World today is a global village, and IT revolution has made this a predominant to re-emphasis the fact that “All the world’s a stage”… This means that there is a vast need to understand the geographic variations, cultural differences, country-wise legal and government regulations, different laws, different work ethics, widely varying business ethics and communication norms, multiple languages and various traditions leading to different holiday schedules, time zone differences and even in the mind set, focus and cultural values and food habits.
‘Unity in Diversity’ had been the strength of Indian Republic with multi languages and multi cultures meeting us with every 400 kilometers of Indian space. Same time, this has to be made much more important and understandable when the whole world becomes our stage for survival as Professionals.
10 Simple but powerful tips that would make you feel at ease when you work on multi-national projects
1. Flexibility is the most crucial factor. Be flexible to understand the multi-culture work environment and never be judgmental because of the personal qualities. Focus as a team
2. Diversity awareness is Key. It becomes very important to understand the various differences in terms of work timing, work patterns and respect each other’s cultural and religious needs.
3. Build teams with Open communication. Global workforce differs in the way they work. Whereas some more openly tell their opinions others may not indulge so. So try to establish clear communication process where everyone can contribute efficiently
4. No-No to Generalization. Even in in-house teams, there is absolutely no fragment for generalization. Each employee differs in the way they work and in productivity. Skill-sets and trainings can be common and generalized but only experience can group individuals with similar attitudes
5. Absolute Fairness. What stands out and towards excellence is the utmost fairness you deal with as part of the team. Be Professional and leadership can be assigned to people who can balance without being judgmental on race, culture or origin.
6. Sensitive to Other’s Culture. Today work environments succeed because there is absolute equality and sensitivity to other’s cultures. Encouraging business partners to follow their food habits and appreciate their festivals and celebrations in one way would ease things in professional front.
7. Adaptability to Change. Change is the only constant thing in this world. When organizations merge, acquire and transcend beyond boundaries, there is a possibility for resilience and vice versa. Quality to listen to other’s views and encourage participations will make things work.
8. Never impose the set of values. One side it is important to create an awareness of each other’s mutual trust and ease to work, same time it is very significant to understand that there is no absolute need to impose one’s set of values on the other. Processes differ and respect and integrate them with mutual understanding is very important.
9. Bridge communication gaps. Global teams have the challenges posed by different time zones and different working hours. So a very adaptable communication process is important to be laid from the beginning to bridge gaps and create camaraderie, work flow and mutual friendship that is very important when people work in long term projects across borders. Improving the inter-personal skills and encouraging team spirit and feeling of oneness as a team is important.
. Inspiration is important. Treating others they way you want to be treated, acceptable body language, focused motives and objectives of the team with their tasks and accountability and assigned responsibility inspires the teams to work with clear motivation. Achievable goals and recognition across globe promotes healthy teams towards projects’ success. Never allow any ethnic jokes or insults to be in the team. Support people who need special attention to get the required training and guidance. Though accent neutralization is an additional advantage, it is never made mandatory and people respect for your work and not for your accent, culture or race. So give importance to the Project Needs as a Team and make everything else a parcel towards a Global Delivery.
What make successful projects are the teams who understand these vital ingredients and balance their professional tasks and handling the cultural-multi-work environment’s inbuilt challenges. Those professionals are the ones who give in their best beyond their personal calling… It is the teamwork the makes Global Projects Successful stories.