Harvard Business School states that 89% of corporate employees work on at least one global team, and 62% have colleagues from three or more cultures. SHRM and Globalization Partners analyzed how global teams feel.
Surprisingly, they found no discernible difference in engagement, happiness, or satisfaction with compensation versus overall company statistics. However, one challenge stood out.
Feelings of connectedness, belonging, and inclusion diverged dramatically on global teams versus the organization as a whole.
Global teams are 15% less likely to report high or very high levels of connectedness.
We love the SPLIT framework Harvard professor Tsedal Neeley offers to global team leaders. The framework helps to identify and address five sources of ‘social distance’.
Here are example tips from Tsedal Neeley, but we encourage you to read the full study.
– “We are different yet one”. The team is a single entity. Leaders must foster respect to differences but look for ways to bridge them and build unity.
– Add “deliberate moments”. Initiate informal discussions about work and nonwork matters that allow team members to get to know their distant counterparts.
– Balance for inclusion. Keep track of who is/isn’t contributing and solicit participation from less fluent speakers (get dominant-language speakers to dial down if needed).
– Learn from one another. Don’t make assumptions about what behaviors mean. Ask a lot of questions before drawing conclusions.
– Choose format carefully. Use instant technologies to persuade others to adopt your viewpoint. Delayed methods are best for information sharing (and less disruptive).
Experiences for global teams
Global team leaders must help team members establish effective interactions.
Teamraderie offers 40 ‘international-ready’ experiences to help global teams feel more connected – look for experiences with the globe icon. Experiences (1) ship globally; (2) are available in global time zones; (3) respect cultural differences and preferences.