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Why Risk Management is Critical for Successful Employee Mobility

In today’s globalised workforce, employee mobility has become increasingly important for companies looking to develop their workforce’s skills and retain top talent. However, with increased mobility comes increased risk. Legal, financial, cultural, and security risks can all have serious consequences for both employees and employers alike. That’s why effective risk management is critical for ensuring the success of employee mobility programmes.

Organisations are continually providing essential packages which include medical and travel insurance. However, there is more to consider than just insurance for when things go wrong. Successful risk management considers more than being reactive. Although it is impossible to consider every risk, for employee mobility success, it is critical to implement a thorough risk management programme.

The Benefits of Employee Mobility

Although there is additional paperwork, cost, and risk involved in employee mobility, the benefits for companies and organisations are unmatched. It can give companies a competitive edge with the ability to adapt and learn from the new country in which they are based. For employees, the benefits of working for a company with global mobility are staggering. These benefits, for both employees and employers, directly impact each other, including:

  • Improved knowledge sharing and collaboration
  • Increased engagement and job satisfaction
  • Better talent retention
  • Enhanced cultural understanding
Wooden blocks knocking each other over being stopped by blocks that say RISK

What risks are involved?

There are several risks involved in employee mobility. The severity and height of these risks depend on where the move is happening and the employee. When considering risks for employee mobility, it’s important to consider each move individually. However, there are some risks, which affect both employees and employers, to consider.

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  • Legal and compliance risks: When sending employees overseas, there can be complex legal and regulatory requirements that must be met. A compliance failure with these requirements can result in fines, legal action, and damage to a company’s reputation. For more, read our top 5 tips on compliance.
  • Financial risks: Employee mobility has a financial burden on the company and can become expensive, with costs associated with relocation, visas, taxes, and compensation packages. Managing these costs effectively ensures that the programme is financially viable and provides a return on investment.
  • Cultural risks: Employees who move to a new country might experience culture shock or struggle to adapt to the new work culture. This may lead to decreased productivity, job dissatisfaction, and early termination of the project. For more, read our tips on retaining global talent. 
  • Security risks: Depending on location, there may be security risks associated with employee mobility. This includes risks related to crime, terrorism, or natural disasters. It’s vital to have effective security measures in place to protect employees and the organisation.
  • Data privacy risks: When employees travel with sensitive company data or access company systems from a foreign location, there is a risk of data breaches or leaks. Having clear policies and procedures in place is important to protect sensitive information.

What is risk management for employee mobility? 

Risk management’s goal is to ensure that the benefits of employee mobility outweigh the risks and that the programme is successful. Like any other risk management system, it is vital to have a procedure that is broken down into stages, usually around identification, implementation, and evaluation.

People are connected globally by a web that leads to two people shaking hands
  1. Identification involves identifying the risks. Considering ahead what possible things could go wrong is the place to start. During the identification process, it’s important to consider not only the severity of the risks but also the likelihood of them occurring and the potential impact they could have on the organisation and its employees.
  2. Implementation involves taking action to mitigate the identified risks. This may involve implementing policies and procedures, providing employee training, or investing in technology or equipment to reduce risk.
  3. Evaluation and review are crucial to ensure that the risk management strategies are effective and relevant. This stage involves ongoing monitoring and assessment of the risk management system to identify any gaps or weaknesses, as well as any changes in the organisation’s risk profile that may require a revision of the strategies. This stage ensures that the risk management system remains up-to-date and effective in protecting the organisation and its employees.

If you are considering and preparing to move an employee overseas, consider speaking to Gerson Relocation, a professional relocation specialist. Our professional team can assist with everything from risk management to logistics, ensuring a smooth and successful relocation experience for your employees.


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