As a relocation management company, it has been interesting to see the relationship between Employee Benefits and Global Mobility transition over the years. Last year, the RES Forum reported that over half of respondents to their survey said that Global Mobility reported into Compensation and Benefits – a figure that we have also seen reflected in other surveys of the Global Mobility function. Thomsons Online Benefits report identifies Global Mobility on the top list of priorities for Global Employee Benefits professionals.
Why is Global Mobility so low on the Global Employee Benefits Agenda?
So it would appear that Global Mobility and relocation services are viewed by many businesses through an employee benefits lens, along with pensions, global health, employee wellness and flexible benefits.
It was therefore interesting to see in the recently released report by Thomsons, the online benefits people, where Global Mobility sat for many organisations in terms of prioritisation in their global employee benefits strategy objectives (see Figure 1 below). The fact that it was positioned so low on the priority list for Global Employee Benefits identifies the fact that this is such a specialism within HR. So should Global Mobility sit within Compensation and Benefits, or should it be a specialist standalone function within every organisation with international interests reporting directly to the Board? And should it have its budgets ring-fenced to ensure the continued development of an organisation’s international success?
Global Mobility as a Specialism
On the surface, Global Mobility appears to be fairly straight forward. You have an employee relocating overseas with the company, you realise that the company has a duty of care to the employee and you need to provide some support, so who do you give this case to? Invariably it will end up in your HR department. If this is the first time they have had to support an employee relocation they will often seek advice – possibly through the internet and through the use of a relocation company.
The truth is, this is just the start of your HR department’s journey into a whole new world of relocation and global mobility. One which can become more convoluted as your HR department gets further into the detail, and the more your business will need to consider establishing a structured approach to managing the process. Taking action early and engaging with a relocation provider can help you get off to the best start. We have published a Guide to Starting your Global Mobility programme, with the things you need to consider from the outset. We can also make sure that you get off to the best start and don’t become overwhelmed.
As HR become more aware, there is often a realisation that Global Mobility is a specialism which requires a specific set up skills and understanding of the areas of compliance, policy, resource and management requirements. Which is why those businesses who understand Global Mobility will most likely have a Global Mobility specialist, or department, dedicated to Global Mobility.
The Thomsons Global Employee Benefits Watch Report 2018/19
If you do work in Global Employee Benefits, or have an international role within Comp & Ben, Reward or International HR, then the Thomsons Global Employee Benefits Watch Report 2018/19 is worth reading.
If you don’t want to provide your personal details in the download, we have a copy we can email to you firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to get a more detailed understanding of the key areas you need to understand within Global Mobility, then you can speak to one of our Global Mobility Advisers us here at Gerson Relocation – just call us on +44 (0) 20 3837 5999, or watch our video discussion with a Head of Global Mobility and a Head of Reward.