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Global Mobility: A Catalyst for Developing Leadership and Business Success

Global mobility is an integral part of organizations seeking to maximize the return on investment from their expatriate populations. As it continues to evolve, global mobility professionals are required to expand beyond their traditional administrative roles and cultivate influencing skills that help them position global mobility as a strategic function. 

This shift is essential for them to add tangible value to the organization. However, it requires a keen understanding of the organization’s culture, business objectives, and leadership dynamics.

Global mobility specialists are seen as versatile, with expertise in HR management, tax, employment law, housing, logistics, and interpersonal and intercultural skills. Despite this, many organizations still view them as administrative support rather than strategic business partners. 

To change this perception, global mobility professionals need to build a broader set of influencing skills, including effective communication, rapport-building, assertiveness, and questioning skills.

It is in this way that global mobility professionals can play a crucial role in key business discussions, from talent strategy to resource management and international growth. They bring a unique perspective on cross-cultural issues, compliance, and international logistics, which are invaluable when organizations consider expanding into new markets or undertaking complex projects. By cultivating strong relationships with key stakeholders, they can ensure their expertise is considered during critical business decisions.

Essential skills:

  1. Communication skills: Global mobility professionals must effectively communicate their value proposition to stakeholders, highlighting the strategic benefits of global mobility. Storytelling can help present complex concepts in an accessible way, ensuring that stakeholders understand the role of global mobility in achieving broader business objectives.
  2. Building rapport: Establishing strong connections with key stakeholders is vital for gaining their trust and support. Rapport creates a foundation for Global mobility professionals to influence leadership and be included in strategic discussions.
  3. Assertiveness: Global mobility professionals should assert their opinions confidently and use affirmative statements to present their case. Non-verbal communication, such as body language and gestures, also contributes to projecting confidence.
  4. Questioning skills: Asking the right questions allows global mobility professionals to gain insights into other HR functions and understand how to position global mobility as a strategic asset. Open questions can engage stakeholders and foster collaborative discussions.
  5. Selling skills: Global mobility professionals must reposition themselves as business partners, not just administrators. This requires preparing well-crafted arguments to gain stakeholder buy-in and presenting the return on investment of global mobility, including cost savings, compliance, and risk management.

Training and coaching 

To influence stakeholders effectively, global mobility professionals must understand the diverse languages spoken across different business functions. Training and coaching can help bridge these gaps and ensure that Global mobility professionals communicate in a way that resonates with their audience. This approach also helps address misconceptions, allowing Global mobility professionals to educate internal customers about the complexities of global mobility.

Leadership development 

Global mobility plays a significant role in developing future leaders. International assignments provide unique experiences that allow individuals to cultivate essential leadership qualities such as resilience, transparency, emotional intelligence, passion, empathy, and empowerment. 

These experiences are crucial for developing character, a pivotal element of leadership success. Many global companies require international assignments as a prerequisite for promotion, recognizing their value in building leadership capabilities. 

Navneet Agarwal, director of Agarwal Packers and Movers Ltd (APML), thinks building global mobility teams is essential when it comes to mitigating leadership gaps.

This approach not only broadens the internal talent pool but also enhances employee engagement and satisfaction. The focus on internal development reduces the need for costly external recruitment and promotes knowledge sharing and skill development, enabling businesses to accelerate growth and meet their objectives more efficiently

He adds that fostering diversity, building resilience and partnering for global mobility solutions should fall under this plan. 

Fostering diversity

Creating a diverse leadership team through global talent mobility opens up opportunities for individuals based on their abilities rather than their geographic location. However, navigating the challenges of global talent movement requires addressing language barriers, cultural differences, and varying local knowledge. 

A robust international mobility program helps smooth transitions by ensuring compliance with local regulations on tax, immigration, and employment law. This framework allows employees to focus on their roles without the stress of relocation logistics.

Building resilience 

International assignments increase employees’ adaptability and resilience, providing them with invaluable learning experiences. Allowing staff to work from their preferred locations can boost engagement and retention, creating a more flexible and motivated workforce. This approach ensures a ready pipeline of adaptable, skilled leaders who can step into key positions when needed.

Partnering for global mobility solutions

Organizations seeking to enhance their succession planning through global mobility can benefit from strategic partnerships with firms specializing in global talent mobility. APML Global Mobility provides a full suite of intra-country mobility solutions, supporting employees through relocations with care and compassion. By working with strategic partners, businesses can ensure smooth transitions, effective compliance, and a high level of employee satisfaction, reinforcing the importance of global mobility in succession planning and business continuity.