As the holidays come to a close and we all ponder how best to position our organizations for the coming year, it’s an appropriate time to discuss how companies can align their global mobility programs with their corporate culture. Global mobility plays a significant part in corporate culture, both working with high-performing employees and transporting culture throughout different countries and regions where a company operates.
In his latest book, The Culture Secret: How to Empower People and Companies No Matter What You Sell, Dr. David Vik, founder and CEO of TheCulture King recommends five steps to building a great company culture: (1) create a compelling vision, (2) determine your purpose, (3) align your business model, (4) create unique factors and (5) clarify your values. The third point, ‘align your business model’, refers to embedding company culture within all parts of your organization --- from product development to employee feedback to the technologies used internally. Culture must permeate an organization both externally and internally. If you want to be an innovative organization, your sales process, products and internal processes must also be innovative. Otherwise, culture will be compromised. Culture, like brand, works best when it is consistent.
Global mobility is a key fulcrum for employees around the world. Global mobility’s unique position makes them essential for both spreading and reinforcing culture throughout a multinational organization. Consequently, the global mobility function must be embedded with the cultural values of the wider organization. These cultural values should be a part of the policies, processes and support that global mobility offers employees. To support a culture of innovation, for example, global mobility must offer the latest technologies to employees who are moving around the world through global relocation. To support a culture of flexibility and autonomy, global mobility must offer varying policies and processes, supporting different employees in different ways. To support a culture of meritocracy, global mobility must help organizations offer international assignments to employees earlier in their career.
At MOVE Guides, we speak to global mobility professionals regularly who refer to their processes and culture as either “paternalistic” or “hands off”. The interesting thing is that the culture of the global mobility department is sometimes not aligned with the wider organization’s mission, goals and culture. To offer employees a genuine and consistent organizational culture, companies must ensure that their global mobility policies, processes and technology are aligned with their wider corporate culture. If you’re a tech company producing innovative digital products, your tools for employee relocation should be similarly innovative digital products!