Culture Resource Centre

Managing Remote and Diverse Teams

Remote and Diverse Teams

Managing Remote and Diverse Teams for a Finance Company
(2005 and ongoing)

Challenge
Managing remote and diverse teams within the Finance Industry involving Australia (HQ based in Sydney), UK, USA, India, Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore. Professionals work in teams that cross cultures, geographic distance and time zones. Some of the recurring challenges is that some teams don’t take accountability for their work and can’t seem to work autonomously on tasks, and that too much time is spent on managing these teams. Lack of timely reporting on quality issues or delays is another issue leading to complaints from internal customers. Meetings to discuss these issues don’t seem to make any difference and only lead to a stronger ‘us’ vs ‘them’ feeling. Missing deadlines, quality issues, and miscommunication leads to frustration, mistrust and resistance to collaborate and ultimately impacts the bottom line.

Interventions:

  1. Participants register to monthly scheduled training workshop in various locations (Australia, UK, USA, India, Hong Kong and Singapore).
  2. Participants assess their Intercultural Competence level to deal with the culturally diverse situation: strength and potential pitfalls explored. Participants receive confidential personal feedback report with recommendations for improvement.
  3. Participants fill in Training Needs Analysis to identify challenges, experiences and expectations of participants.
  4. Face-to-Face one-day training workshops
    – to increase cultural know-how, cultural behaviour and styles
    – to explore challenges and experiences
    – action planning around individual and team cultural competence
    – developing of work and communication practices following our reconciliation process defining dilemmas and integrating cultural gaps
  5. Participants complete Training Feedback Analysis and reports are shared with organisation and contact persons.

Results:
The Feedback is that the ‘Managing Remote and Diverse Teams’ Training Workshop outcomes can be immediately applied in daily work situations and participants actively try to change work practices to better integrate requirements in a virtual, culturally diverse setting. Management is extremely happy as they see a change in attitudes and behaviour leading to a strong ‘one-team’ feeling. What originally started as a number of one-off training workshops has being transferred into bimonthly in-house training courses. We facilitated similar training workshops in USA (collaboration with our International network colleagues), UK, India, Hong Kong and Singapore.

We have various ongoing cultural competence training projects for corporate clients from different industries with subsidiaries based in Asia, Europe and the US.