You heave a sigh of relief and proceed to get down to business.
Your remote team is finally on board. Armed with task lists, you can’t wait to assign it to them.
But before you do, keep in mind that you may be collaborating with a multi-cultural team (a group of multi-racial virtual assistants), speaking different languages and having unique ethical values.
Did you know that there are ways to communicate and motivate your multi-cultural remote team?
Say what? But that didn’t come with the manual!
Before you panic, get yourself a good cup of joe, sit back, take a sip and relax.
What follows are helpful tips on dealing with a multi-cultural remote team.
Communicate in neutral tones. Choose words wisely.
Words said in a certain way may be offensive to some, but not to others.
Positive or negative comments are best said in a neutral tone. No emotions. Limit the use of emoticons. A smiley face is universally accepted.
Using “I” is better than saying “You”.
For example, “I think it is spelled this way….” sounds better than “You should spell it this way….”.
Simple words and sentences are easier to understand. Limit using compound sentences and punctuation marks.
Make sure to edit your messages to avoid being misunderstood.
Set boundaries and take note of international holidays.
Be aware of time zone differences. Notifications sent at odd hours could be interpreted as tasks that need to be done immediately.
Agree on work schedules where your team can work more effectively. Submit deliverables in consideration of their respective time zones and your prescribed deadlines.
Take note and respect your virtual assistant’s respective national, international or religious holidays.
This prevents workflow disruption.
You will also earn their respect.
Determine and use effective online communication tools. (Videoconferencing, Storage, Messenger, Chat, File Sharing, etc.)
Using familiar and reliable online communication tools between your remote team and yourself keep you connected.
Again, keep your messages short, clear and concise.
Free online videoconferencing software can sometimes be challenging due to unstable connection or unforeseen technical difficulties.
Have a back-up plan. Inform your virtual team about it too.
No one should be kept in the dark too long.
When on videoconference, be professional, but keep the conversation interesting. Address your team members by their names to encourage the virtual team to open up and get to know the other team members, as well.
Use this opportunity for the virtual team to build the team spirit and develop camaraderie.
Boost the morale of your virtual team.
Productivity increases when an employee’s morale is increased.
It works for virtual assistants too.
Positive feedback, especially when it is due, must be given without delay or reservation.
Let the other members of the virtual team know about it too. This will inspire others to step up and do a good job, so they too will expect a positive feedback.
Set targets, utilize a project management software to monitor progress, and be creative in giving “feel good” rewards.
It doesn’t have to be expensive—quarterly digital awards or badges or throwing a virtual party with games and cool prizes like a limited period of Netflix or Spotify subscription go a long way.
Communicating clearly and often enough, encouraging and embracing diversity and setting work guidelines at the onset, create a healthy working environment.
Yes, it works here too—Happy virtual team, Happy life.
One final tip, outsourcing makes sure that business owners don’t ever experience the work stoppage, or worse, replacing virtual assistants midstream, due to multicultural differences.
That’s just 5 out of more than a 15 or more rules and tips, that an entrepreneurs can do for their remote team.
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