maximize the effort from each team member. Much like golf clubs that manage the course and shape each shot, management style must also adapt to create an effective landscape. For example, if the percentage of newly hired women has increased during the year, yet all newly hired women work in the same department, this increase only translates to growing department diversity, not company diversity.

And remember, reward and recognition for a job well done is not a one size fits all.

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How to Best Lead a Multicultural or International Team