The challenges of Global Mobility

There is a significant shift in mobility patterns.

It is easier to travel around the world than ever before. Forever advancing technology and social media makes it possible to contact people around the globe at any time of day and at the click of a button.

Getting a glimpse of new culture and customs around the world is often seen as a rite of passage for people of all ages. With that the global nature of business is forever advancing too.

This also means that the demand for people who can work on a global scale and the need for people to travel for work is higher than ever.

Some larger organisations can have thousands of expats at one time.

The price of this can be astonishing, considering that hiring an employee from oversees can cost up to seven times more than a local would.

But people are not numbers.

The price of global mobility should not be a question a global organisation should ask. There are a couple of challenges that an organisation need to face before embarking on a mission overseas in order to make the most out of their investment and create an engaging and productive environment for their employees.

1. Moving people for the right reason.

Being clear of the nature of the assignment. Making sure that whether it’s for development, sharing expertise or expansion that the person selected is suitable and that their needs (i.e.: with family and living arrangements) are met.

2. Helping employees to settle in.

How an organisation help to overcome issues such as language barriers are crucial in the happiness and productivity of staff. Planning ahead of time or offering languages courses make a big difference.

Having a solid re location package is also vital in making a project instantly more appealing. This can include anything from helping assist with housing, schools, transporting belongings and travel costs.

3. Understanding the cultural differences.

Sending an employee to a place that they know nothing about will never breed productivity. Along with support, education on cultural differences that could be a shock ahead of time is also important.

4. Getting pay and benefits right.

Gaining international experience is often now seen as a vital part of climbing up the career ladder in a lot of larger organisations. However the issue here could be complications with salary, tax and benefits.

5. Being cautious of potential hurdles.

Potential hurdles include having clarity on legal issues, communicating length of assignments or specific projects to be dealt with – anything that can rack up unexpected additional costs.

6. Supporting employees on their way home.

Preparing employees for the potential reverse culture shock of returning home is just as important as preparing them for a new place. An understanding of career steps or communication with teams overseas can make a significant difference.

 Being aware of these challenges as an organisation and understanding the needs of your employees will increase the productivity of expat projects; increase retention of employees and global harmonisation throughout your business.



Blog written by: Leigh David, Reward Recruitment Consultant at Williams Kent Ltd
30th May 2018


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