This week MOVE Guides had the pleasure of attending the FEM Roadshow in New York. Smaller regional events are always a great opportunity to learn and network in a slightly more intimate setting, and this event was no exception. It featured leaders in global mobility from companies like Firmenich, HSBC, IFF, and more. Here are the key takeaways from our two attendees, Jonathan Marsh and Kate McWilliams.

Technology and process

More than one panel discussed the role of technology in improving global mobility processes. The consensus is that mobility needs to move away from the Excel/paper files/email communication way of managing moves and into a format that is centralized and connected, which results in meaningful data that is understandable resulting in a high impact. Some compared it to the “Workday” model for global mobility. The blockers are shifting the mindset and business model of the industry and that most traditional RMCs do not offer such a solution that meets the needs of mobility. 

Managing expats and ensuring retention

Another prominent theme was how to guarantee the success of your international assignments during their stint abroad and ensuring they stay with you when they return. One panel agreed that sending someone abroad was akin to the “kiss of death” in that their job, or the employee would likely not be back when they return home. The key to avoid this is in proper planning. Screening your potential expats and ensuring that the business unit and talent management work together to select the right people. Establishing a long-term plan mitigates the risk of a failed assignment and ensures there is a valuable role for your employee to return home to. As Millennials continue to enter the workforce and expect opportunities to work abroad this becomes increasingly important.

IMG_2072Jonathan and Kate are all smiles after a great event!

Creating the right mobility policy

There is no “one size fits all” policy when it comes to global mobility. Companies must develop policies aligned to company culture and business needs. Tiered policies allow flexibility for the business in terms of cost and appropriate support for different employee demographics / business objectives. It is important that companies do not just “plug the hole” with any employee who has the right skill set. Rather take the time to ID the right people the company wants to invest in long term and offer the appropriate policy that will ensure assignment success.

Thanks to our NY team, Jonathan and Kate, for sharing their takeaways and to the Forum for Expatriate Management for putting on another great event!

To learn how MOVE Guides can help you achieve your mobility program goals, visit us at or contact us at


Sean Pratt

About the author

Sean Pratt

Sean is Topia's Sr. Marketing Manager and a certified Global Mobility Specialist.

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