Managers without Borders Need Solutions without Limitations
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Managers with Global Teams Are Facing Unique Obstacles and Resource Shortcomings
As managers with team members located around the globe begin to interact in routine work practices, enterprise connectivity takes on new challenges.
This emerging class of “managers without borders” is a rising count – as much as 15% of the management workforce in large companies – and they are facing unique obstacles that must be overcome in their global roles.
Reliability and Scalability Challenges
Even basic managerial tasks – everyday activities such as finding, interpreting and applying company guidelines, policies, and people-centric programs – are often difficult in this environment.
More complex tasks such as staff development, knowledge sharing, and employee relations situations can push most global managers to seek help from people they know rather than systems they trust.
This solution is seldom completely reliable and never scalable.
Managers Are Challenged to Lead with Confidence
Beyond accessibility and connectivity, the variability of information among countries and subsidiaries challenges managers to lead with confidence, as local standards and practices can differ dramatically and, in some cases, not even exist.
And while most enterprises seek a high level of commonality in their global practices and processes, it is inevitable that local variability will persist.
Inconsistent Practices and Outcomes
These “holes” can be particularly evident in emerging markets, as companies attempt to adapt their existing programs and practices to new markets and environments with varying customs, cultures and laws.
As a result, using common tools and ready resources to manage teams across global geographies with equitable, predictable and proactive practices and outcomes can be hit-or-miss.
Lack of Resources Results In Questionable Outcomes
The lack of reliable enterprise resources and tools for managers without borders results in a high cost of support from other people or channels.
Managers turn to company call centers, or often limited human resources or other corporate specialists.
Or they turn to less expert sources, such as peers or people they know, for advice and counsel.
The more creative managers need to be in finding support, the more questionable the outcome is likely to be.
Collaboration of Knowledge Platforms is Paramount
From a systems perspective, email is heavily relied upon to bridge the gap, but significant limitations surface when these messaging platforms are used as persistent knowledge platforms.
The outcome is often a barrage of email messages, from multiple corporate, regional, and local “senders”, all of whom are trying to provide critical communications on substantially the same critical topics.
It’s overwhelming for recipients, and similar messages frequently have inconsistent details or directions that cause readers to choose their own “authoritative source”.
“Email jail” is one of many terms these end users use to describe the inefficiencies of over-reliance on email as the enterprise’s connectivity channel.
Timeliness, Effectiveness, Quality of Managers’ Decisions
More substantively, the business cost of insufficient or absent enterprise online tools can be measured by the timeliness, effectiveness and quality – or lack thereof – of managers’ decisions.
The loss of timely influence on individuals and teams is a similar, related downside.
As the “faces” of the business globally, these managers are key to people and performance outcomes.
Good and timely decisions on hiring and on-boarding, important staff retention strategies, aligned compensation practices, and decisions regarding performance and fair labor practices represent several of the most important dimensions of a sustainable global people strategy.
The downside to poorly equipped managers is unnecessary business risk: turnover, misaligned staff, even exposure to issues of compliance or local laws.
New Breed of Online Enterprise Solutions
The concept of well-equipped, enabled global managers is a value proposition of engagement and alignment – managers as the “ambassadors” of the business and its brand.
Enter the new breed of online enterprise solutions: smart, adaptable, localized yet global.
These enterprise portals and channels soften global differences, create common tools in uncommon circumstances, and provide managers with the knowledge and decision support they need to effectively manage their teams.
What companies are investing in these solutions and what do they expect in return?
Provisions of Leading-edge Technologies
Today’s market leaders are investing in leading-edge technology solutions to ease the challenges and serve the unique needs of their respective global workforces.
Global managers are a particular focus as companies rely more and more on technology to connect, communicate, collaborate, and move knowledge quickly across the organization, among teams, and in various communities.
Enhanced Business Performance on a Global Scale
These market leaders know that global managers need relevant resources, know-how, and insight to execute critical people-centric programs in both mature and emerging global markets.
They recognize the strong relationship between engaged and equipped managers, and the retention and smooth assimilation of talent.
Global companies know that predictable and proactive managerial practices equate to enhanced business performance on a global scale.
Mobility with Availability of Access
In some emerging markets, mobile is the dominant mode of access for managers. This means that global managers are on the go, so their tools need to be equally
To serve the growing global manager population likely means making the experience highly accessible on many devices.
What’s at Stake Here?
As more and more companies see global managers as keys to sustainable global performance, a new “war” – much akin to the earlier “war” waged over attracting talent – is being waged.
Properly equipping these managers is seen as a critical success factor in major enterprise initiatives from talent to enterprise knowledge management goals.
The success of critical people-centric programs, including employee engagement outcomes and even successful assimilation resulting from mergers and acquisitions, often comes down to how ready managers are to lead these global teams.
As a result, emerging enterprise online solutions are often funded and sponsored by senior executives with global transformation responsibility.
They see the online solution for managers as a vital component of the overall global strategy and operational plan.
Importantly, these sponsors and their companies know that technology – now more than ever before – provides the one “global common” opportunity to bind the organization in a recognizable, cross-organizational, and cross-cultural idea.
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