Why a Diverse Team From 30 Countries Is Important for Our International Success
Mar 23, 2017 • 5 minute read
We at Paessler make one product: PRTG Network Monitor. More than 200,000 people all over the world use PRTG to monitor their IT Infrastructure. Let’s zoom into Paessler and find out how this international reach influences our team and our company’s culture. We have over 180 passionate people working for Paessler, about 150 in our headquarters here in Nuremberg, Germany, and about 30 spread over the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. But even our team here in Nuremberg has a very international background. 40% of our colleagues come from more than 25 countries. How cool is that?
How Do We As A Company Benefit From Such An Intercultural Environment?
Having the right experts for the respective markets has, of course, a huge impact on our success from an economic perspective. We are present in the markets and can offer our business partners and customers availability within their business hours, and can hold PRTG demos, calls, meetings or partner visits in the right time zone. We also get an expert’s opinion about whether a planned campaign would work in this particular market, and how we need to adapt to make it successful. It’s often about very subtle details like adding more graphics to an ad in Asia than we would perhaps do for a German ad. Or using a video tutorial for the US market rather than the detailed pdf manual we use in Europe.
We have the advantage of being able to speak to most of our business partners and customers around the world in their native language -- which is really a big advantage. This language variety also has a nice side effect: I’ve already learned 3 words in Mandarin, although my colleague still needs to improve my pronunciation. And of course my English is improving every day. In addition, you are well-prepared when you travel for business, for example to the US. Our American colleagues told me to answer the question ‘How are you’ always -- and I mean always -- with “great” – even if you’re completely jetlagged, feeling exhausted after a long tradeshow, and have a horrible cold. Even though, as a German, you would normally say something completely different.
International Feels Good!
Let’s also take a closer look at the soft facts of international teams, which have a large influence on a company’s working environment and how it contributes to the feel-good factor in a company. An intercultural team spirit attracts new employees, who want to work in an international environment. It’s one reason I sent a job application to Paessler.
An intercultural team is fun and exciting: after business hours you go out for dinner with your international colleagues, or you plan a trip to Prague, or go hiking in Austria. It’s the perfect way to get to know your international colleagues on a personal level, after business hours. You see pictures of their countries and families, learn about their favorite foods and sports, and are happy when they welcome you in German with a slight Franconian accent. Working in a diversified team also contributes to your personal development. You must and you will become more flexible and creative to meet the challenge of new perspectives, and you’ll learn that differing approaches and methods can lead to the same result.
And of course, you can practice your language skills with a mouth full of caramel-filled Tim Tam your Australian colleague brought from Down Under.