Articles

How to bridge the culture gap with Indian remote teams

by The Scalers Offshore Development Teams In India

More and more companies are building geographically-dispersed workforces. It's not just the Googles and the Microsofts that are going global, either. Small companies can leverage remote workers to cut costs, improve performance, and increase profits.

Many today are building full teams in emerging tech nations like India. They're taking advantage of global diversity and bringing together people from different cultures and backgrounds, with unique perspectives on just about everything imaginable.

In theory, this globalization helps organizations to scale up their business - but the vast cultural and societal differences between the in-house and remote team members can throw a major spanner in the works.

Read why an offshore development model is a right solution to scale up your tech team

Defining the "culture gap"

Building an efficient, productive, and successful team is hard enough when everyone shares the same office. When you're working with an offshore team that's located halfway around the world, with a diverse cultural and functional background, communication can be tricky.

After all, an "open door" policy is hard to implement when your team is 10,000 miles away!

What does it look like?

Let's take India. Indians are known for their persistence and hard work: it's an ingrained (and largely positive) aspect of their culture. However, something they are equally well-known for is refusing to say "no".

This isn't a negative trait, but it is different. Indian workers typically accept the need to "grind", even if it means spending extra hours in work everyday! They love a challenge and are determined to prove themselves, especially when collaborating as part of a bigger team. Refusing yet another request from the boss just isn't really entertained.

In Europe or the US, staff are more likely to say, "Sorry, but I can't do that, I've already got too much on my plate." Is this team any less hardworking or dedicated than their Indian counterparts? Not at all. They've simply been encouraged more, over their lifetime, to speak their mind. Candidness and "telling it how it is" is seen more as positive, not negative, in the west.

So what's the problem?

This is just one example of the difference in culture between countries like India and the US. While it's not true for everyone, it is broadly accurate. Problems arise when CEOs, managers, and even run-of-the-mill colleagues fail to understand or connect with new employees.

It's easy to get off on the wrong foot or develop poor expectations. This kind of "culture gap" can take a brilliant hiring strategy - such as building a specialist offshore team - and make it disastrous.

A Global Culture Survey conducted in 2018 showed that roughly 65% of leaders and employees believed that the organizational culture of their company is more important to them than any strategy or operating model.

Unfortunately, more than 80% also agreed they weren't happy with their company culture. This proves that an unaddressed cultural gap is more common than we might expect. While it doesn't exist only among remote teams, it can be more pronounced there than in-house.

Bridging the cultural gap effectively

When working with remote teams, there are a few simple steps that you can take towards "bridging" the gap.

1. Acknowledge and appreciate the cultural differences

Start by addressing the elephant in the room: your team now contains more diverse cultures than before. Cultural diversity manifests in different forms: language, behavioural differences, values, and even the meanings attached to specific words and actions.

Before you can bridge the culture gap, you need to learn what it's made of.

Read more about how to bridge a culture gap between Remote teams 


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About The Scalers Advanced   Offshore Development Teams In India

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Joined APSense since, May 23rd, 2019, From Bangalore, India.

Created on Sep 4th 2019 05:35. Viewed 460 times.

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