- November, 2021
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A company that strives to compete at a global level must be fully aware of the fact that it needs to form teams of top experts no matter where they are coming from. Days of looking for team members locally, or even inside of a single country are long gone and should be avoided if a company wants to succeed.
Organisations that already know this are not just interested in hiring people from around the world but are often willing to support employees in relocation by covering expenses or even providing living arrangements in the country where they are based. Some companies are choosing a more economical approach where they adopted the strategy of hiring people to work remotely in an effort to prepare for changes and be ready to deal with new challenges. Global Covid-19 pandemic accelerated work from home philosophy, eliminating borders altogether.
This is the main reason why today it is no longer unusual to work in an international team, where employees do not only bring knowledge and expertise but also their different cultures and ways of thinking. This creates an interesting environment for work but it can also be highly beneficial for an organisation.
Diversity sparks innovation
Due to differences in educational systems and different cultures, organisations can benefit from new perspectives on many decisions and project ideas. Sometimes a fresh take on a problem is all that company needs to differentiate on the market and create value. Diversity sparks innovation, as individuals within a team are able to come up with new ideas in a shorter time frame compared to like-minded staff.
Connection to the online world
While working on many international products and applications, our team has the opportunity to see and learn about habits and customs of other people. Among many other differences, the one that is also noticeable is their connection to the online world. From apps designed to help with everyday life, to apps for online banking – everything is adjusted and accessible to diverse population. Some of these apps, like online banking, were a big change for everyone. However, stepping away from the traditional in-person banking turned out to be a much needed service for millions of people
Language and cultural differences
One of the main bridges to gap between countries and their people, are language barriers and culture. On top of that, there are always differences in the way foreigners behave, speak and express themselves. So naturally, when someone comes to our country and meets our warm-hearted people, they can be confused. For some countries, the lack of mimic and facial expressions can create a feeling they are uninterested or cold. However, meeting them proved us wrong and showed they are beautiful and fun people!
Having a team that knows various languages can be useful for projects and services, especially ones that are targeting various markets. Team members who are local to the target markets can provide valuable insights and steer the company in the right direction.
A great recruitment process ensures that all hires are able to communicate in the same language (whatever that might be), even though at the beginning it is not uncommon that a person is not able to translate ideas to other team members effectively. Developing adaptability and getting familiar with the team, along with good leadership, can rectify this problem and in turn, create an advantage in comparison to the competition.
A research company, Hofstede Insights (hofstede-insights.com) propagates the theory that cultural diversity makes an organisation stronger. In their research, they compared how the workforce differs based on the country they are from. The researchers recognised that individuals in one society most often share common traits like motivation, drive for success, or a degree to which people try to get a grasp of their desires and impulses.
In the workplace, these treats play a major role as team members can have very different approaches to solving problems and job demands.
For example, while comparing Switzerland and Serbia, we will notice differences in power distance, individualism, and masculinity. These values show that Serbian people accept hierarchical order and demand no further justification, while the society in Switzerland believes that inequalities amongst people should be minimized. As individualists, the Swiss have a strong belief in the ideal of self-actualization. At the same time, people in Serbia are considered a collectivistic society, meaning they cherish strong relationships with many people in their lives.
With everything taken into consideration, it is very clear that advantages outnumber potential problems that international teams bring. The philosophy of the international environment can be beneficial not only for the company but also for employees who will gain valuable experience and a chance to develop skills faster.
Author: enjoy.ing team