Is your global mobility program working effectively?

It’s always possible to make a service better, it’s what many of us spend our waking hours trying to do.  When you know what the problem is, who it affects, or what is causing it, you can focus your attention on fixing it. But if you don’t know what the problem is, or that there is a problem, then you’re acting in the dark. Global mobility programmes are a vital yet costly part of any organisations’ talent management strategy, so it’s important to be able to quantify performance.

Assessing the effectiveness of your global mobility program

So how can you tell if your global mobility programme isn’t working as well as it could? Firstly you might have some anecdotal evidence, a clear example of failure or just a feeling. Alternatively you may actually be actively monitoring your programme, in which case there may be KPIs that raise alarm bells. Here are some key questions to help assess your own global mobility programme.

–   Do assignees leave during the assignment or soon after their return?

–   How well are you retaining your best talent?

–   Can you identify assignees at risk?

–   Can you identify trends and act quickly to avert issues?

–   Are assignee’s families coping with the lifestyle change?

–   Do families struggle to integrate into a different culture?

–   Can you prioritise effort or budget to improve assignment journeys?

–   Where is the greatest care and support coming from?

–   Is the care and support consistent globally, regionally or locally?

–   Have assignments benefited the assignee, the company, or both?

–   Can you link Talent Retention to the success of your programme?

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions then you probably have some gaps in understanding of your employees’ relocation experience? And if you aren’t aware if there’s a problem, how can you do something about it? How should you prioritise your budget, resource or effort?

Demonstrating the ROI of the programme

Not only can you lose key staff whilst they are on assignment, it’s also possible you may struggle to demonstrate the value of the programme across the organisation. According to Mercer, “Only 53% of Mobility Professionals are measuring the ROI of individual assignments, and even then, most of these are only doing so on occasion.” And of course if you do lose key staff, the value of the programme is diminished.

It may seem surprising but it appears many organisations cannot identify the success or failure of their programmes. This was highlighted in the Santa Fe Relocation Services 2016 Global Mobility Survey Report. It identified a huge discrepancy between Chief Executives who believed the scheme was delivering value (83%), and global mobility professionals struggling to demonstrate value to the wider business. Given the lack of supporting KPIs to measure the programme performance, this is hardly surprising.

Insight to develop an effective programme

The solution lies in understanding the performance of the mobility programme at each stage of the assignment journey. Well-designed independent research (i.e. independent of actual service provision) is able to cut through the noise and get to the key factors affecting the success of the programme. A Global Mobility research programme offers insight into strengths and weaknesses, within your organisation and throughout the supply chain. It informs a prioritised action plan to build on the known successes and remedy the known shortcomings.

Structured independent research gives you the evidence to justify the value of the programme, to both the business and the individual employee, allowing you to retain and nurture your valuable talent. You can download our guide to designing a world-class Global Mobility research programme here.

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