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Effective Communication in Global or Dispersed Teams

By | 2020-02-28T06:23:50+00:00 February 28th, 2020|

Thanks to a global trend of technological advancement, many professionals are able to contribute excellent work from just about anywhere with an Internet connection. In fact, 67% of small businesses reporting having a remote team member who working a significant portion of the time remotely, according to Upwork’s Future Workforce Report, which examines US business hiring practices. 

As businesses seek specialized skills (which, according to Upwork’s Report, is most businesses, at 64%), it’s likely they’ll turn to outsourced corporate development options to source talent from the richest talent pools. In other words, if businesses were dispersed before, in the future, it’s likely they’ll be even more so.

Research dispersed teams, and you’ll quickly find the communication challenges top the charts as one of the biggest issues for distributed teams. Lack of information from management and a lagging information stream were key issues remote employees cited in a study by Zogby Analytics.

In order for businesses to get dispersed teams right, effective communication is crucial. 

Here, we look at some practical ways to cultivate effective communication across your business to ensure employee efficiency and satisfaction stays at its highest potential. 

Managing communication with outsourced product development services

Whether your business is using offshore vs onshore software development, you can keep your commitment to agile software development no matter where in the world employees sit.  Follow these 5 best practices for effective communication:

    1. Have a plan. Employing dispersed teams means weaving a variety of cultures, customs, and perspectives into your business, and everyone may approach communication a little differently. Head off any potential mishaps by developing a clear communication strategy that addresses:
      • Establish a common language (‘lingua franca’) that should be used as default. 
      • Define project-specific terms in a documented dictionary
      • Name preferred channels of communication and define when each is appropriate for use. 
      • Implement project management and communication software that support your strategy

    2. Get personal. No, we’re not suggesting you cross any professional boundaries here, but we are suggesting your business intentionally facilitates virtual team building activities. While dispersed teams may not be able to play a round of mini-golf together, they can share friendly banter and fun facts in a team room or on a team page that helps build relationships. Not only can this help boost morale on an average day, but it can also facilitate better partnerships across cultures and borders when employees have established personal relationships. Think of this way: you’re probably more likely to go above and beyond for someone when you know you have a shared love of vintage comic books than if you only know their username.

    3. Talk about diversity. Cultural norms and perspectives on human behavior are different. And if businesses don’t proactively talk about those differences, it can result in uncomfortable situations. In addition to making it clear that cultural insensitivity is simply unacceptable, business leaders should help raise awareness about differences so employees better understand how to work together. Make eye contact for example. In some places, maintaining eye contact can signify aggression, but in others, good eye content can indicate honestly.

    4. Provide regular feedback to everyone. Often, it’s easy for managers to swing by an employee’s desk and provide some casual feedback or ask how things are going. For remote employers, managers may need to be more diligent, but should check-in, both formally and casually, just as often as they do with employees they share an office with.

    5. Embrace technology. Don’t shy away from the wealth of options technology can offer businesses to make this easier. Myriad applications can make communication infinitely easier, whether your business needs a capable project management tool or a sophisticated customer relationship management software. 

We’re here to support all your technology needs. At TechGenies, we’ve been helping our clients develop world-class software solutions for more than 14 years, and with offices dispersed across the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Philippines, India, and the Middle East, we know a thing or two about how to communicate well in dispersed teams. Whether your business is looking for IT staff augmentation or QA testing services, we’re committed to clear communication every step of the way. Start the conversation today at info@techgenies.com

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