When was the last time you reviewed your global mobility policy? In all likelihood, you have done this sometime in the previous year or two, and it was a significant undertaking. Now think about the factors that drove the review in the first place—was it a focus on cost, a talent agenda or something else?
You undertook significant work to redesign your policies.
Now the question is—how are you going to ensure that your new policies are achieving their goals and meeting the objectives that were set? Because otherwise, it is likely that you’ll be going through the same exercise again in a couple of years.
The purpose of the policy
Let’s take a step back and look at the overall purpose of a mobility policy first—usually, it is to ensure cost control, sound program governance, compliance management, ensure your employees are treated fairly and consistently, and finally to drive talent attraction, development, and retention.
There are many ways to address these objectives, and the degree of focus on each will also differ by industry. Oil and gas companies sending employees to high-risk locations may focus less on cost and more on employee safety. Financial services may particularly concerned with compliance given the intense scrutiny on this within their industry.
The changing face of Mobility
Traditionally, global mobility policies have been defined around the move duration—long-term assignment, short-term assignment, permanent transfer—and around the driver behind the move—in simple terms, whether it is business or employee driven.
However, the face of mobility is changing and becoming more fluid and moves no longer always fit into the simple buckets of long-term, short-term, or permanent. As businesses grow and expand, and global compliance and immigration changes evolve, companies are now challenged to move talent in new ways. Mobility teams are now more frequently faced with scenarios where, for example, an employee lives in one country but works in another or is required part time across two locations on an ongoing basis.
It’s time for mobility teams to become proactive in managing the agile workforce of tomorrow. The first step towards this is understanding how your policies support your company objectives today and, in the future, and being able to quickly adapt to changes as and when they occur. This new way of looking at policies also provides a new approach to talking about these assignments with employees, which, in turn, can have some positive benefits.