Emerging Trends that Affect Global Mobility’s Role in ‘New Normal’

Global mobility usually operates at the back end of businesses. But since the onset of the pandemic, companies have been scrambling to get sound advice from experts in talent mobility in the hopes of weathering this economic storm.

For the past years, many companies have recognized the workforce as an important asset. An article in LinkedIn mentions that research shows that a relationship between a company’s financial performance and employee satisfaction exists. It even takes further steps by labeling employees as a company’s “greatest asset.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has only magnified the importance of talent management’s role in the company by becoming a key decision-maker in ensuring business continuity — without a productive workforce, there would be no business. 

And now with a dramatic shift in working activities, talent managers are now left to deal with different employee needs that arose from remote working. In a Crown World Mobility survey, it was shown that global mobility professionals’ support in the crisis is centered on the following assignee needs:

  • frequent communication
  • immigration
  • mental health and well-being

The respondents of the survey also commented that due to the unprecedented global health crisis, many organizations have a newfound appreciation for talent mobility professionals.

In a series of online events hosted by Cartus Corporate Connections, global mobility leaders identified global workplace, relocation travel, talent development, and digital transformation as emerging trends that are heavily observed within their organizations’ response to the pandemic. 

Consulting global mobility professionals is best option

Corporate leaders recently developed factors to take into account when making decisions in terms of their mobile workforce, rapidly changing government laws and safety advisories. Since global mobility managers are better equipped with extensive knowledge on different aspects of talent mobility, consulting them is the best option. 

Multiple circumstances within workforce assignments require managers to carefully formulate strategies to maintain improved employee experience. For example, an employee stranded in a third-country location, can experience compliance and logistical issues, not to mention the impact on emotional well-being. 

Another case is the temporary switch to virtual assignments. Because of the imposed border closures and strict travel restrictions, companies are forced to cut short planned assignments. And in some cases, internationally deployed employees are repatriated until further notice. Many talent mobility leaders have opted to modify these work arrangements by means of virtual assignments in order to keep exceptional talent and ensure that key business processes are still up and running. 

Employees are open to international deployments

Until now, experts are still discovering the behavior of the virus and the inconsistencies of the symptoms with Covid-positive patients. And with experts saying that it would take several years to achieve global immunization, businesses can’t help but find themselves less hopeful in reaching a post-Covid-19 era anytime soon. 

In the same survey by Crown World Mobility, global mobility leaders found it more appropriate to look forward to a post-crisis phase. This term pertains to a point in time where organizations have made changes in their approach to the health crisis. A number of these leaders also agree that their employees are most likely to be open to international deployments even in the post-crisis phase.

Considering this prediction, global mobility managers are recommended to provide real-time updates on travel restrictions, quarantine and testing protocols, relocation policy, and local tax regulations, to name a few. 

Perfect time to upskill global workforce

One of the most critical jobs of mobility professionals is in Learning and Development. And although many sources emphasize the responsibility of businesses to alleviate the emotional and mental consequences the pandemic has caused, now can be a fitting time to invest in upskilling a company’s global workforce.  

Sunil Mirani, co-founder and CEO at Ugam, believes that a focus on upskilling has positive impacts for the employee and the company. For employees, the additional skills can help boost their confidence and help them utilize downtime productively. 

Companies benefit from the upskilling by filling in the gaps of targeted skills, and provide the company with a workforce equipped to function beyond their job descriptions. 

He also gives a guide for talent development amid Covid-19:

  • Empowering teams with relevant information
  • Helping employees gain access through various collaborative channels
  • Building a mentor-connect initiative
  • Making sure the experience of learning is monitored and effective
  • Using the nudge theory

Digital Transformation. It’s safe to say that a good number of collaborative workers have experienced digitization through virtual channels of communication. But what about global mobility processes? Have they made steps towards technology-induced changes in their key activities?

In a previous post, a survey demonstrated that although global mobility managers thought of introducing technological changes to automate specific processes in talent mobility, many remained indecisive on whether to proceed or not. 

However, the pandemic has brought them to rethink their decisions of not pursuing these changes. Most companies that have automated structures in place are the ones that have remained highly competitive even in times of uncertainty.

Without the right tools, global mobility managers have no choice but to delegate their teams with meticulous tasks that require time and effort, eventually tiring out the team.