Managing a staff of any size is difficult enough, but working across cultures and continents poses numerous additional challenges. Executives may struggle to retain diverse teams and manage the complexity of communication across time zones, language barriers, and the challenges of remote work.
Ryan Michael Alvey, Chief Operating Officer of Tietronix Software, Inc. in The Woodlands, Texas, shared his expert insights on building, recruiting, retaining, training and managing multinational teams. Ryan Alvey himself has managed multinational teams across five continents and has held numerous roles in which he directly managed 300 staff members at a time, so he was well-positioned to offer advice for aspiring and existing business leaders who are hoping to work with international teams.
According to Ryan Michael Alvey, the biggest hurdle to cross when it comes to multinational teams is recruitment. “Anytime you’re trying to hire people from different backgrounds and wildly different geographic locations, you need to hire human resources experts who understand how best to reach out to people who speak different languages or have different ways of working,” he shares. “Your team-building process will only be as solid as your recruitment process. This is especially true in terms of cross-continent workplaces. Ensure that you have translators or multilingual employees on hand from the very start.”
Ryan Alvey also suggests that executives become well-versed in cultural competency and make sure that their employees get on the same page in terms of any cultural differences from the beginning to prevent problems down the line. “Study how your different team members may approach work, communication, or conflict differently based on their individual differences as well as their cultural differences,” suggests Alvey. “You can head off potential problems at the pass if you already know that, say, a Japanese employee is likely to approach a certain conversation differently than a German employee might. This can cause conflict and miscommunication even if it’s not intended by either party. Make sure not to fall prey to stereotypes, but listen to experts from a given country and consider hiring a multinational expert to smooth over any issues.”
Finally, Ryan Alvey encourages executives who are building multinational teams to read up on supporting remote workers. “Remote work is the way of the future,” he explains, “and it’s an inherent part of building and supporting multinational teams. Make sure that you use premium software programs and content management systems to allow your team members to chat and connect regularly, even in different time zones.”
Ryan Michael Alvey is a dynamic, visionary executive with over 15 years of experience in leading businesses to immense success. Across his career, he has worked with lean startups, multinational corporations, and mid-cap companies to grow their stakeholders’ profits while achieving $100 million in annual revenue. An expert in efficiency management and growth, Ryan Alvey is a seasoned mentor and business leader who has closed over $10 billion in contracts during his lengthy and illustrious career.