Teams are the backbone of any organization. A company's productivity relies on cooperation and support between team members. With globalization, most teams are dispersed and located in different geographical areas. Team members must collaborate to complete the work through virtual communication mediums and work collaboration tools. Improving team effort and interpersonal communication is always challenging for diverse cross-cultural teams. Cultural sensitivity and a good grasp of communication techniques are vital for any team member. Every company must focus on ensuring workplace diversity to bring in different knowledge, expertise, and work experiences.
The fundamental essence of teamwork has evolved a lot from past practices. Numerous challenges, like language barriers, remote members, and cultural differences, affect team collaboration. There are many issues the managers and the team leaders have to face while communicating with a group of diverse people. Inclusivity and acceptance of cultural diversity in the workplace are the main attributes of a high-performing team and a reflection of the brand. Let us discuss various problems cross-cultural teams face and how virtual team-building activities for employees can help in this situation.
There are several challenges associated with managing cross-cultural teams, which can increase disruption. Some of these challenges are listed below:
- Language Barriers - Given the culturally diverse group of people, language can be a problem. Unfamiliarity with each other's language can significantly affect the ease of interpersonal communication and hamper the sharing of information in a linguistically diverse team. Communication can be a hindrance in this case unless employees are trained with the help of different team-building business games to develop their common communication medium.
- Cultural Differences - India is a diverse country with different cultures, traditions, beliefs, and rituals. Therefore, managing culturally diverse groups can be an issue if you are not culturally sensitive. Cultural differences can be confusing and can cause a lack of unity.
- Technical Issues - With the technological revolution, every team member must be trained in the advanced technology and tools used by the company. Diverse teams can utilize electronic communication modes to facilitate a smooth working environment. An employee who is not comfortable with the technology may not be able to communicate properly or complete the assigned tasks on time.
- Decision-making and Team Motivation - The two most important challenges in an organization are decision-making and motivating your team to work harder. Leaders in charge of cross-cultural teams must put in extra effort to encourage their team members. Each member might have different strengths, weaknesses, and motivations that must be aligned with the shared organizational goals. Decision-making can be daunting if everyone is not aligned with the company goals or the criticality of the situation.
- Team Building Business Games - Virtual team building activities for employees are one of the most effective tools to build team rapport and collaboration. These virtual games can enable employees to increase communication with their colleagues. Here, employees have to solve issues based on real-life scenarios with limited resources at their disposal. With the help of these virtual games, they learn new techniques in communication and improve their working styles. Employees also learn how to make effective decisions in critical situations. Further, team-building business games can enhance cooperation and collaboration between team members in different geographical regions.
- Recognize Cultural Differences - According to researchers, members must build their cultural knowledge and accept internal differences as a sign of a healthy workplace environment. It will benefit organizations if employees recognize the importance of cultural differences for inclusive work culture. It can also improve interpersonal communication and creativity by ensuring cordial employee engagement among people of different experiences.
- Use Different Communication Techniques - Virtual team building activities for employees provide valuable insight and knowledge about different communication techniques. It is essential to supplement verbal communication using non-verbal cues with diverse cross-cultural teams. These can be motivational techniques that can help build interpersonal relationships.
- Consideration of Geographical Boundaries - Companies must consider the time zones before organizing a virtual meeting. For every meeting, the team members should be alert, and companies must decide on a mutually agreed time convenient for involved parties to ensure maximum productivity.
- Feedback - One of the important tools for managing cross-cultural teams is providing proper feedback. This is a two-way process, and employees should be comfortable voicing their opinions. Feedback will allow both parties to develop their skills further by understanding the possible gaps. Also, leaders should be open with their employees and provide honest opinions while practicing empathy.
Managing diverse cross-cultural teams can be challenging if leaders are not using proper communication techniques and training methods to enhance collaboration. It is vital to optimizing the collaboration and cooperation between team members to increase productivity. Problems of cross-cultural teams relate to a lack of communication and cultural sensitivity. These factors can be mitigated with the help of virtual team-building business games that enable participants to increase their interpersonal communication and working relationships.