Building Engagement with Mobile Employees Part 3: Performance Development and Best Practices for Managers
By Sean Pratt
Jul 03, 2019
In this three-part blog series, we share critical ways to keep your mobile employees engaged, unlocking the full value of your mobility programs.
If you missed them, read the first two parts of this series. In part one, we explained how many companies are not properly setting their mobile employees up for success, and shared the data-backed costs associated with this misalignment. In part two, we shared discussed strategies for building engagement in employee onboardings and performance reviews.
In this final section, we detail the importance of ongoing performance development and how to navigate critical conversations to understand how you can best serve your mobile team. We then explore the value of technology, mixed with human expertise, to aid managers in this mobility process.
The Global Assignment and Its Role in Performance Development
Mobility provides employees with an opportunity to build skills and gain experience that is critical to their performance development. That’s why managers need to have performance development conversations with employees not only before sending them on assignment, but also during the assignment, and after they return:
Before the employee goes on assignment, discuss what they want to learn or areas they wish to grow in while on assignment
While on assignment, work with the employee to discuss how they are progressing toward their goals to ensure they feel supported, and address any issues as they come up
When they return, focus the conversation on whether they closed the gaps and grew in the areas defined before their assignment
Performance development conversations should include dialogue on:
The technical and soft skills an employee needs to develop to help them achieve their personal and business goals
Current skills gaps and how they can be addressed through mobility, training, and other tools
The employee’s ideal career path with a focus on where the employee wants to go with their career
Managers have a lot on their plates, and often feel as though they are too busy to have regular performance development conversations with their employees, or, they simply don’t understand the importance. Everyone wants to be heard and be developed. We all feel like we are too busy to add another meeting to our calendar. But when you take the time with an employee to hold those development meetings, you are showing your commitment to the employee and their career development, which, in turn, reboots their broader engagement with work.
Plan for Employee Engagement as Part of the Global Assignment Process
While technology can play an important part in providing managers and HR with the data they need for the employee conversations that make up the pillars of employee engagement, it’s important to remember that technology’s role in employee engagement is not as a replacement for human interaction. And, your technology is only as good as the strategy and planning that it supports.
Global assignments are a valuable tool for employee engagement. They show the company is invested in the employee and their career development. And, they demonstrate the company’s trust in the employee’s ability to execute. But all of this hinges upon the manager having a concrete plan that will increase employee engagement by answering the following questions:
What are the goals of the assignment?
What are the KPIs that will be tracked?
What is the expected ROI?
What existing skills is the employee putting to work with the assignment?
What skills will they learn or improve upon over the course of the assignment?
What will we do with the employee when they come back?
The right technology will help managers document the assignment plan, and track the employee’s progress against it. They will also free up HR time from doing low-value administrative work in support of setting those goals and defining benchmarks. But it is important to remember those tools should provide the data for the conversation and not be used as a way to avoid having those one-to-one conversations that build connection and engagement between employees and their managers, and position mobility as a driver in employee engagement and retention.
Smarter Strategies for Building Engagement with Mobile Employees
By improving on employee engagement through onboardings, performance reviews, and performance development strategies, you’re taking a necessary step to allow your mobile team members, and your company’s bottom line, to thrive.