Global mobility allows employees to move across geocultural locations effortlessly for work. In today’s era of globalisation, global mobility is the need of the hour. However, an international assignment also poses certain challenges. Knowing how to overcome them is key to ensuring successful global mobility.
In this blog, we have outlined the risks of a global mobility assignment and the key elements of a mobility policy that will help you mitigate these risks.
Challenges to Successful Global Mobility
There are a number of factors that can hinder the success of an international assignment. Knowing what they are will help you design a global mobility policy that can address these challenges.
- Paying Suppliers Internationally: The multiple countries and currencies involved in an international business relocation present certain logistical challenges. Authorising payment methods to pay local suppliers is always a tricky one. However, by using digital payment methods with a reputable vendor, you ensure safe and timely payments.
- Alienation of the Assignee: If the assignment criteria are not clear to either of the three parties involved, namely, the assignee, the sending organisation, and the host country, the assignee can feel isolated. If the assignee feels like they are missing out on opportunities back home, their mental health can be impaired. Ensuring clarity of roles and responsibilities will boost the assignee’s well-being when they relocate and ensure that business runs smoothly.
- Language Barriers and Cultural Differences: One of the key challenges when relocating to a different country for work is learning a new language. In the initial stages of an assignment, the assignee’s performance may be impacted by culture shock. To overcome this challenge, language and cultural training should also educate assignees on the nuances and practicalities of the host country.
Tax and Legal Issues: Relocating a business or employees internationally can present complex legal implications. In addition to enlisting professional help for navigating local compliance requirements, you must consider visa requirements for residence in the new country. Timely planning and research will ensure that relocations run smoothly.
How to Ensure a Successful Global Mobility Assignment
Addressing the challenges of an international assignment is no small feat. Here is how you can ensure a successful global mobility programme to maximise your return on investment.
1. Have a Business Plan
The first step to starting an international assignment is to have a business plan in place. You need to identify the objectives and scope of your assignment, and how they are going to support your business. You must also consider the gaps in the current market and identify the right people in your organisation to fill these gaps. A successful global mobility assignment will benefit both the organisation and the market during and after the assignment.
2. Optimise Cost and Value
To get a positive return on investment, you need to balance the financial and non-financial aspects of your mobility programme. Managing an international payroll system can be complicated by tax compliance regulations. By choosing a global payroll service provider, you can create an efficient payroll system for your business at home and abroad. In addition to these financial aspects, you should evaluate the value of your global mobility programme for employees. You can do this using performance data to track the outcomes of your programme.
3. Manage Risks and Compliance
Compliance is key when relocating for work abroad. To minimise the risks to your business, you must stay up-to-date with the latest employment and labour laws – a key part of the constant reviewing of your mobility policies. When it comes to holiday pay, contracts, maternity leave, etc. you must comply with the statutory requirements of the host country. Ensuring that your employees have work permits, health insurance, social security, and necessary visas will allow you to mitigate the health, safety, and security risks of your international assignment.
4. Focus on Employee Experience
Moving to a new country can be challenging. To have a successful global mobility programme, you must prioritise your employees’ well-being. There should be a dialogue between employees, their families, sending organisations and host countries. By incorporating employee experience into your mobility programme, you can foster positive relationships at work. This will also boost employee performance and benefit the organisation as a whole.
5. Plan Next Steps
The success of a global mobility programme should not be limited by the assignment period. To prevent this, you must plan the next steps for your assignee once their assignment is over. Whether they choose to go back or relocate to a new place, ensuring that your employees have a smooth transition is vital. Utilise the skills and knowledge they have gained from their global mobility experience as well as provide them with feedback and career opportunities. A successful global mobility programme will recognise the value an assignee brings and allow them to build on their international experience.
As an increased number of organisations go global, international assignments are becoming commonplace. A successful global mobility programme will help you mitigate the risks such assignments present and ensure workplace productivity.
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