What Is Global Mobility And Why Is It Such A Pain For Companies?

What Is Global Mobility And Why Is It Such A Pain For Companies?

Given today’s increasingly global workforce, companies have to deal with a very complex responsibility of talent mobility. Global mobility is a function that refers to a multinational corporation’s ability to move its people to offices in different countries. It involves every action that needs to be taken behind the scenes, in order for the relocation of talent to happen in a smooth manner.

Aspects such as what paperwork has to be approved before they move? How does your organization help the employee find the right place to live? How do they book a moving truck? And what happens when you have hundreds of thousands of employees making those moves? All of these challenges comprise global mobility, which is a key element in a company’s talent strategy.

Let’s look at global mobility closely, the challenges related to it and what companies can do to deal with it effectively.

Global Mobility: How Companies Can Deal With It?

There is often a disconnect between global mobility efforts and larger organizational objectives for talent management, especially within large companies, which results in a lot of unnecessary complications.

Companies make global mobility hard. They have operational inefficiencies to getting an employee’s mobility approved, for example, not having software to easily project the costs and impact of a move. An employee may feel stressed as he has to mostly get in touch with many different people to get the information needed for his personal move. Basically, companies make it hard to physically move a human to a new location.

How To Manage Global Mobility

All of this escalates into difficulties in synergising strategic, talent-oriented actions such as hiring and benefit management.

Some Challenges Related To Global Mobility… 

The first and the foremost challenge related to global mobility that companies face is about talent identification and difficulties in implementing talent strategy. Talent strategy is basically the use of business resources to attract, develop and retain employees with integral skills and values to the company. This also involves certain benefits for the employees such as competitive wages, flexible work environment etc.

Many businesses see global mobility as a benefit that can help their talent strategies, yet 53% of corporations face challenges adopting a smooth global mobility strategy while relocating the right talent.

Global mobility worldwide can have a huge influence on the talent strategy, given that atleast 66% of companies undertake some form of global mobility as part of their operations and over half of them know that they lack in having proper relocation programs.

Another challenge associated with Global mobility worldwide is how the companies factor in the costs related to relocation. Overspending is quite commonplace in the international moving world, but what poses a major issue is the widespread failure among corporations when it comes to management of global mobility economics.

Reconciliation of financial statements for the mobility projects is done by only 23% of businesses, leading to major disparities between pre-move estimates and actual spends. Even though financial projections are calculated during the initial planning stages, they are hardly referred to or adhered to during the time when the project is on-going. Worldwide mobility faces the challenge of keeping costs down, as a result of which assignments can be completed on a budget. This can be achieved only by making proper money management a priority.

How to Manage Global Mobility Effectively?

Here are a few ways to ensure global mobility doesn’t become a pain!

1. Strategic Relocation:

A lot of times, candidates selected for relocation are chosen quickly, without adequate decision making. The focus is more towards the candidate’s skills required to perform the job, but his cultural adaptability, global readiness, and preparedness are ignored. It is essential to ensure that the particular candidate is in the right position personally or professionally to take on the challenges that come along with it.

For example, a person who has stayed with the company for years and understand its culture may seem like the obvious choice for such a programme, but if the employee has never assumed a leadership role in the company or never even ventured out of the headquarter country, they may not necessarily be the right fit for the same. In such cases, the experience and professional maturity of the employee will be a more important variable for consideration for relocation rather than the actual time spent with the company.

It is also important to factor in the family situation of the employee if he has any responsibilities back home which may hinder his ability to relocate to another country.

The point is that an employee who feels adequately prepared emotionally and professionally for the assignment, will adjust more quickly to the new surroundings and achieve goals in a better manner. Therefore, it is important to be strategic in selecting the employees for relocation.

2. Communicate:

For a relocation programme to become successful, it takes two parties to be on the same page – the relocated employees and the senior level HR staff who formulate and implement the global mobility strategy in the company. As long as there is effective communication between these two, the strategy works, else the overall company goals suffer.

In the absence of enough communication, relocated employees make talent management and acquisition decisions autonomously and are largely left out of the organisational strategy. In order to avoid this, companies should make structural changes that allow globally mobile employees to report directly to talent management. Doing so ensures that they never lose sight of the organisational mission and always feel like they are a part of the corporate community. The talent management also has a better understanding of relocated employees needs, concerns and potential for contribution this way.

3. Stay Flexible:

Stringent mobility projects may not always prove beneficial for an employee’s circumstances. Talent strategy is all about providing something that is of value to a member of staff or prospect, which means to leverage them for the most gain, corporations may need to adapt what is on offer to present it in the best possible package for talent. This may mean considering different locations, improving job roles on international assignments or providing bespoke support structures.

Tailoring global mobility to your talent allows them to get the most out of assignments thereby boosting the chances of attracting new people, developing current talent pools and retaining crucial team members.

4. Streamline Processes:

As mentioned earlier, going overboard with costs associated with a global mobility programme happens quite often and is an indicator of poor management of the global relocation process. The solution to this is to keep costs down and invest only in necessary tasks. Keep the path to relocation clearly defined through proper planning, before the projects begin, identifying what relocation tasks need to be carried out and which do not.

You may need to take help from third-party services for various reasons such as accommodation and shipping. Attempt to streamline the global mobility process. Bringing all your outsourced tasks together under one roof can have major benefits to cost reductions, rather than paying a number of different companies to perform separate tasks.

A global mobility ready organisation can be created with the help of the above strategies so that it supports the overall global framework of worldwide mobility among organisations and create a future roadmap for better utilisation of resources.


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