Alt Tab Blog

Managing a Global Workforce

Posted by Tiffany Graham on Feb 22, 2017 12:17:00 PM

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It is no longer business as usual, there have been major disruptions in how business is done within the last 5 years and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. The workforce is shifting and becoming globalized, a radical shift from the ball and chain cubicle model that was more the norm a decade ago to teams of experts working remotely and seamlessly collaborating. Businesses have seen the numerous benefits achieved from this new model, with increased productivity, lower overhead and increased profits just to name a few. Many companies desire to adopt or integrate this model, but few have any direction how to go about it. The first and most frequently asked question is the topic of this blog post. How in the world do you manage a global workforce?

Alt tab is a global network of talented developers that has grown from and a handful of talented devs, to 100 of some of the world’s best developer talent that are available on demand. We consider ourselves rooted in the dynamic environment that has afforded the company such growth and success. So, needless to say we have a bit of experience managing a global workforce. Here are a few pointers:

1. Management Style is a Major Key

It is important that the person in charge is adaptable, possesses the ability to think outside the box and can organize tasks and put systems in place to ensure that the work flows. Management also must be able to recognize and develop talent and be aware that in a global workforce there will be differences in culture, work patterns, and preferences.

2. Communication is crucial

This is a HUGE one for us, we say the best practice is not only to communicate, but over communicate. When managing a remote team it is very easy to feel out of touch — frequent check ins on both sides ensure that goals are being set and deadlines are met.

3. Managing different time zones

It may seem initially daunting, but with proper planning and systems in place you can have your team working in sync and like a well oiled machine even in far flung time zones. Slack is one platform we use that helps us with this and we honestly couldn’t live with it.

4. Don’t micromanage

This may seem hypocritical because we did say over communicate. But we mean so in terms of setting goals and giving guidelines. If you hired well, you can trust the professionalism of your team. By giving your team space to do what they do best, you’ll create a thriving workforce of autonomous self-motivated team members. We can’t stress how important the hiring process is, so you find competent people who are passionate about their work. Once you provide them with the right resources to do what is required, it should be pretty hands off from there.

5. Be innovative, maybe even a little weird

When looking for employment, there is a growing desire among younger employees for their work to be impactful while enjoying quality work/life balance. A properly managed global workforce should allow for team members to think outside the box and assure them that their work matters and their thoughts and ideas are valued. Be the cool company and help members get closer to realizing the perfect work life balance. Because let’s face it, a happy employee is a productive and creative one.

6. Be the standard

We believe that the old paradigm of leading from the back of the pack is out of the window. The truth is, a team will work as hard as their leaders. Success driven attitudes are contagious, live by this and watch your global workforce thrive.

 
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