How To Determine if your Company is Ready for Global Mobility  

Perhaps one of the most overused words in the English lexicon is the term “world-class.” It generally describes an individual, an act, a trait, and an organization (among others) that is apparently at par with the rest of the world. It can hold its own in a competition or a match against their best peers from other countries.

It is frequently used when a performer, an artist, a restaurant, a hotel, or a movie acquires international recognition. It can also be ascribed to companies and again persons who have passed the most rigorous global standards of quality that measure various sectors and industries.

Global certifications like the ISO-9000 or an educational degree from a renowned university like Harvard or Oxford mean that the one carrying them possess that rare competitive edge that can make them succeed, especially among the developed countries.

The element of global mobility, however, is further raising the bar. It can test the resolve of a company leader or the structural strength of their organization should they declare that they want to become globally competitive.

An award or a certification is given after a certain elevated standard has been achieved — in contrast, to become globally mobile and be recognized as such means that the groundwork has to be prepared first, and the wheels of motion and competition must keep on running, if the operation and expansion is to succeed.

The unsung hero known as the global mobility manager know this first hand.

Regardless of their degree, university, training, nationality, race, color, creed, gender, and civil status, they have to hit the ground running and be able to blend with different cultures once they have been given an assignment. Sometimes, they act as pioneers-cum-lone-wolves to help spearhead the opening of the first foreign branch or to visit a new distant city to recruit their finest for the home office.

Global mobility managers know first hand what global competitiveness and adaptability are. They live it every day of their lives. They are among the few who can probably gauge if an organization is prepared to become globally mobile.

These are the things they usually look at:

  • GTN Blog asks: Does the company have the right partners and allies to make that international move? Do they have strong partnerships with embassies, business associations, and government organizations that can help facilitate that office’s opening? Can they tap into institutions like airlines, schools, and California Corporate Housing that can make relocation for the new assignee seamless and efficient?
  • Does the company have the right protocols, programs, and policies that are friendly to the objectives of global mobility? Are diversity and inclusion included in their long-term plans?

As HR Technologist pointed out, can they swiftly change employment hierarchies and technological support to keep pace with a mobile workforce? Is their executive management keen on watching out for future trends on issues like immigration, taxes, and relocation — and fast enough to come up with more relevant, responsive models should the need arise?

  • Finally, as Talent Culture highlights, does the company management have the necessary empathy to create strong supportive bonds among its workforce, regardless of their location?

Like human resources, mobility is a people-driven sector, and its level of success is influenced by the bonds of trust, goodwill, and mutual respect developed in the workplace. Assignees who live their  home country to work in a different culture would have a difficult time adjusting.

They would have to know that their global mobility manager has their back and is watching out for their well-being. These relationships cannot be forced or faked. They develop slowly but steadily over time, as a  nurturing but high-performing corporate culture that is introduced and developed by the ones at the top.