How to Successfully Keep International Teams in Sync
So how do we get there? Work smarter, work better
As companies grow, having teams working outside of the company’s HQ, most probably in a different country, becomes almost inevitable. Additionally, according to recent reports, 63% of US companies now have remote workers1, who may never even step foot in a physical office.
This trend of sprawling teams on both a domestic and international scale, means that keeping team members across your company in sync, aligned on company culture and working towards the same goals, is more important than ever before—and more challenging too.
Companies should aim to establish a transparent environment, where knowledge is available to everyone no matter where they are physically located. This way of working boosts motivation and productivity and ensures a shared language and vision across global teams.
So how do we get there?
Choose a work management tool to centralize everything
The number of tools we use to manage our work is growing year to year, with the average SMB now using over 20 SaaS apps. As company size grows, so does the number of tools. Companies with 1-10 employees use an average of 26 apps, while 251-1000 employees use an average of 124.2 With every team or office using their tool of choice, working in silos becomes the new reality.
In order to successfully keep international teams in sync, one central tool should be adopted for the whole company. A work management platform is a great solution for keeping information centralized, and breaking down physical boundaries. Let’s say someone needs a specific piece of information, instead of having to wait for someone on another timezone to wake up and provide it, it can be found independently and efficiently within the tool.
Use your work management tool for both company-wide and team-level work
The flexibility of such tools means that both high level, company-wide processes—like planning your roadmap, setting out company policies and training of new joiners—as well as the work of individual teams’, can be managed simply and visually from one place.
monday.com is an example of one of these tools. Using the building blocks provided, you can build boards to manage each process, and even connect multiple boards to create entire workflows. You can think of a board as a smarter and more visual version of a spreadsheet.
There are infinite ways to build boards to support any process, project or task. From planning a content calendar to bug tracking, property management to creative requests, every team’s work can be managed in one platform!
Since boards are by default visible to everyone in the account, every team member, no matter where they’re located, can stay up to date on the current status of every project or task, see who’s responsible and what’s being discussed.
This centralization and free flowing approach to information sharing is the first step towards achieving a transparent work environment.
Communicate in context and in one place
More and more teams are moving away from email as the main way to communicate internally. With all the problems it attracts (limiting who sees conversations, issues with search and file sharing, just to name a few), teams are seeking out alternative ways to communicate.
Using a work management tool to communicate both team and company-wide, allows centralized communication in context. In monday.com, clicking on each item in a board will reveal the updates section for communication. You can @mention specific people, teams, or everyone on the account, triggering messages in real time. Conversations take place in the context of what is being discussed, meaning they can easily be located later.
Additionally, it’s great practice to use one tool for company-wide communication, whether that’s to update about changes to your product, provide weekly departmental or site updates, or to discuss specific topics with everyone. Building boards to communicate in this way will keep everyone on the same page, no matter where they work!
Communicating with a team about every little change can be super time-consuming and eat away at the limited hours in our day. Automating aspects of communication, probably the most powerful thing you can do in a work management tool, reduces manual work.
Imagine that you changed the date of a deadline on a project or task. Instead of having to remember to tell every person working with you on the project, who may or may not be working in the same office as you, an automation can do that for you. This way of communicating with team members is the future of productive working and a safety check to keep people working internationally aligned at all times.
Create a work hub connected to all of your other tools
Using a work management tool probably won’t replace every other tool across teams in your company— and that’s OK.
Integrating each team’s chosen apps with your work management tool, will bring data from all of those other apps to one central place. This is the best way to keep multiple teams connected and to avoid work silos.
That data can then be viewed and understood by everyone in the company, not only the team working with those other tools. It expands knowledge and helps team members understand how their work fits into a bigger picture.
The data can then be manipulated and reported on, using multiple views, like in timelines, calendars, charts and even help with resource management.
Create real-time reports for managers to get the most important insights
Giving everyone throughout your company, especially management, the ability to understand visually what’s happening from a high level is crucial for international alignment.
There’s likely to be so much happening within your work management tool that managers will often want to see just the bottom line, without the details. Pulling together all of the data and getting top level insights will keep everyone focused on goals and ensuring they’re always being reached.
Such reports can be produced easily, using the customizable dashboards, built from multiple widgets like charts, numbers, progress tracking and workload allocation to show important insights in real-time. They provide a super visual and simple way to see complex data and to understand where things stand at a glance.
Work smarter, work better
In conclusion, using a work management tool will help organizations with international teams work smarter. It means there’s one source of truth for an entire organization, so no matter which department you work in or where you’re located, you can always stay on top of what’s happening.
Decisions are made quicker and teams can move faster as silos are avoided. Communication occurs in one place and notifications on changes and status updates can even be automated, so the right people are always informed. These 5 tips are a great start for any company to work successfully with team members across the globe.
Sponsored article. Expert contributors are independent from the appvizer editorial staff. Any comment and/or position is personal.