One of the main problems in a multinational company with subsidiaries all over the world is communication. The cultural differences and the fact that people from different backgrounds are forced to work together in the same environment and rhythm create a series of issues that, if left unaddressed, can lead to contract failures and partners losing their trust in you.
Still, how do the multinationals today manage to keep their teams together? By definition, a multinational will have employees from different cultures, with different convictions and view upon the world. How do they manage to keep all these differences outside the work place?
Well, one of the best ways to allow people to know each other and interact outside work is a teambuilding. Usually, this is a fun and educational activity that strengthens the bonds within the team. However, multinational companies do it a bit different, and this keeps the entire company afloat.
Source: By Ivanojedaq (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Team_Building_Lanzarote.JPG
Send the entire team
One secret to creating long-lasting relationships between employees from different cultures is to make sure you’re sending the entire team in a teambuilding session. For instance, if you decided to hire a few bilingual speakers from Russia in a team of Americans, the friction may be strong between members of the team since the cultural differences are accentuated by both language and way of life. That’s why is of extreme importance to make sure the whole team is participating in these activities.
By putting them together outside the work environment and making them collaborate in solving fun situations, your employee will get the chance to see each other as regular people and this will dissolve some of the differences and improve the collaboration.
Find an exciting location
It may be a bit expensive but an exotic location like the Caribbean islands or Indonesia will definitely make people more interested in participating. It’s best to make this experience as pleasant as possible instead of making it feel like another job thing employees are obliged to attend.
Make it fun
There are lots of games that increase collaboration within team members and build trust between employees. Still, these games must be fun and interactive, filled with energy and lots of action. This will relax any ego and will increase the efficiency of the entire exercise.
If you don’t have any ideas that you feel will work, you can always call a professional. There are lots of HR businesses that focus on creating cohesion and harmony in multinational teams that have deficiencies in getting along.
Address the issue
Most of the time, the differences between team members, appear because of cultural and religious barriers. However, if you manage to convince people to talk about themselves in front of team members and show that they are actually normal people with lives outside the job, families, and pedestrian activities, these barriers will melt. By knowing the person under those differences and understanding why he/she acts the way it does, it will be a lot easier for the rest of the team to accept them as who they are.
As you can see, teambuildings are very important, especially if you want a powerful team to support your business. However, this is not the only thing you should do. Activities like office fitouts and weekly meetings can also improve communication and collaboration within the team. As a manager over a multinational team you must always be prepared to listen and observe the small details.