It can be hard enough to successfully manage a team when you're all in the same office and misunderstandings can be sorted out immediately. If you're having to lead a team spread across different locations and even time zones, it is hardly surprising that communication can break down and mistrust ensue. Here's how to manage a global team without having to be on the road all the time…
- Use all the technology available – Skype, FaceTime, instant messaging – to stay in touch.
- Share and share alike; make sure you connect in their time zone, as well as vice versa.
- If you travel to your team's region, ask them to construct the agenda for you, not the other way around. It's their turf.
- Check in weekly on the phone with each report – even if only for 15 minutes.
- Once a year, somehow get the whole team together somewhere. It's important to be able to communicate face to face.
- Focus on delivery, not on who's at their desk at what time of the day… you can't see them anyway – you might even be asleep half the time they're in the office.