The world of mobility is likely to have a few quiet months, as new moves are put on hold and short-term travel evaporates. Now’s the time to plan ahead. Here are 2 key things to think about over the coming weeks and months:
1. How will this change how you move people? Use this time to work closely with Talent Management to plan and prepare for some changes in approach to mobility.
The return of the mobility premium
Recently, it has been easy to persuade employees to work overseas. Many employees expect it as part of their development and packages reflected the fact that this wasn’t a difficult conversation to have. What now? Will we need to return to mobility premiums and hefty financial persuasion to get employees to move? If the business wants to send an employee to a country with poor (or overwhelmed) domestic medical service, is your medical corporate cover sufficient? Will employees expect to be paid a premium for more at risk locations and how do you maintain those locations – Italy will never have appeared on any watch list before.
Split family moves
One way moves have been the fastest growing move type in recent years. The global economy has been good and talented employees have not been concerned about returning back home one day, so taking the family overseas on a one-way ticket was not a problem. This might change. Some of those one-way movers will now be sitting in their adopted country, trying to work out how to return home and likely not planning on accepting a similar offer again. People will be more wary, and it would be reasonable to expect some to ask for more old-style assignments and split family moves, with their family remaining at home. Overall, host based and one-way moves may falter as employees seek more protection and support from their employers, tied to their home country.
An end to multi-country roles
It may be some time before we return to the days of Brussels on Monday, Zurich on Tuesday, Rotterdam on Wednesday. What does this mean for those who used to oversee regional or multi-country teams? Can they do their jobs effectively with online tools, or will the roles need to be temporarily split, to allow focus in each country by a dedicated manager? The implications for company organisation and talent planning need to be thought through.
2. What can you do now to improve the way your mobility team operates? Efficiency is going to be key and quiet times are good times to upgrade processes.
Have you integrated your data as much as possible? This means synchronising your employee data from your HR system with your mobility software. It also means connecting your mobility software to your vendors and back into your HR system. Integrating data means you save data input time, reduce data input mistakes and keep everyone updated as soon as things change.
Can employees and the business access their mobility information when they want? Making more information accessible reduces the time spent by mobility answering queries or relaying information. At a basic level this means giving employees access to see their policy entitlements, view status of services and contact details for vendors. More advanced is allowing employees to make their own package choices, create their own requests, view pay statements and sign documents online. The same applies to the business. Managers should expect to be able to view their mobile employee data online, make requests to extend or end a move, or create a new one. Modelling packages, creating cost estimates and getting time to post estimates is the next step. Move developed self-service means empowered employees and managers and less time spent by mobility on low value transactional work.
Automating processes is key. If your mobility team is still manually editing contracts and letters, now is the time to stop that. If you are still attaching documents to emails, this is the time to start pushing them securely into a portal. The old spreadsheet to track exceptions should be moved online, so approvals can be made via simple one click links, vendors updated automatically and costs reported on. Requests and updates to vendors should be sent automatically, rather than relying on a human to remember to do it. There are many opportunities to tackle manual and offline processes, to reduce time spent by the mobility team and improve the quality and timeliness of your work.
To learn more about how Equus can help your mobility team improve efficiency and process, contact us today.