We have entered an era where employees seek freedom. They want to decide their place and time of work. Most importantly, along with flexibility, they want to be trusted to complete the job.
But when the place of work is in a different time zone, it becomes troublesome. And that’s when you need an effective global mobility strategy.
Most organizations are developing global mobility strategies based on their individual business needs.
Hence, read on if you want to build a global mobility strategy for your business or improve the existing one.
This blog talks about the importance of global mobility, global mobility best practices, and key elements in a global mobility strategy.
What is a Global Mobility Strategy?
A global mobility strategy is an organization’s unique plan to move its employees overseas seamlessly for new job roles and opportunities. It details the plan and offers comprehensive guidance to mobilize employees beyond borders. A proper global mobility strategy successfully ensures that the workforce moves from one country to another, both in the profession and personal lives.
Importance of Global Mobility Strategy
Deloitte’s global mobility trends report states that 88% of business leaders agree that building a future-focused business is essential.
Since global expansion is on the rise and growth is the main focus, businesses must send a part of their workforce overseas. To make the process of sending teams abroad hassle-free, it is significant to create a global mobility strategy.
Small and medium businesses often consider investing their time in preparing a global mobility strategy. They consider it a time and resource-consuming process affecting their daily operations.
But bypassing a global mobility strategy can be a problem. It may result in inefficiencies and hassles in the transition process.
Hence, work out a thorough mobility strategy to deploy your global teams;
- Compliantly, with regards to home and host country regulations
- Efficiently, within a short time without much friction
- Consistently, with each global employee following the same transition process.
Key Factors of a Global Mobility Strategy
Global mobility involves several critical factors. Here’s a list of factors you must consider in your global mobility strategy to make it a comprehensive guide to deploying and managing teams abroad.
The business must provide employees the knowledge about the host country’s employment law requirements. It includes local legislation requirements, contracts, assignment letters, etc.
The organization must plan and secure employee visas, resident permits, and work permits.
The business must communicate about interpersonal relationships and work culture in the host location to the global teams. It will help them accommodate better and sooner in foreign regions
The company must assist the global teams in identifying housing opportunities, schooling facilities, etc., in the host location. It will help the employees settle well in the new location with their families.
The factor of HR involves planning career development and retention strategies for the top global talents. Also, access to country-specific support considering onboarding, appraisals, management, grievance resolution, etc., must be considered.
The employer must manage all payroll-related aspects like payment currency, tax withholding, reporting, remittance obligations, etc., in-home and host locations.
Pension and benefits
Employee pensions and benefits must all be managed by the organization. The company is responsible for providing the global employees with home and host country pensions and benefits.
Employers must take care of income tax and social security obligations in host and home countries. They must ensure the global team’s tax compliance in the foreign location.
Tax compliance, payroll, pension, and benefits are complicated among all these factors. Hence, a company’s global mobility policies and processes must ensure managing these factors.
Platforms like Multiplier can help employers with the tax, payroll, and benefits. Multiplier’s EOR/ PEO solution can take care of all aspects like employee benefits, legal compliances, etc.
Best Practices to Optimize Your Global Mobility Strategy
In the past decade, around 40% of international assignments failed. That means the failure percentage can be considered a wastage for the company. Thus, we can estimate how big the financial losses can be, though it differs from business to business.
Learning from the historical mistakes, today’s businesses must implement global mobility best practices to optimize global mobility strategies.
1. Focus on improving global mobility employee experience
Most businesses focus on cutting down the costs involved in global mobility. But with additional investments in employee experience and satisfaction, employers can enhance employee functioning in the host country.
Employers must set up global mobility programs and policies to assist employees in settling down in the host country. For instance, organizations must support employees’ spouses to find a job, housing, schooling facilities, networking opportunities, etc.
Such support policies in global mobility will ensure higher employee satisfaction. As a result, employees can focus on their work and increase productivity.
2. Achieve better Return on Investment
Instead of being conscious of costs only, employers must try to increase the ROI.
For example, businesses often rely a lot on IT services. That means the IT companies must send their best talents to deliver service to clients on the other side. If companies do not invest in moving employees and providing them with every necessary support, they cannot expect to achieve higher returns.
Hence, businesses must track their ROI in international assignments. Having adequate data to prove that investing additional funds has generated greater returns is essential.
3. Implement the right technology
To be seamless, the global mobility experience requires appropriate technology and tools.
For instance, when planning your global mobility strategy, you need the right tech tools to estimate operational and international transfer costs, forecast revenue, prepare a budget, and analyze former international assignments, if any.
Similarly, you must have the appropriate tech to ensure regular communication and consistent support after deploying employees. Also, you must ensure consistency in payments, benefits, and policies.
To offer a hassle-free global mobility employee experience, your workforce in the home and host countries must have access to the best technological resources.
4. Create flexible global mobility policies and processes
Structuring and implementing a proper global mobility program is significant. To ensure harmonizing all the involved processes, employers must implement policies that employees can follow while they move to the host country.
However, standardizing or harmonizing global mobility policies is easy, especially when the assignments are huge. Hence, it is necessary to offer a flexible policy suite with standard processes, but wherein you can accommodate changes if necessary.
For instance, the policy suite must contain the core components of a global mobility strategy like employee benefits, payroll, and compliance. Other than these, it must also contain discretionary benefits specific to employees, their job roles, family circumstances, or their assignment.
5. Vendor consolidation
Vendor consolidation is a popular cost-saving strategy often used in global mobility. It aims to limit expenses within the inventory procurement process.
In a global mobility strategy, reducing the number of vendors through consolidation can help to fulfill needs while saving on costs and managing fewer vendor relations.
Global mobility processes require a lot of vendors – movers, relocation logistics, destination service providers, etc. Hence, consolidating vendors is one of the global mobility best practices employers can follow.
When consolidating vendors, ensure to track the performance of the existing vendors in terms of cost and service quality. For instance, you can conduct surveys to measure service quality.
6. Structure schedules
An effective global mobility strategy involves planning schedules that are both structured and flexible at the same time.
For instance, as employees move to a different time zone, they adjust to work and life changes. A flexible schedule allows them to adjust well and successfully. But for teams to collaborate across time zones, you must also structure the schedule.
We recommend setting a specific office or location as the baseline time that others can follow. Similarly, if other employees need to adjust the time zone to 9 to 5 they can do so accordingly.
7. Review every international requirement
This is a must-include global mobility best practice. Reviewing every international requirement is the base of creating a successful global mobility strategy.
Ensure that you consider global mobility’s different aspects, including immigration requirements, taxation requirements, procedural challenges, documentation, deployment workflows, host country assistance, support, etc.
In short, ensure that every employee’s global deployment is hassle-free and encourages other employees to avail of the international opportunities.
Perfecting a global mobility strategy is not easy. Employers cannot expect to create the best and ideal global mobility strategy in their first attempt. However, they put their best foot forward in the process.
Once you have a global mobility strategy in place, you can make continuous improvements for betterment.
To ensure creating and executing a seamless global mobility strategy, we recommend partnering with a comprehensive platform like Multiplier.
The platform solutions can take care of your global teams’ payroll requirements, benefits, tax compliance, insurances and contributions, multi-currency payments, and much more.
Learn more about Multiplier’s products. Get in touch now!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can technology support global mobility strategies?
Technology plays a crucial role in supporting global mobility strategies by automating and streamlining various processes. It can help with talent management, tracking assignments, managing compliance and documentation, providing self-service portals for employees, and facilitating communication and collaboration across geographies. Additionally, data analytics and reporting tools can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of global mobility programs and help organizations make data-driven decisions.
Q. How can organizations ensure compliance with immigration and tax regulations in global mobility?
Ensuring compliance with immigration and tax regulations is essential in global mobility. Organizations can achieve this by partnering with expert immigration and tax consultants who have knowledge of the local laws and regulations. They can help with visa applications, work permits, and tax planning for internationally mobile employees. Additionally, implementing robust internal processes and systems to track and monitor compliance requirements, staying updated with changes in regulations, and providing training to HR and mobility teams can help organizations maintain compliance throughout the assignment lifecycle.