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How to lead a global remote team

how to lead a global remote team
As the popularity of remote working increases, so too does the importance of effective global leadership. With access to an incredible global talent pool, HR managers and business leaders can make small adjustments to nurture and retain the best workers. 

Challenges come in the form of adapting to different cultural contexts and time zones, as well as having a dispersed team. Here's how to navigate these challenges effectively.
 

What is global leadership?

Global leadership is the ability to lead and manage a team that operates across different cultures, countries and time zones. Just like traditional leadership, it involves inspiring one's team to action. But in a global context, the ability to communicate, build relationships and work with a range of personalities becomes even more important. 
 

How can managers lead a global remote team effectively? 

Here are some key considerations for HR managers and business leaders who want to improve their global leadership skills:
 

Develop cultural intelligence

Cultural intelligence is the ability to understand different cultural contexts. 

This involves learning about different cultures, customs, and values and adapting leadership styles accordingly.

For example, what might be considered blunt in one culture could be considered efficient in another. People from certain religious backgrounds might not celebrate set holidays or follow different traditions. 

Acknowledging and accommodating these differences is an essential aspect of cultural intelligence. 
 

Build trust

With team members located across the world, it can take a lot of work to develop meaningful working relationships with employees. But this is important for any leader, who must be able to rely on their team during challenging times, and vice versa. Trust is necessary for a team to continue to function efficiently. 

To build trust and strong working relationships, global leaders can maintain open communication channels and encourage discussion through 1:1 meetings or team-wide remote calls. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for maintaining communication, as each team's structure and responsibilities differ. As an HR manager or leader, you'll know how regularly it is feasible to hold discussions with your team. 
 

Embrace diversity 

Diversity is a major asset to a global organisation. It allows you access to a rich pool of talented individuals who bring their unique experiences and perspectives to their roles. Diverse companies have been found to produce 19% more revenue than organisations with a homogenous workforce. 

To embrace diversity, global leaders should practice open-mindedness and active listening. They should also invite different perspectives rather than wait for someone to offer their opinion.
 

Lead by example

When you're working remotely, switching off can be tricky. As a leader, you can show your team that it's OK to unplug from work after their contracted hours. 

Bring excellence and a commitment to continuous improvement to your role within working hours, and communicate to your team when you are stepping away for the day. Importantly, encourage your team to do the same. 
 

Final thoughts

Effective global leadership is critical to the success of any global organisation. If you'd like to enhance your leadership, explore our article on being a boss vs a leader. 

With strong communication and an emphasis on valuing differences, global leaders can develop a cohesive, productive team that can thrive.
 

Next steps

Hiring internationally? Eden Scott supports senior leadership appointments across the UK, Europe and the US. 

Learn what it's like to hire with us, or contact us to discuss how we can help. 
 

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