Employee mobility is an issue that has taken on a whole new meaning as more and more businesses have gone global. Employees today are commonly asked to take assignments in company locations away from home — either in another state or in another country. These kinds of opportunities are seen as benefits by many employees who enjoy both experiencing new cultures and the multi-cultural exposure, which is more people than ever before!
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Effectively managing employee mobility is important. Without the right training and planning, employees moving to foreign countries will not be prepared to meet the challenges such moves present. Your company does not want to find itself faced with loss of productivity, or worse, loss of its best employees because of lack of preparation.
Finances and Safety and Housing … Oh My!
Your company may frequently transfer employees within the country or outside the country. Either way, there are concerns that should be addressed in your compensation and benefits packages. For example, in the US, an employee transferred from a small town in Texas to a large northeastern city will face many of the same issues as an employee transferred from the US to Canada.
The employees, and in many cases their families, will face cultural, financial, transportation, housing, and emotional differences. These differences become more pronounced when your company re-assigns employees from a developed country to a third world country. But it is really a matter of degree. Making sure your staff are well prepared for these types of moves will insure the transition is smooth and that they remain productive. After all, the reason employees are transferred should be to benefit both the company and the development of the employee.
It’s Ok to Ask for Help
It’s next to impossible to stay on top of the various cultures, economic factors, and employment practices on a global scale. Mobility consultants who can do the research, have access to global data, and provide important guidance on a variety of mobility issues can help a company maintain a smooth and productive transitioning workforce.
Some of the common areas which should be specifically addressed if your company transfers staff to new locations on a regular basis include the following.
- Cost of living differences between locations or countries
- Quality of living differences, including any safety concerns.
- Prevalent benefits practices in the target location.
- Available education and religious facilities in the target locations.
- Relocation policies that are flexible to accommodate different family situations.
By working with an experienced employee mobility consultant, you can assess your current practices, compare them to future needs and typical market practices, and develop a strategic and cost-effective approach to managing both short- and long-term domestic and international mobility.
Employee mobility is becoming an increasingly important part of the value proposition as businesses continue to expand their global operations, and top talent seeks an ever changing and fulfilling work experience.