Leading Human Resources

Globalisation: Mobility Matters!

The benefits of mobility as a leadership development strategy are pretty clear; develop leaders with a global mindset so that they can lead the business in a globalised economy.

Despite the obvious benefits, mobility is still a key challenge faced by many organisations. In our recent peer learning session, it was cited by HR Leaders to be a key challenge when it came to Building a Sustainable Leadership Pipeline.

 

So what exactly is Mobility and why does it matter?

Firstly, let's understand that mobility is not employee relocation... Mobility is developing employees who are capable of moving from one job function to another, from one location to another, from one market to another, and from one culture to another.

There is a host of reasons why Mobility matters, but here are some key reasons:

  • Exposing leaders to different job functions helps to round their skills and prepare them for general management.
  • Exposing leaders to different markets helps to build their market knowledge and prepare them for international roles.
  • Exposing leaders to different markets helps to promote diversity as it builds cultural awareness and sensitivity.
  • Exposing leaders to different job functions and different markets help to build their adaptability and resilience.

Here are some best practices for Mobility, and whilst I am sure there are much more, they will get you going in the right direction.

 

Best Practices for Functional Mobility

Moving from one job function to another is often viewed as an opportunity to learn new skills and experience a different side of the business. However, many functional transitions fail because the employee is not adequately equipped.

On-Boarding: Employees who transition from one job function to another should be exposed to specific on-boarding to familiarise them with the new role.

On-the-Job Training: Employees should be provided with access to well thought out and administered training on the job.

Knowledge Centre: Employees should have access to a knowledge centre that provides a wealth of information pertaining to the business and their role.

Buddy System: Employees should be provided with a buddy, someone they can work alongside and learn from.

Transitional Coaching: Employees should be provided with a coach to help them think their way through as they transition into the new role.

 

Best Practices for Geographical Mobility

The relocation process is an exciting time for employees, as it provides opportunities for them to further develop and signals their career is progressing. It's also incredibly stressful, which is why organisation's need to have the right measures in place to ensure a smooth transition.

Pre-Relocation Learning: Employees and their families should be provided with adequate knowledge of cultural differences, basic language, and the market etc.

Pre-Relocation Visit: Employees and their families should be given the opportunity to visit the location prior to moving so that they can familiarise themselves.

Adjusted Cost of Living: Salary packages and benefits should be adjusted to reflect the nature of the role and cost of living. It should be in line with market standards.

Relocation Administration: Employees should be provided with access to administrative support (visa applications, school entrance, housing etc) for the move.

Repatriation Agreement: Employees should be provided with a repatriation agreement that allows them to return to their old role or something of equivalent value.

Spouse/Partner Recruitment: The spouse/partner should be provided with recruitment support to help them find a suitable job.

Local Support: Employees and their family should be provided with access to local support who can assist them with settling in.

On-Boarding: Employees who transition from one geography to another should be exposed to specific on-boarding to familiarise them with the new role.

Knowledge Centre: Employees should have access to a knowledge centre that provides a wealth of information pertaining to the business and their role.

Mentoring & Coaching: Employees should be provided with a mentor and/or coach to help them transition into the new role.

 

There can be no doubt, Mobility matters... But it needs the right level or organisational support in place to ensure its success.

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