Have you hired international workers lately? And successfully avoided the pitfalls of international recruitment? Then, you’re now ready to manage a multicultural team!

Multiculturality and diversity are powerful assets for your company. According to McKinsey, businesses with more racially and ethnically diverse workforces have a 35% performance advantage over those that are homogeneous.

However, the struggle of managing a multicultural team is nothing new. Due to cultural differences, languages or even time zones, there might be obstacles to overcome when managing a multicultural team.

In order to keep the group cohesive over the long term, you must do your best to make everyone feel comfortable.

Here are our tips & tricks to successfully manage a multicultural team!

#1 Be Open to All Cultures and Differences

Every culture has its own communication style, such as speaking patterns and nonverbal communication. It’s crucial to understand your colleague’s culture and act according to it.

To manage a multicultural team, you should adapt your management style to each member of your team. To do so, you must show great adaptability and forget about a single managerial style. Indeed, you should opt for a situational management style which adapts to every culture, age, skill and personality.

Valuing differences will help you to build a bond of trust with your team. Identify differences, accept them, explain them and make them a strength.

Pay close attention to direct and indirect communication ways. An indirect communicator (such as Japanese) will try to point their view the best way while a direct communicator (such as Americans) will go straight to the point. If the communication method is inappropriate, the person you’re talking to could be offended.

As a manager, you must take the time to read and learn about the cultural specificities of your team members. This will surely help the internal communication process.

#2 Build a bond of trust

Creating a bond of trust and enhancing mutual respect is essential for the cohesion of a multicultural team. All your team members must share and apply the values of understanding and respect to avoid any potential conflict. If a conflict arises because of the language barrier for instance, you will have to act as an intermediary while respecting the cultures of each one.  

To build trust within your team, encourage speaking up and communicating verbally. Be aware of any signs of misunderstanding and don’t let it fester. You can hold regular one-on-one meetings with your employees to ensure their well-being.

Finally, for team cohesion, do not hesitate to propose team building activities or moments of sharing that are not work related. This will strengthen the bonds between all members.

#3 Ensure your organisation is compliant with all regulations.

As an employer, you are probably aware of employer rules and regulations. That’s why it is important to stay up to date with the employment laws, especially if you hire in different countries.

Payroll tax filing is compulsory. Failing to submit salary taxes can lead to penalties. These are things you need to think about!

To avoid any discrepancy, make sure to:

  • Have a local payroll and HR expertise.
  • Stay up to date with trends and upcoming changes.
  • Keep up to date with a country’s regulations such as tax scales, social security contributions rates and so on.

Ensuring compliance will also reduce the risk of conflict with your employees.

A good tip is to work with a global payroll provider who can advise you on regulatory changes and ensure accurate payroll in each country.

#4 Consider time zone and plan projects according to it.

If you manage a multicultural team, you’re likely to juggle several time zones.

For that, you need to organise your work properly and make plans according to the different time zones your teammates might work in.

Be mindful of other teammates working hours. If your global team feels like their schedule is respected, morale and motivation will be high. Such things will boost productivity and your team’s overall performance.

To avoid any conflict regarding the time zone and to be more productive, we advise you to use time management apps. They will help you keep track of any project.

#5 Invest in project management tools

Having a quick and efficient project management tool will significantly help you manage remote multicultural teams.

With such a tool, it will be easy to organise video calls for meetings or brainstorming or work on shared documents. Choosing an appropriate project management tool is essential for your team’s productivity.  Make sure that all of the team have access to these tools and know how to use them.

#6 Free up time for video calls

Although your team lives and works in different locations, it’s better to talk face to face. You should schedule time to meet with your team to see and discuss how each member is doing with their tasks. You can also organize unformal video calls such as coffee breaks to strengthen team cohesion.

Many types of video conferencing tools exist such as Microsoft Team, Skype or Zoom which make such a process easier.



This post was written by Novative. They are an exhibitor on the HRTech247 Payroll, Time & Attendance floor in the Technology Hall here.