PWC in one of its reports showed that 93.9% of fresh graduates believe that they will work across geographic borders, which reinforces the trend that international assignments will continue to be a significant part in the work pattern of the modern global workforce. Employee mobility has taken a whole new meaning in the contemporary global business scenario. In fact, such opportunities mean a lot of benefits for many employees who enjoy experiencing a new country and culture.
What to look For?
Managing employee mobility plays a significant role because without the right training and planning, it will be difficult for employees to face challenges in a foreign country. It is also important for organizations to consider the employees’ competency and how well they are suited to handle the job, environmental variables, personality traits as well as relational abilities before asking them to move.
Also, it is necessary that the organization consider the quality of life in such cases. They have to address concerns like compensation and benefit packages in cases like this. Moving from one place to another might also involve a rise in the cost of living that the company should take into consideration before moving its employees. The company also needs to look into his/her compensation package and other benefits, and may offer location-specific premiums to recompensate them for adverse conditions connected with the assignment.
Proper talent management is yet another important factor to be taken into account. Unless the company’s brightest and the best are chosen for overseas assignments, and a proper plan is there to ease their re-entry once they return, the success of overseas assignment or harnessing the new skills and experience of such employees won’t be possible.
What not to look For?
Too much of emphasis shouldn’t be given on ethnic and racial backgrounds of an employee to determine his/her suitability for global mobility. Your programs shouldn’t revolve totally around the requirements of the employee, while disregarding the cost factor or the needs of the business.
Study by Aon Hewitt
A recent study by Aon Hewitt, International Assignee Policies and Practices reveals some interesting trends in global employee mobility. The report states that despite recession, international mobility has been quite resilient. Aon Hewitt surveyed 56 leading organizations between January and February 2011. Of these, 21 Indian companies and 31 MNCs participated in outbound study while 7 Indian and 29 companies participated in inbound study.
About 90 percent of the Indian companies and 70 percent of the MNCs states that oversees employee mobility has increased in the last three years. The economic slowdown is found to have affected inbound movement just a little. About 37 percent of the organizations surveyed said that during the last three years, international assignments to India have increased significantly. The flow continues to be same for another 40 percent while the remaining 23 percent reported a decline in the number of international assignments.
Multi National Companies, on the other hand, continued sending Indian employees oversees for project training, career development, international exposure, project based requirements etc as such companies maintain their focus on India as an important destination for investment. Business requirement is the driving force for assigning employees overseas, while employees’ desire usually takes a backseat in most cases.
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