Global Mobility Professionals Need to Be Aware of Global Risks and Role of Trust

Moving people is a hyper-complex issue with many moving parts and risks to consider. From immigration risks, employment tax and government regulations to individual traveler expenses and mobility policies, an incredible amount of information is deduced to reduce potential global hiring risks, according to Price Waterhouse Coopers or pwc.

An integrated end-to-end mobility service is certainly essential and knowledge of the following, especially if your homebase is the United States, is a game changer:

  • 2 million + tax returns prepared each year
  • A full spectrum of immigration-related compliance services
  • Home and host country tax filing requirements
  • Managing permanent establishment risks
  • Global compensation reporting and payroll withholding
  • Cost projection and financial management
  • Expertise in integrated social security & retirement plans
  • 250,000 work permits and visa applications annually
  • Tax treaty matters
  • Identify and re-mediate potential business traveler risks

These must-learn points make expat management and business travel for companies quite daunting but facing this head-on early can reduce potential risks later. Global mobility professionals have their own set of challenges, but they are well-positioned to alert organizations’ leadership of global risks in relation to the deployment of personnel.

In assessing risk effectively and managing it successfully, Relocate Magazine has some pointers, too as paraphrased here: “It is important to promote thinking about the outside world and (to) model scenarios (in addition to) training people on these models and providing good quality information and intelligence for appropriate decision-making.”

Asking people to make a significant change to their behavior may not deliver the desired response, but it has also proven to work. It just takes time. “Encouraging and influencing behavioral change, for instance via small ‘nudges’, can be more effective. To do this, leaders can use incentives rather than penalties and change the environment in which actions are taken so that people adapt their behavior to align with the new environmental conditions,” it added.

Gaining the trust of relocating individuals and their families is absolutely critical to the successful deployment of personnel worldwide. Everyday actions that provide reassurance and demonstrate care and compassion make a significant contribution to earning the trust of employees and families on the move.

Developing a climate of trust is necessary to move organizations forward. To gain trust is to gain confidence in the unknown. It can only work if developed through daily interactions. Trust is earned in the smallest of moments, not through large magnanimous gestures and visible actions. Yes, gaining trust is time-consuming but it is better than the alternative: it can be destroyed in an instant. It is therefore a precious asset for long-term success.

Day-to-day interactions that discuss and resolve problems as well as those that share information and successes help to build trusting relationships and reduce risk. These relationships need to be developed across organizational and societal cultural boundaries and thus require depth of understanding and empathy.

Thoughtful, evidence-based practice based on ethical approaches will help to reduce risk and gain trust. It is crucial that a principles-led approach to the mobility of employees and their families is adopted so as to create a trusting climate. This needs to be supported by daily interactions that recognize individual issues and respond to these empathetically.

Policy guidelines are important to frame daily interactions and maintain cost control but decision-making that resolves the problems of individuals and their families in such a way that provides integrity and empathy will go a long way in trust building. And trust in their employer will enhance productivity and performance.

Finally, developing a culture that promotes integrity across the scale of business operations will be crucial to fostering a brand that is attractive to customers with products and services worthy of trust.

And, as organizations build brands with embedded trust, so this helps to reduce one element of risk – namely that of negative customer perceptions of organizational integrity and the danger these can bring financial returns.