How global mobility can help you retain your best people

Ablean Saoud, Partner, Tax, Global Mobility
Ablean Saoud, Partner, Tax, Global Mobility
Caroline Hickson, Director, Tax, Global Mobility

The role of your global mobility team is clear: make sure your employees arrive where they’re needed, when they’re needed, and don’t fall foul of any tax or immigration rules in the process, right?
While this may have once been true, today’s organisations are looking for more from their global mobility teams. The old goals are still critical, but now there’s a new appetite for a more strategic approach, with global mobility teams seen as a ‘strategic enabler’ of broader business goals.

The value to your business of getting global mobility right is enormous. But how can you elevate your global mobility program from a reactive, tick-the-box process, to a program that your people love, drives employee loyalty from the most junior to the most senior levels, and contributes to your company’s global success.

Break down silos

Often, global mobility teams operate in isolation from the rest of the business. But global mobility can and should intersect with both strategic goals and practical activities across your business. Being strategic in selecting your assignees is critical. Selecting candidates based on past performance won’t always yield successful international assignments or happy assignees. Consider their cultural adaptability and global preparedness (and, of course, that of their accompanying family members). The best candidates for global mobility don’t just bring technical ability, or work experience, they bring an open mind, willingness to embrace diverse viewpoints and ways of operating, and of course a sense of adventure!

Promote mobility from the top down

C-suite executives can often be the rubber stamp for activities in global mobility programs: they simply approve international roles created to fill an immediate need, or the projected costs that go with them. If your people see your C-suite promoting your global mobility program then they’re more likely to view assignments as a way of developing their career. This top-down approach also ensures that global mobility is seen as a vital part of your business strategy.

Share opportunities with your Millennials

You’ve heard it before: countless surveys tell us that Millennials want fast career progression and will happily change roles to get it. Recruit your most promising graduates into your global mobility program. Graduates are in many ways ideal for mobility. Less likely to be tied to their home country and looking for international experience and adventure, younger workers tend to view offshore assignments as a real drawcard.

Offer incentives (and not just cash)

Future leaders relish a challenge. Driven by challenges and career growth, offering international experience to your most promising people is critical. Traditionally, most organisations have provided financial incentives. Hardship allowances, additional R&R leave and location premiums are common. But they make these placements extremely costly for the business, and may not improve assignment outcomes in the long run.

Understand what your people need – and offer it

Moving house is hard; moving countries is harder. Some of your people will need a little help, others will need a lot. Employees (and their families) can quickly become frustrated if they need extra support but don’t get it as it falls outside of the global mobility policy.

Many organisations are now moving to provide flexible relocation policies. Each person is allocated a set budget, points or credits that they can use to select what they need from a suite of benefits. Don’t need a hire car? No problem, you can put the spare points towards additional temporary accommodation, or extra airfreight instead.

Bringing a broader vision to global mobility programmes means you can show real value to your business, developing and retaining your people, while fulfilling needs across your local and global network.

For all the tips read our full article.

Add Comment