technological disruption

Technology Is an Ally of Global Mobility, Not its Adversary

With dire warnings that AI and the latest technological marvels will soon supplant human ingenuity and effort, it is no wonder Global Mobility Managers — as well as their Human Resource counterparts — are a bit leery when it comes to deploying newer and “smarter” technology in the workplace.

The fear of being replaced is one reason. The second has to do with the inarguable reality that managing people, especially assignees, involves a lot of personal human interaction that machines cannot replicate. For example, an assignee may get a crash course on the corporate culture of Northern California just by reading up on it on the net — but it is the answers they get from their human Global Mobility Manager that gives them the confidence that they can make it in this new world of foreign employment.

While that kind of thinking is partly a knee-jerk reaction to the seeming threat posed by technology, it also gives the Global Mobility Manager a smart position that they can use as leverage as far as technology is concerned.

There are tasks that smart machines are still light years away from performing, making human guidance and direction invaluable. As touted in one famous science-fiction series, technologies are the servants of humans, and not their masters. So it may be best to banish all thoughts and fears of insidious Terminator-like robots invading the workspace and consider a more positive alternative.

As the tech gurus in Northern California have shown us, technology is an asset, and not an adversary, of globalization. Davidson Morris names several practical ways how Global Mobility practitioners can tap into this resource.

Processing accuracy and fast response time

Software like learning management systems, performance evaluation tools, project management platforms, and accounting solutions (among others) make reporting accurate and in the quickest time possible. They tally the numbers, notice red flags, spot inconsistencies, and create patterns from all the data being plugged into them real-time. Global Mobility Managers do not have to wade through the mountain of information just to identify the weak link in the chain, or to see the return of investment of their recruitment efforts. Programmed properly, these solutions can actually alert them if an assignee is underperforming way before a possible breakdown, or the need to accelerate their calendar in light of another Brexit-like development happening in the assignee’s region of employment.

Once the Global Mobility Manager is made aware of the situation, their response time can be immediate, using global tools such as videoconferencing, chatbots, and messenger, just to name a few.

Controlling costs lead to savings

Accounting and finance solutions also allow Global Mobility Managers to spot areas where budgets are being drained unnecessarily or supplies and other resources are being priced higher than usual. Technology can show Global Mobility Managers real-time numbers that will help them trim down the financial fat and boost their savings. This act should help get them support for their expenses from their superiors the next budget season.

No more communication disruption

Given the preponderance of smart devices carrying the latest communication apps, there is no reason for Global Mobility Managers to have any kind of communication disruption with their assignees. Technology can keep access and the flow of virtual conversation constant and convenient, if personal meetings are not possible. Sometimes, in the absence of a more Facetime convo, all it takes is a deft email, a chat emoticon, or a Skype call to boost a lonely assignee’s morale.